ISTEP Panel: How Will New Test Help Students, Teachers?

Jun 16, 2016

The panel rewriting Indiana's standardized test says the first priority is to identify how the test will help students and teachers.
Credit NYC Department of Education / http://schools.nyc.gov/default.htm

The panel re-writing the state’s school standardized assessment met for the second time Tuesday.

However, members are unsure of their vision for the test.

The panel has the power to decide the new test’s format, technology, vendor and many other factors.

But Tuesday’s meeting discussion focused on something different-  the goal of the test.

Many of the educators on the panel said they didn’t want to move forward with technical decisions until they knew exactly how this test is expected to help the state and teachers.

One example came from Blackford Schools superintendent Scot Croner who asked the panel to consider how we measure college and career readiness.

He said the current ISTEP is purely academic and doesn’t measure a student’s readiness to get a job.

“It’s mind numbingly painful to think we try to create these arbitrary tests that somehow measure college and career, when to my knowledge I think we know what college readiness means in the form of a test,” Croner says. “It’s called the SAT and the ACT.”

Before adjournment, panel members were told to email each other each person’s specific vision for the test.

The panel has until December to submit a report outlining its recommendations.