If you need to catch up, then check out the following: Duncan: We Should Keep Online Testing, But We Should Learn From ISTEP+ Failures, We Have Indiana’s Contract With The Company That Provides ISTEP+ Online, What Went Wrong With Indiana’s Online ISTEP+ Tests — And When, etc...
How does this play into the idea of teacher appreciation? If it isn't obvious then you have to look a little deeper.
Direct from the IDOE:
The Office of Student Assessment manages multiple statewide assessments which provide measures of student knowledge and understanding and can be used to make informed decisions that help improve student achievement. Click on the assessment links below for more information about Indiana's statewide assessments. The ISTEP+ Program Manual contains policies and procedures for Indiana's assessment system. sourceYou don't get much "higher stakes" than the ISTEP. Students are judged by the system and the direction of their educational future is considered predetermined. Teachers are judged by the successes and failures based on their students' scores. The entire nation has been lighting its torches and grabbing its pitchforks over the past decade in preparation of removing any weak link in the educational system.
However, when the weak link turns out to be the system of judgment itself, the consequences are much different.
Nobody is having their job threatened. Nobody is calculating these disruptions into the students' successes. Nobody cares about much more than the millions of data points that are not showing up on time.
If there is any hint that the weak link are a teachers then they must be removed for they are soiling the entire system of education in this country. But when the weak link falls on a politician or bureaucrat (or a backroom deal they made) then the excuses are accepted by the masses without question.
Really makes a person feel appreciated.