After outrage from parents and educators that this year’s ISTEP+ assessment would take students a total of twelve hours, the General Assembly took the reigns to shorten the length of the test. Both the House and Senate approved the legislation Monday.
By passing Senate Bill 62, the legislature gives the Department of Education permission to eliminate the Social Studies portion of the ISTEP exam for fifth and seventh graders this year.
The bill also enables the DOE to reuse pilot questions on next year’s test rather than releasing them to the public--another time saving measure.
With the approved changes, the new test will take around eight hours, which is on par with other states' assessments.
DOE spokesperson Daniel Altman says his organization is working with schools to administer the updated test.
“We’re doing quite a bit of communication with schools just letting them know the sort of nuts and bolts of how it is this ISTEP administration will work, letting them know which sessions they have to administer, which ones they don’t so we can make this run as smoothly as possible,” Altman said.
The bill now goes to the governor for final signature. Schools are allowed to begin administering the ISTEP as early as Wednesday.