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Local school officials are defending their students and staff in advance of the soon to be released ISTEP results.   

In the next few weeks the Indiana Department of Education will be formally releasing the results of the Spring 2015 ISTEP+assessment and as anticipated, preliminary results indicate the pass rates of students across the county have significantly dropped in both English Language Arts and Math.

In a joint release by the superintendents of Dubois County’s four school corporations, the educators of Dubois County believe that the results of these assessments DO NOT accurately reflect the quality of teaching and learning in the county’s schools.

Several concerns exist regarding the assessment, results, and the looming impact these scores will have on students, teachers, schools, districts and communities.         

They include:

New test content representing newly revised academic standards released late by the department of education.

Lengthy assessments causing intervention by the State Legislature to eliminate portions of the exam, as well as causing schools to take different forms of each assessment.  This results in scores that are unable to be compared.

Failure of the testing process and an environment as a result of inadequate online preparation and delivery by the State contracted testing company as student’s unsuccessful attempts at online assessment led to frustration and discouragement.

The delay of results well into the 2015-16 school year they say does not provide teachers and parents valuable information necessary to make instructional adjustments.

And the overall results do not have a lasting impact on each individual student’s academic record but DO have a negative impact of teacher evaluations, compensation, school accountability grades and the image of the community and county.

The four county superintendents believe all Dubois County schools provide an excellent educational learning environment where children gain the knowledge and skills necessary for their personal post-secondary pathways.  They believe it is unfair to label students, teachers, schools, and communities based upon erroneous information.

As a result local school administrators are calling for a change and encourage students, educators and community members to let their voices be heard.

They say the students of Dubois County deserve an assessment system that measures their growth and progress throughout the year and allows educators to make timely decisions regarding their unique learning needs.

They say they students deserve education that is not influenced by legislative agendas in a political tug of war, but by trained educators who understand how students learn best.   

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