Schools start back without students’ ISTEP data

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Teachers, and even some students, are back in classrooms across Indiana this week but they’ll start school without important ISTEP data.

Scores on last year’s ISTEP test have been delayed, as the state investigates computer glitches that marred the testing process.

Normally, teachers would have their new students’ scores to help guide classroom instruction.

“They would have what we call their data rosters, which would have all the incoming students that they have, how they would’ve scored (on the test),” said Jim Snapp, Brownsburg Superintendent.

Instead, Snapp said teachers in Brownsburg will use other information to help guide instruction.

ISTEP scores also factor into teacher evaluations, and even pay, in many districts. The state has allowed districts to make their own decisions on how to factor in last year’s scores.

“To put all the eggs in that one basket for a teacher is just not fair to the teacher,” Snapp said.

His district will weigh other factors in teacher evaluations and plans to move on, giving teachers ISTEP data when it does become available.

As for teachers themselves, those like Melissa Barnett, said the big focus is on getting ready for kids to be back in the classroom and make the transition to a new grade as smooth as possible.

“Once the kids are here, there’s no time to find something or grab something. You have to have it ready,” Barnett said.

Students’ individual ISTEP scores from last year are not expected to go online until late August.

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