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Outside review of ISTEP glitches nears completion

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Indiana parents could finally learn how their children did on the state's annual ISTEP+ exam after an outside review of testing glitches wraps up later this month.

Department of Education spokesman David Galvin told the Evansville Courier & Press for a story published Tuesday that the review ordered by state schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz is expected to be finished by the end of the month. The Department of Education will then finalize and mail ISTEP+ scores to school districts.

Districts typically receive results in May and mail them to parents about a week later, but computer glitches that knocked students offline repeatedly during testing delayed that process.

Susan McDowell Riley, an Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. deputy superintendent, said she typically uses automated phone calls during the summer to update parents about ISTEP scores. But she hasn't had any information to offer this year while the $53,000 review is being conducted by Richard Hill, co-founder of the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment.

"This is a really, really unusual year, and so I've not been able to do any of that," Riley said.

The disruptions in online testing administered by CTB/McGraw-Hill in May affected nearly 80,000 students. Hill's review will determine whether those students' scores, which are used to determine teacher pay and school rankings as well assess student performance, are valid.

Ritz is seeking $614,000 in damages from CTB/McGraw-Hill, which has a four-year, $95 million contract with the state.

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