Area Superintendents Release Joint Statement on ISTEP Scores


They say it’s not an accurate reflection of student achievement and teaching quality.

Superintendents from school corporations in Starke and Marshall counties joined together to provide a statement on ISTEP scores from the 2014/15 school year.

Test results were recently released, and showed a significant drop in student test scores compared to the previous year. In their letter to school patrons, the Superintendents said they consider the cut scores arbitrary and reflect a “false reality” for the entire state.

The statement comes after preliminary reviews indicate that test scores in English and Language Arts dropped 16-percent. Meanwhile, mathematics has dropped 24-percent compared to the previous year.

Local school corporations have been working for the past two weeks on the joint statement that they hope will educate residents, and join other statements being made throughout the state in affecting change at a legislative level.

Complaints were made leading up to the administering of the ISTEP test that it was simply too long. Local school Superintendents also attribute curriculum changes, the use of technology that made the testing environment different, and raised the level of difficulty for students.

A new ISTEP test is expected for the 2015/16 school year, making data difficult to interpret year-over-year, and putting students at risk of lowering their scores further.

Saving face is only part of the problem. Local school corporations say teacher compensation, school funding, and community image are also affected by what the Superintendents called a “flawed attempt to implement a legislative agenda.”

The letter was signed by the Superintendents of 10 area school corporations.