The Indiana Department of Education has released a report finding no evidence that students were erroneously given lower scores on 2015 ISTEP+ exam.

The DOE put out the following release this morning…

Today, the Indiana Department of Education closed its investigation into an anonymous allegation regarding the scoring processes of CTB McGraw-Hill.  In closing the report, the Department also released the analysis of independent assessment experts regarding the scoring process used by CTB McGraw-Hill during the 2015 ISTEP+ scoring window.  The analysis was conducted by independent assessment experts at the request of the Indiana Department of Education and staff for the State Board of Education.

These independent experts are on contract with the State Board of Education and include Edward Roeber, Derek Briggs, and Wes Bruce, former Assessment Director under Superintendent Glenda Ritz as well as former Superintendent Tony Bennett.

Among other findings, the report found that “An expert panel’s independent review of the data provided by CTB finds no evidence that students were erroneously given a lower score on the Spring 2015 ISTEP+.”

In response to the release of this report, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz issued the following statement:

“I am pleased that independent assessment experts found no evidence that the scoring process used by CTB McGraw-Hill negatively impacted student scores.  Unfortunately, due to the high-stakes nature of the ISTEP+ assessment, any doubt about testing validity causes a ripple effect through our schools and our communities.

“I still firmly believe that the 2015 ISTEP+ results should not be used to penalize teachers or schools.  Now more than ever, it is imperative that Indiana legislative and education leadership support a hold harmless approach for our teachers and our schools.  Holding our teachers and schools harmless will allow us to recognize the great work of educators and schools that saw ISTEP+ scores improve, while also giving much needed flexibility to those that saw a drop in scores due to the state’s move to more rigorous standards.”

Legislative leaders have called for eliminating ISTEP and replacing it with another exam.

A copy of the full report can be found here.