After users experienced challenges with the first round of statewide readiness assessments facilitated by state-contracted testing giant, Pearson, a second stress test (See State Impact article) was proposed to the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) to shine a light on other potential concerns. Many schools across the state experienced several problems following the first practice test and then similar issues surfaced after the completion of the second round; however, that’s not necessarily a bad thing – depending on your perspective.
“The purpose of the Statewide Readiness Test (SRT) is to find problems early in the process. The SRT uncovered a few small issues, most of which have already been corrected – additional kinks found through this process are currently being addressed and will be resolved before the upcoming ISTEP test,” said Laura Larimer, IPS Information Technology (IT) Officer.
Although challenging, this rehearsal process is critical – it will inform how we administer the assessment based on functionality. Joint efforts from the Pearson team and our own IT department will ensure that our schools are set for the upcoming testing season. In response to some of the findings from the readiness testing process, several schools have opted to administer a traditional paper/pencil style test mode – many of which are elementary grade levels that are still transitioning to online test taking.
IPS school leaders know intimately the needs of their students; allowing schools the ability to make decisions regarding testing modes will ensure that our students are provided the most suitable testing environment – so the assessments can offer a more accurate reflection of mastered skills.