FWCS reinforces test ethics as ISTEP+ continues - April 28, 2011

Record Number: 7465
Displayed from: Apr 28, 2011 , until: May 08, 2011

Fort Wayne Community Schools is reinforcing testing ethics with its staff members as the second round of spring ISTEP+ exams continue after a breach in protocol at one of the district's schools. Prior to ISTEP+ testing each year, principals and others responsible for overseeing the testing in a building are required to attend a workshop to review testing protocol, security and ethics. The workshop stresses the importance of following the testing guidelines carefully and working to avoid any actions that could invalidate student tests. Principals are then required to review the same information with staff members, documenting the completion of each step on a checklist. That checklist is signed by the principal and returned to the FWCS Academic Services Department. Despite the detailed process of reviewing test ethics, a breech in protocol was discovered this week at Miami Middle School. On Wednesday, April 27, school staff learned that there may be some irregularities regarding the social studies ISTEP exam for some seventh-grade students. Upon investigation, it was determined that a teacher did not follow the prescribed protocol in preparing students for the exam. The teacher was dealt with as appropriate according to district procedures. The irregularities were serious enough that it will require a portion of the social studies test taken by some seventh-grade classes to be invalidated. This affects only students in classes taught by the one teacher involved in this incident. We take testing ethics seriously and do not condone violating the rules, Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson said. While the stakes for ISTEP exams are high, we expect teachers to follow the proper protocols when administering the exams. We prepare students every day with high quality instruction and know they will do their best when the exam is in front of them. Fort Wayne Community Schools values student learning over the results of one test. The Indiana Department of Education was notified immediately, and FWCS will continue to closely monitor the administration of the exams.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.