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Bosma Expects Bill To Change ISTEP To Receive A Hearing


House Republicans are pondering whether to plunge ahead with a bill to replace the ISTEP exam.

The Senate voted 46-to-3 for a bill that would abolish ISTEP after next year‘s test and replace it with something shorter and easier to grade in 2017.

Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says House Republicans agree with the goals of making ISTEP less costly and less time-consuming.

But he says they‘re still trying to decide whether they have enough information to lock the state into replacing the test, or if the issue should go to a summer study committee for possible consideration next year.

"Philosophically I agree tremendously with the concept of the bill-- faster turnaround on testing, less expensive testing, more automated testing," says Bosma. "But the question is do we do that on the fly here without a hard look?"

House committees have two weeks to finish consideration of Senate-passed bills.

Bosma says the overall bill is sure to get a hearing because it contains other education measures with broad support, including merit pay for teachers.

The bill also makes it easier for science, technology, engineering and math majors to get a teaching license without an education degree.

And it gives small schools the right to appeal their performance grades on the grounds that the number of students tested isn‘t large enough to produce reliable results.

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