Indiana News

ISTEP breach found at southern Indiana school district

LOOGOOTEE, Ind. (WTWO) – Playgrounds are full, and classrooms are empty at Loogoottee Schools. 

But, news of a breach with Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress tests had parents and students concerned they would be headed back to school early. 

“Like what are you talking about? Why do they have to retake it? Like didn’t they already do that already? So it was like a little shock,” Stacy Field said.

ISTEP is a statewide test to measure students in grades 3 through 10 on their achievements in subjects including math and English. 

“It’s boring,” Jacob Allen said.  

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“But, it helps encourage us how to learn,” LaShawnallen Allen said.  

“Most test are boring,”  Fields said.

“But, you’re not the one sitting there for almost 2 hours,”  Jacob Allen said. 

“I have done it, yes,” Stacy Fields said. 

Many parents and students thought the test was secure. 

In a statement to WTWO, Loogoottee’s superintendent reports a parent contacted the district with information that some students may have had access to a portion of the spring Grade 10 math ISTEP test. 

The school reported the allegation to the Indiana Department of Education, which launched an investigation.

The investigation found an administrator printed three questions from the test and then provided them to Loogootee High School math teachers, who may have used the questions to help students prepare.

Officials said they believe there was no ill intent by the administrator. 

For Stacy Fields and other parents, the breach does not alter her trust with the district. 

“I really like the school. I mean they have really helped with my children and so I am really thankful so if it’s necessary that they have to redo it, let it be. I mean nobodies perfect,” Fields said. “The kids may not like it but you that’s what they have to do.” 

WTWO contacted the Indiana Department Of Education, and a spokesman informed us that this is an ongoing investigation. They were not sure how many students have been affected.

Students can retake the test after school starts in August.

In the released statement, school officials said they recognize that retaking the test is an inconvenience for parents and students, and will do all they can to respond to parent questions and work with students to get valid test scores. 

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