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Posey schools question state testing methods

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By Corey Woolsey

Mount Vernon and North Posey School Superintendents Tom Kopatich and Todd Camp came together last week, and presenting a letter criticizing the Indiana Department of Educations changes to the ISTEP testing for this year.

The letter states that due to last minute changes to the test and an inconsistency in testing methods, test scores are down an average of 16 percent in English and Language Arts and 24 percent in Math across the state.

Some schools are seeing a more significant decrease.

Kopatich said that the decline in scores does not reflect the recent success of schools.

“The biggest example is a school that had the Department of Education recommend it for the National Blue Ribbon Award, and being accepted to win it, is now down to a C or D level. Something is not right there,” said Kopatich.

Kopatich said that another issue was that in the past, test results were sent to the schools, now they go straight to parents.

“We have always taken results that were close to moving up another level to be rescored,” said Kopatich. “With those scores now going to the homes, many may not realize they need to get those rescored or just do not take the time to do it.”

Kopatich also said that the Department of Education has stopped offering the IMAST test for special education students. Kopatich said that making students with disabilities take the ISTEP is not fair to those students.

Kopatich said that the main point that the schools of Posey County want to stress is that students are receiving a valuable education and that the scores of what the administrations believe were a flawed test should not reflect what is truly being delivered.

The schools also ask parents, students and the community to talk to their legislators and ask for an assessment system that measures student growth and progress throughout the years.