Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home


Flaws Exist in Soring ISTEP Exams


Ohanian Comment: Three cheers for this teacher for signing her name. Another tragedy of the testing mania is that most teachers have given up their ability to speak in public.

INDIANA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Dr. Suellen Reed, Superintendent of Public Instruction
Room 229, State House
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204-2798
Voice: 317-232-6611 Fax: 317-232-8004
Web site: http://www.doe.state.in.us

Inquiries may be directed to the following individuals regarding the various components of the ISTEP+ program and the ISTEP+ Graduation Qualifying Examination:

Center for Assessment, Research, and Information Technology

Wesley Bruce, Assistant Superintendent ..................................................................232-9050
E-mail - wbruce@doe.state.in.us
Division of School Assessment
Vacant, Director ................................................................................................... 232-9050
Cynthia A. Roach, Assessment Consultant ......................................................... 232-9050
E-mail - croach@doe.state.in.us
Carole Gallagher, NAEP Coordinator, Assessment Consultant ........................... 232-9050
E-mail - cjgallag@doe.state.in.us
Kelly Linz, Core 40 End of Course Assessment Consultant................................234-2092
E-mail - klinz@doe.state.in.us
Division of School Accreditation
Mary Mickelson, Director ......................................................................................232-9060
E-mail - mmickels@doe.state.in.us
Division of School Finance
Patty Bond, Director ............................................................................................ 232-0840
E-mail - pbond@doe.state.in.us
Division of Educational Information Systems
Anne Brinson, Director ......................................................................................... 232-0807
E-mail - abrinson@doe.state.in.us
Karla Carr, STN Contact ......................................................................................232-0819
E-mail - kcarr@doe.state.in.us
Center for School Improvement and Performance
Phyllis Usher, Assistant Superintendent .................................................................... 232-9101
E-mail - pusher@doe.state.in.us
Office of Program Development
Dorothy Winchester, Director ...............................................................................232-9170
E-mail - dwinches@doe.state.in.us
Mary Andis, Language Arts Consultant ................................................................. 232-9138
E-mail - mandis@doe.state.in.us
J. Martin Ball, Mathematics Curriculum Consultant .............................................. 232-9112
E-mail - maball@doe.state.in.us
Michael Roach, Mathematics Curriculum Consultant ..........................................232-9102
E-mail - mroach@doe.state.in.us
Christopher McGrew, Social Studies Curriculum Consultant ...............................232-9158
E-mail - cmcgrew@doe.state.in.us
Karen Rogers, Science Curriculum Consultant ................................................... 232-9153
E-mail - krogers@doe.state.in.us
Center for Community Relations and Special Populations
Linda Miller, Assistant Superintendent ........................................................................232-0520
E-mail - lmiller@doe.state.in.us
Division of Language Minority and Migrant Programs
Darlene Slaby, Director ........................................................................................ 232-0555
E-mail - dslaby@doe.state.in.us
Division of Compensatory Education/Title I
Jill Jay, Interim Director .........................................................................................232-0540
E-mail - jjay@doe.state.in.us
Division of Exceptional Learners
(Special Education and Gifted and Talented)
Bob Marra, Associate Superintendent ........................................................................232-0570
E-mail - rmarra@doe.state.in.us
Indiana State Board of Education
Jeffery Zaring, Administration ..................................................................................... 232-6622
E-mail - jzaring@doe.state.in.us
Communications Office
Mary Tiede Wilhelmus, Director ................................................................................. 232-6614
E-mail - mtw@doe.state.in.us
Marc Steczyk, Communications Specialist ................................................................ 232-6615
E-mail - steczyk@doe.state.in.us

1.4.0 Scoring Process of the Applied Skills Assessment Books Indiana=s test contractor, CTB/McGraw-Hill (CTB), employs qualified “readers” in English/language
arts and mathematics. Each applicant must hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an
accredited college or university. Teaching experience in English or mathematics is preferred, and many past readers have held Indiana teacher licenses. “Table leaders,” who meet the qualifications for a reader and have additional training and experience, supervise the readers. Many table leaders have extensive experience with ISTEP+. Readers must complete a rigorous training program and qualify for scoring by demonstrating their competence in scoring. The entire scoring process is
monitored continually. Readers are monitored during scoring to ensure reliability. Readers with unacceptable levels of reliability are retrained or replaced.


http://www.doe.state.in.us/istep/2004/pdf/progman2004.pdf



Dear parents and taxpayers:

This letter was written to a state official. His response was that parents and taxpayers need to know. Therefore, I am sending it to the newspapers around the state.

As an educator in Indiana for the last 20 years, I have serious concerns about how much good and how much damage ISTEP is doing for the public education system in Indiana.

The more we educators analyze ISTEP data to determine how to adjust our teaching, the more I wonder about the validity of the test. More to the point, the ability of those paid to score the test.

In our last grade-level meeting, we were to determine which math problems were missed the most by our students. Thus, we could alter our teaching to correct the common error.

While going through the answer booklet of a student from the G/T program, I was trying to figure out why he had been docked two points on an answer. I finally looked in the answer booklet to discover the student and I were not the uneducated parties. The student had the exemplary answer. This happened on another problem where he was docked one point for no mistake. This particular student was 45 points over the passing cutoff, but for some students, three points would be the difference in passing or failing. How can this be good for students and how can we use this test as a tool to help us if it is not properly scored?

Along with this, it seems evident that the writing prompts are often put in stacks by length of the piece and awarded points. I believe that many of them are not even read. We are told to teach students to stay on topic when they write. Then we see papers of students who are off topic for three quarters of a page, but receive five or all six of the possible points. The only basis for this score seems to be that the piece is one and a half to two pages long by the end.

Even more disturbing are two students who passed and should not have. First, fourth-graders were to read an article about travel to the North Pole and then write a piece describing a trip to the Arctic, including two facts that were to be cited from the reading. One fourth-grade student wrote a page and a half about going to see Santa Claus. Second, fifth-graders were to describe a trip taken by plane. I had a student who wrote two sentences and passed.

These examples are just from one elementary school. How many other examples of this type of scoring exist?

It is absurd to be spending the money this state does on a test that is supposed to be used to help students, when in fact it cannot be helpful as it is currently being scored. If taxpayers who are also the parents of these students knew how ridiculous this is they would be up in arms.

What can you do to help the situation?

— Barb Edler, Elementary special education teacher
Tribune Star

2005-04-17

http://www.tribstar.com/articles/2005/04/18/opinion/letters_yesterday/let01.txt

IN


MORE OUTRAGES


FAIR USE NOTICE
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.