April 5, 2017

ILEARN Set To Replace ISTEP As Indiana's New Standardized Test

Article origination IPBS-RJC
A Scantron testing paper and pencil. - Credit: Josh Davis/flickr

A Scantron testing paper and pencil.

Credit: Josh Davis/flickr

The Indiana Senate approved a bill Tuesday setting guidelines for ILEARN, a new standardized test that will replace the troubled ISTEP+ exam in 2019.

The proposal would require the test, for students in grades 3-8, be given on a computer and allow Indiana scores to be compared with scores nationally.

Lawmakers have sought to replace the ISTEP+ after facing years of technical problems in its administration and a drop in test scores.

But some worry that relying on the exam to evaluate teachers during the next two years will cause unneeded problems.

The bill has already passed the House, but Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) wants lawmakers to tweak the measure in conference committee to ensure test scores won’t be used to rate educators.

“I really think we have an obligation to do this, at least for the next two years, until we settle on some kind of a new test,” she says.

House Bill 1003 passed 31-16. It calls for student’s scores to be reported no later than August 15. It also requires a “nationally recognized college entrance assessment” to be used for grades 9-12. That means the SAT or ACT testing companies will likely be sought to offer end-of-course assessments in English 10, Biology I and Algebra I.

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