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State Budget Committee Questions Cost Of Education Testing

Rachel Morello

State Superintendent Glenda Ritz outlined the Department of Education’s proposed budget Thursday to the state budget committee.

The main concern of committee members was the cost of testing.

Ritz’s proposal included a request for $65 million dollars for testing and remediation.

State education leaders are still in the process of creating a new assessment for the 2015-16 school year. That test will align with state-specific academic standards schools began implementing this year.

Budget committee chair Senator Luke Kenley asked Ritz why the state doesn’t just use a nationally-crafted standardized test.

This was part of last year’s debate over the Common Core and related assessments, both of which Indiana dropped.

Ritz says she won’t speculate on the possibility the General Assembly could ask to use a national test beginning in 2015, but assures that the vendor chosen this spring will administer an Indiana-specific test.

"All the vendors have applied, and these are vendors who are going to be administering the assessment as we’ve already developed it," says Ritz.

The State Board of Education is currently choosing the vendor for the ISTEP+ test this spring.

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