The Wawascene was created by Dr. Mark Stock, former Superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Due to its local popularity, Dr. Stock has left the blog site to future Wawasee administrators.

Blog Rules

Comments should be respectful and pertain to the topic posted. Comments about personnel matters should be made directly to the administrators responsible. Blog moderators reserve the right to remove any comment determined not in keeping with these guidelines.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Spring ISTEP+ Testing

Next week, Wawasee Community Schools will begin testing students in grades 3-8 on the spring 2009 administration of ISTEP+. According to Dr. Tony Bennett, Indiana superintendent of public instruction, this "marks Indiana's official move to spring ISTEP+ testing."

The spring 2009 ISTEP+ will be administered during two testing windows at grades 3-8, an applied skills (writing items) testing window in March and a multiple choice items testing window at the end of April-beginning of May. Students need to take all sections of the test. According to Dr. Bennett, "Results of the spring 2009 ISTEP+ will be released in late August after cut (passing) scores are set and adopted by the State Board of Education. Results each year thereafter will be available to students, parents and educators before the end of the school year."

At Wawasee, we will test students in grades 3-8 on the following days:
  • Applied Skills (writing items) will be given on March 3, 4, 5, and 6.
  • Multiple Choice items will be given on April 28, 29, 30, and May 1.

We encourage you to make sure your student gets a good night's sleep each night and eats a healthy breakfast each morning. Keep in mind each school serves breakfast. For students who qualify for free lunch, there is no cost. For students who qualify for reduced lunch prices, the cost of breakfast is 30 cents. For students who do not qualify for free or reduced lunch prices, the cost of breakfast if $1.

The Indiana Department of Education has released information on what parents can do to help students prepare for ISTEP+:

  • Stay connected. Cramming for a test rarely results in the type of learning that will stay with your child throughout his or her life. The best preparation is to provide consistent support for your child throughout his or her education.
  • Know what's expected. Read Indiana's Academic Standards so you know what your child should know and be able to do; reinforce these expectations at home and stay connected to your child's academic performance through the year.
  • Check grades. Your son or daughter may say things are "fine" at school, but don't stop checking report cards, progress reports or, if available, your child's online grades or class progress.
  • Talk to the teacher. Teachers know how hard students are working, how well they are behaving, quality of their homework and what areas need improvement. Collect email addresses or phone numbers of all your child's teachers and check in periodically.
  • Don't buckle on homework. If your child is not studying at home, ask why, and double-check with teachers. It's tough to hold the line, but making sure your child does his or her homework is important for academic success.
  • Ask for help. Students who are struggling in a particular class may need extra help after school or with a tutor. Find out from your school where you can go for help and make sure your student gets the help he or she needs. Catching a problem area now can make a big difference.
  • Go to parent meetings. Most schools offer parent nights or teacher/parent sessions that provide great information. Check your school's calendar at the beginning of the year and plan to attend.
  • Get involved. Nothing will have a bigger impact on your student's success than your involvement in his or her education.


Anonymous said...

I am appalled by this week's ISTEP test; my 8th grade son who is bright said the testing was terribly hard. I also heard that children are melting down around the state because of these tests. What is the state trying to do to our kids? I am outraged by this testing and feel students are being tested way too much instead of being taught skills!

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way. My daughter said the math was very hard. She also said that went to different rooms to take istep and that it was very distracting because so many were in the same room and that they were sharing tables. I don't this is right.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know from our governor and state education superintendent 1) why the test is taken in early March when there is still so much time left in the school year, and 2) who writes the questions for these tests.

I've heard too that there are many issues with these tests. It just seems like students are bombarded with standardized tests.

Anonymous said...

I have an 8th grade student who is in the algebra class and gets A's. They mentioned that a lot of the material on the math part did not look familiar at all, not even from accelerated math. Once again, are they not being taught what they need to know, or are the people responsible at the state level that out of touch with the day to day learning in our schools?

Anonymous said...

They are being taught, what we as educators, thought they would be evaluated on. Based on the Core Standards (put out by the state), we as educators, anticipated that would be the information tested; however, we were wrong. The good news for your child is that they will probably pass the ECA in Algebra I, which is their graduation qualifying test.

I would encourage you as a parent to write or email the state and voice your concerns.