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Pence Executive Order Would Shorten ISTEP Tests

Claire McInerny
StateImpact Indiana

Governor Pence is trying to use his authority to shorten this year’s ISTEP, after parents and educators shared concerns over the amount of time students will sit to take a test, which was set to more than double in some cases.

The Department of Education released timetables for this year’s ISTEP last week, and parents and educators immediately expressed outrage at the amount of testing.

Last year’s ISTEP required a third grade student to sit for five hours to complete the test, but this year, that increased to more than 12 hours.

The reason for the increase has to do with the state creating a brand new version of the test to match the state’s new standards. Because the new standards weren’t completed until late spring, there wasn’t a lot of time to test the new questions in a non-assessment situation, so the test almost doubled to help pilot the questions.

Pence says the state will hire a national consultant to look at the test and recommend ways to shorten it.

“Once we receive these recommendations to shorten the ISTEP+ test, we’ll be calling on the State Board of Education and the Indiana Department of Education to work with our vendor to implement these changes immediately in time for this spring’s test," the governor says.

This work needs to be done before the testing window begins February 25.

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