Republican legislative leaders are urging the state to use 2018 ISTEP scores for school letter grades and teacher evaluations this school year, instead of 2019 ILEARN scores. The move comes after widespread alarm from educators and state leaders about a drop in achievement on the state’s new ILEARN exam.
Test scores are used to help determine school and teacher accountability ratings.
Now, House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem Rod Bray have sent a letter to the State Board, and the Indiana Department of Education.
The letter urges the department to tell schools they can use 2018 testing data to calculate teacher appreciation grants. The deadline for teachers to receive funding through teacher appreciation grants – or TAG – is in December.
"Directing schools to take advantage of this flexibility will ensure that TAG's are received by teachers before the the statutory deadline in December, and will ensure that no teacher will lose eligibility for a TAG because of this year's ILEARN results," the letter said.
It also says the State Board should show support for the move through a resolution.
According to the letter, lawmakers will “expedite” a bill after the 2020 legislative session starts in January directing the board to use 2018 test scores for school accountability grades.