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20 schools impacted by in ISTEP+ calculator error

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – 24-Hour News 8’s sister station News 18 has learned the 20 schools and/or corporations affected in the ISTEP mishap, where a calculator was used on portions of the exam not slated for one.

Locally, Frankfort Middle School with the Community Schools of Frankfort and Saint Boniface School in Lafayette were both named on a list of affected schools/corporations given to News 18 from the Indiana State Department of Education.

As previously reported, one of the most affected districts was Rochester Community School Corporation in Fulton County. Its elementary, middle and high schools of about 700 students will need to re-take a portion of the ISTEP after testing vendor, Pearson Education, provided inaccurate and unclear instructions. Students were allowed to use a calculator on a section of the test that wasn’t supposed to use one.

The Department of Education said it’s investigating the cause of the errors at the other schools. Education officials said retesting may or may not be because of inaccurate guidance.

However, students at the Lafayette School Corporation do not need to worry because the test instructions they received didn’t have misleading information.

LSC Superintendent Les Huddle said while he’s glad his district wasn’t impacted, these scenarios aren’t all that uncommon. He thinks a fail-safe system should be put in place so students aren’t held responsible when these things happen.

“When you get into technology, if it hasn’t been tested, tried and true, then there’s going to be blimps and there’s going to be mistakes,” he said.

Huddle said students shouldn’t be held accountable for the company’s mistakes.

“I don’t know why you would put a consequence on somebody who did exactly what they were told,” he said. “You had expectations, the teachers fulfilled those expectations, the students fulfilled their expectations.”

Huddle hopes this situation can be used as a learning experience.

“Whatever solution they come up with this year, they’ll know if it works. And if it does, let’s keep it in our pocket for the future,” said Huddle. “If this solution doesn’t work this year, let’s begin talking now for a solution to have ready for any future problems.”

Pearson said the following in a statement to News 18:

In some cases, Pearson inadvertently provided inaccurate or unclear guidance on the use of calculators during testing. Pearson regrets that any Indiana students, teachers and schools were impacted by this issue.”

Right now, it’s unknown when the makeup test may be scheduled.

The DOE said it’s working with school administrators to figure out the next step.

Click here for a complete list of affected schools.

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