ISTEP May Be Revived While Committee Develops Replacement Test

May 25, 2016

An Indiana legislator says the ISTEP may be revived so a state-appointed committee has enough time to develop a high-quality alternative.
Credit Alberto G. / https://www.flickr.com/photos/albertogp123/

One thing became clear during the first meeting of the panel tasked with rewriting the ISTEP, Indiana’s standardized school assessment test.

Change will come slowly because there’s so much work to do.

And one legislator says the state may need to bring back the ISTEP to allow enough time to develop a good alternative.

The 23-member committee created by the 2016 Indiana General Assembly met for the first time on Tuesday.

The group has a December 1, 2016 deadline to evaluate different tests and recommend a replacement test.  

Committee members say their goal is to design a test that is shorter, cheaper and all around better than the ISTEP.

That means deciding whether one or multiple assessments can fairly measure not just how much a student knows and learned from the previous year, but also evaluate their teachers and school.

But, that’s a lot to figure out in the next six months, says state Representative and House education committee chairman Bob Behning.

“There’s probably a pretty good chance that we will extend the contract with Pearson for another year or two, until we get what we want to do right,” Behning says.

Behning says even though Governor Mike Pence repealed the ISTEP, lawmakers could revive it for two more years.

A Kansas testing expert told the panel that’s about how long it takes to create a quality assessment.