Earlier this week, all schools participated in the statewide
administration of the Statewide Readiness Test to
simulate an actual live test day. In an effort to overcome a myriad of
testing challenges, the state of Indiana recently awarded testing giant Pearson
a massive two-year
contract to administer the ISTEP+, which
measures English/language arts and math proficiency for students in third
through eighth and tenth grades and the IREAD-3, which measures third grade students’
reading skills.


Despite the change in
vendors, several school districts across Indiana reported
that they were challenged with technical issues
during the Readiness Test, reminiscent of the
problems they faced in years past. The rehearsal exercise proved to be
beneficial for Indianapolis Public Schools. “Overall,
the readiness test served us well as we were able to note needed improvements.
Few issues arose, and in most cases, our IT department and Pearson personnel
were able to resolve them as testing went on.” Says Dr. Yvonne Stokes, IPS
Director of Research, Evaluation and Assessment.


Key aims of the Readiness Test preparation
process included ensuring that each school had all of the appropriate materials, equipment and support
necessary to properly administer the 2016 ISTEP assessment. Corporate test
coordinators from Pearson worked closely with each school team to offer staff
training, program troubleshooting and tech support to ensure the testing administration runs smoothly in February. Although some may find Tuesday’s
technical kinks concerning, Pearson representatives
assured the public that minimal issues were reported and they are currently
being addressed.  


IPS has encountered very few issues with the practice test and hasn’t
learned of any major concerns. Looking ahead, Pearson IT
staff will continue to analyze information sent from schools to support
technology concerns and user needs. Additional onsite training and support will
be available to schools to address any problems before live testing begins in
late February.