KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) -
Indiana education officials are weighing the possibility of delaying ISTEP+
testing to give schools hit by several snow days more time to prepare
students for the crucial tests.
State Department of
Education spokesman Daniel Altman said the agency is aware of the
predicament schools face. But he said no decision will be made on whether
testing might be postponed until the winter weather ends to allow officials
to “see what schools missed how many days.”
which is scheduled for March and April, is administered annually to third-
through eighth-grade students. Its covers English, math, science and social
“We are looking at
what options are available,” Altman told the Kokomo Tribune. “There’s the
possibility of moving one section and not the other.”
Elementary School Principal Ron Owings said teachers at his Kokomo school
have begun making plans for how they can cover material and make up for lost
time. He said teachers and administrators are worried about the days of
ISTEP preparation they’ve lost to Arctic cold, heavy snowfalls and icy
“Each year the
accountability gets more serious and the ramifications are pretty great,”
Owings said. “We need every one of those days, and we are worried.”
Statewide Testing for Educational Progress is administered in two sessions,
with the applied skills portion set to begin in about four weeks and the
multiple-choice portion coming in late April.
third-grade ISTEP reading scores can determine if they have to repeat the
grade. The test scores are factored into teacher and principal evaluations
and also affect the school and corporation’s letter grade.
If the state
postpones ISTEP testing, it would create another set of problems, Owings
said. Teachers prepare material based on having a certain number of days
between tests. Pushing the 2014 test back will impact 2015 testing, he said.
Corporation Superintendent Jeff Hauswald said the school-day cancelations
have not changed the corporation’s focus on readying students for ISTEP.
“That continues to
be our philosophy,” he said.