The Board, in compliance with the laws and rules of the State Board of Education, shall implement the Indiana Statewide Testing for Education Progress-Plus (ISTEP+) and other statewide assessments to assess student achievement and needs in English/language arts, mathematics, social studies, science, and other designated subjects in order to determine the progress of students and to assist them in attaining Corporation and State Department goals.
The Board shall establish the following test security measures which are consistent with Indiana law and sound educational practice.
1. All test materials will be stored at a central location under lock and key. Test materials will be delivered to school buildings no more than one week in advance of test administration.
2. Teachers and other school staff members will not be allowed access to secure materials (except for the Examiner’s Manual) more than 24 hours in advance of test administration.
3. School buildings will provide for the security of the assessment materials during testing and storage of all secure assessment materials before, during, and after testing.
4. Marion Community Schools will ensure that all appropriate staff have knowledge of the Indiana Ethical Testing Practices and Procedures and understand how to secure, administer, and handle the assessments while in their possession. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:
a. Communicating to all appropriate staff at least once annually the standards for determining what is ethical or appropriate practice contained in the Indiana Ethical Testing Practices and Procedures as well as any additional local standards.
b. Clearly defining and communicating at least once annually for all appropriate staff how standards and procedures will be monitored.
c. Clearly communicating to all appropriate staff the purpose(s) of each statewide, corporation-wide, and school-wide assessment.
d. Clearly defining and communicating at least once annually for all appropriate staff all security procedures established for each assessment.
e. Providing any other information and professional development necessary to ensure that all appropriate staff have the knowledge and skills necessary to make ethical decisions related to preparing students for an assessment, administering the assessment, and interpreting the results from assessment.
f. Establishing a testing schedule.
g. Establishing an access policy for test materials that allows all appropriate staff to have access to test administration manuals prior to the administration of the test, but prohibits the unsupervised reviewing of any secure test questions before, during, or after the assessment administration.
h. Establishing a process that ensures all student assessments are secure when they are not being administered.
i. Establishing procedures for reviewing practices and materials used in the school to prepare students for assessments, and communicating these procedures at least once annually to all appropriate staff.
j. Periodically reviewing materials and practices related to preparing students for assessments, administering assessments, securing assessments, and interpreting the results from assessments.
k. Providing channels of communication that allow teachers, administrators, students, parents, and other community members to voice their concerns about practices they consider inappropriate.
l. Establishing procedures for investigating any complaint, allegation, or concern about inappropriate testing practices, and insuring protection of both the rights of individuals and of the integrity of the assessment.
5. Each school shall investigate any complaint of inappropriate testing practices or testing irregularities. Investigations will include, but will not be limited to, the following:
a. A formal process by which all complaints are documented and can be tracked to their resolution.
b. An initial inquiry to determine whether there is credible evidence that such an event has occurred must be conducted within one school day of receipt of a verified complaint, allegation, or concern about inappropriate testing practices, or a report of testing irregularity.
c. If any evidence of an inappropriate testing practice or testing irregularity exists, a report to the Indiana Department of Education must be sent within the next seven calendar days.
d. Protection for the integrity of any ongoing assessments.
e. A final written report to the Indiana Department of Education within four weeks, unless a written request for a timeline extension has been granted.
f. The final report must clearly indicate any recommendations or findings that would impact the reliability or validity of student scores and specifically detail actions that the school recommends the state to take.
Any person who knowingly or carelessly violates or permits another person to violate Indiana Department of Education guidelines for test administration has committed an ethical violation. Those persons responsible for test materials must maintain strict control over assessments and related materials. Assessment books are printed with unique bar codes to assist with inventory purposes.
Allegations of violations must be substantiated through a formal signed report.
Consequences of a Violation
Participation in high-stakes assessments is a legal standard for school accreditation. If school personnel knowingly or carelessly commit or permit a violation of test security, the Indiana Department of Education has just cause to review the accreditation status of the school; such a review could result in the school being placed on probationary accreditation status (511 IAC 6.1-1-4). Disciplinary action up to and including cancellation of contract/employment may be taken by Marion Community Schools against school personnel who knowingly or carelessly commit or permit a violation of test security.
511 IAC 5-2-1