Legislature Approves Measure Shortening ISTEP+

Feb 23, 2015

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.

State Issues New Guidance on Shorter ISTEP+ Test

Feb 19, 2015

After news that this year’s ISTEP+ would take students twelve hours to complete, the Department of Education adopted a plan Thursday to shorten the test.

The DOE decided to split the open-ended portion of the test, which begins next week, into two forms. They say that will shave three hours off the original twelve-hour test.

Around 30 percent of the current test consists of pilot questions that don’t count toward a student’s score – those are the questions the DOE split between the two forms.

Legislature Trying to Fast-Track ISTEP+ Changes

Feb 17, 2015

The General Assembly is trying to speed up the process for approving changes to this spring’s ISTEP+ test.

Late last week, the State Board of Education and Department of Education approved a handful of recommendations to shrink this year’s version of the test, which students can start taking in less than two weeks. 

By law, those changes must get the okay from the General Assembly. In order to fast-track that process, two things happened in the House of Representatives Tuesday:

Courtesy / State of Indiana

The Indiana Department of Education says it will proceed as planned to issue the ISTEP+ exam beginning Feb. 25, even after Gov. Mike Pence signed an executive order Monday to re-evaluate the test’s length.

Even though the test could change -- after the testing consultant hired through Pence’s executive order issues recommendations on how to shorten it -- the DOE says they are preparing school districts as if the test will not change.

Deputy state superintendent Danielle Shockey says Pence’s actions only add to the confusion in preparing for this year’s ISTEP.

Expert: Interruptions Didn't Affect ISTEP Scores

Jul 30, 2013

The widespread disruptions to Indiana’s online standardized tests last April, on average, did not hurt students’ final ISTEP+ scores.  That’s the conclusion a New Hampshire-based testing expert reported to lawmakers Monday.

State education officials hired the Center for Assessment’s Richard Hill six weeks ago to comb through the data of more than 495,000 ISTEP+ exams.

“If the interruptions had had a marked impact on student achievement, we would not have seen scores going up this year from last year,” Hill said.

In the wake of ISTEP testing disruptions that have called into question the validity of this year’s tests, the General Assembly this week will hold the first of two hearings investigating the issue.

State legislative leaders say they’re looking for answers behind recent problems with ISTEP testing that disrupted the exams of thousands of Hoosier students, and they’re forming a study committee to investigate.