INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The independent testing expert hired by the state to
investigate problems with the state's online standardized test repeated
Wednesday that the interruptions earlier this year had little effect on the
scores, but still recommended about 1,400 results be thrown out to avoid
tainting the other test scores.
Thousands of Indiana students were frozen out of the online tests after CTB/McGraw-Hill's
servers were overloaded during the first year students moved from pencil and
paper online. But Richard Hill, chairman of the National Center for
Improvement of Educational Assessment, determined the disruptions had a
minimally positive effect on students' scores, if any effect at all. His
results matched a similar review by CTB/McGraw-Hill.
"The bottom line is both organizations believe there is no discernible
impact on the test scores for the vast majority of students," he told the
state Board of Education Wednesday.
The reviews, and recommendation that certain test results be thrown out,
have continually pushed back the public release of testing data which is
typically delivered at the start of the summer, said School Superintendent
Glenda Ritz, who also chairs the state board. Schools are currently
reviewing the results Hill recommended be invalidated.
Ritz told the board she expects the scores to be released publicly Sept. 9.
Administration of Indiana's standardized test was disrupted last spring when
students were kicked off CTB/McGraw-Hill's online test. The national testing
company said its online servers were overloaded by too many test-takers.
David Freitas, a board member representing northern Indiana, pressed Hill on
whether the scores might have understated student improvements across the
"Is it feasible the scores would have gone up higher?" Freitas asked.
Hill replied "Yes," but said it is hard to say exactly what might have
happened if the tests had gone off without a hitch.
The results showed slight upticks in Math and English proficiencies across
the grades tested, Hill said. He pointed out that a sharp rise in
proficiency among fourth-graders, but said that was due to the
implementation of new reading standards last year which held more students
back from advancing from the third grade.
Hill and his team tested for noticeable changes in scores to pick out which
results should be invalidated. The majority of invalid results are from math
tests, he said, because schools administer the math test days before the
English test. The disruptions were during the first days of testing, through
the end of April and beginning of May this year.