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ISTEP Consultant: Timeline To Fix Tests Very Compressed

Dan Klimke

Governor-appointed consultant Edward Roeber has less than two days to fix ISTEP -- a job he says usually takes a couple years.

Roeber is tasked with reviewing the state’s standardized tests, but as of Wednesday afternoon had not yet seen the design or details of the current model. His main goal is reducing the time the test will take.

Roeber says the existing test would take about 12 hours because the questions in it haven’t undergone trials – that means the less useful questions haven’t been screened out and students have are tested on some which will mean very little.  

“At what point do they give up in frustration, so that the results are not at all accurate? They’re not accurate indicators of their actual achievement; maybe more an indicator of their frustration level,” Roeber says.

Roeber aims to get rid of any extra testing items that may not be necessary for this year’s examination and may push additional test items to be spread out among tests in the coming years.

Roeber is scheduled to present his recommendations at the State Board of Education’s emergency meeting Friday morning.

Roeber says he’s optimistic.

“When legislative or policy groups make changes in testing programs, they often times don’t realize the time it takes to carry out all of this. It typically takes a couple of years and the Indiana Department of Education staff were not given that amount of time, so they’re trying to do the best that they can,” Roeber says.

The ISTEP will be administered later this month.  

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