Tech test passed; ISTEP next up

For the first time, nearly all of Indiana’s third- through eighth-grade students will be required to take a portion of the ISTEP exam online this year, and local technology directors think their schools are ready.

The Indiana Department of Education conducted a practice run of the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress exam last year, which enabled schools to see whether their computers had enough memory to support the exam’s software and whether they had enough bandwidth to stay connected to the Internet. About 300,000 eligible students — 65 percent — took the multiple choice portion of ISTEP online last year.

That technology test was partly in response to the 2011 ISTEP exam, when about 10,000 students across the state who were taking the test online, including students from Clark-Pleasant, Franklin and Greenwood schools, were kicked offline.

Last year’s test gave schools, including Clark-Pleasant and Franklin, a look at which of their computers needed upgrades months in advance of the test. Because of those fixes, most of the machines at those schools are prepared for the multiple choice portion of this year’s exam, which happens at the end of April, technology directors Jim White and Matt Sprout said.

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