Wednesday, May 1, 2013
ISTEP Computer Failures Add to Test Anxiety
For the second day in a row, ISTEP testing ground to a halt when computer glitches interrupted the process of young people taking these important tests. Mind you, these tests are only important because we said they are.
The contract for the testing dates back to Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz's predecessor, Tony Bennett. Last year, the state experienced troubles as well with CTB. Should we mention that McGraw-Hill gave Bennett $1,500 in political contributions between 2008 and 2012?
Glenda Ritz, for her part, rightly called the failure unacceptable, but she did so through a statement. She has to get out in public in front of a microphone for this one. The public deserves to hear from its SPI directly rather than hear about things through a public statement.
It appears the testing will resume today under new assurances that the system won't fail. That does little to mollify the concerns of educators, parents and youngsters who will continue to worry and suffer anxiety. Ritz's office has asked districts to reduce their testing load by 50 percent.
It's tough to justify high-stakes testing as the measure of educational process when you can't even get the testing process right. Let's hope that all goes smoothly today.