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DOE asks schools to decrease ISTEP testing load by 50%

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The Indiana Department of Education has asked schools to reduce their ISTEP testing load Wednesday. The announcement follows two days of online glitches.

Indianapolis Public Schools first reported widespread glitches Monday morning. Other school districts reported similar issues later that day and Tuesday.

The testing company, McGraw Hill, said a server problem caused the issues. They’ve assured Indiana that the disrupted server has been secured and that students will be able to resume their incomplete exams where they left off.

Despite the company’s assurances, the Department wants schools to decrease their load by 50 percent until further notice.

The Department said they will work with local schools to make sure they have the time they need to fairly administer the test.

More detailed information is expected to be released Wednesday.

McGraw Hill released the following statement Tuesday night:

“Over the last two days, students taking the ISTEP+ online assessment have experienced system interruptions, which have twice led the Indiana Department of Education to temporarily suspend testing. We regret the impact on Indiana schools and students and are making changes to correct the situation, so that ISTEP+ online testing will be ready to resume on Wednesday, May 1. We sincerely apologize to Indiana students, parents, teachers and Superintendent Ritz for this unfortunate situation.

“Prior to the start of this year’s testing, CTB conducted performance and load testing on our systems to simulate live school assessment scenarios. However, our simulations did not fully anticipate the patterns of live student testing, and as a result, our system configuration experienced service interruptions that impacted the testing process. We have adjusted the system settings and increased hardware to improve performance, and we are working with the Indiana Department of Education to consider test schedule changes to allow adequate time for the assessments.

“While students affected by the interruption will be able to resume testing where they left off and no data has been lost, we understand just how disruptive and frustrating these interruptions have been. The interruptions are not acceptable to the students and educators of Indiana or to CTB/McGraw-Hill. We have worked with the schools in Indiana for many years and value our relationships with them. We sincerely regret the inconvenience we have caused in these first two days of testing.

“We are doing everything possible to correct the issues immediately so that ISTEP+ testing will continue successfully through the remainder of the assessment window.”