Bill To Drop ISTEP Up Before Indiana Lawmakers
January 26, 2015 — Eric Berman, Network Indiana —
The Senate may take up a bill to scrap Indiana schools‘ state-mandated tests.
Republicans Luke Kenley of Noblesville and Ryan Mishler of Bremen have proposed junking the Core 40 end-of-course assessments entirely, and replacing ISTEP with something shorter, cheaper, and easier to grade. President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) says students and teachers are frustrated with how much time is spent either taking tests or getting ready for them. And he says he‘s still hearing complaints from schools in his district about problems with McGraw-Hill‘s administration of the test. Computer crashes disrupted testing in several schools last year.
The bill calls for replacing ISTEP with a “nationally recognized” test after next school year. Long says a national test would be adapted to reflect Indiana‘s curriculum standards.
The bill also includes a version of Governor Pence‘s call for “innovation network” schools which would enjoy regulatory freedom similar to the rules governing charter schools. Legislators gave the Indianapolis Public Schools that flexibility last year.
Long says he doesn‘t know if the votes are there to replace ISTEP, but says it‘s time to discuss the issue.