teacher evaluations

Indiana’s state tests have changed half a dozen times for students in the past decade, and with so much on the line, teachers, schools – and families – are trying to keep up.

After proposing more than 100 education bills, lawmakers face a key legislative deadline next week. House lawmakers proposed fewer education-focused bills than the Senate, but only about a dozen made it through to the session’s next half. 

Both chambers of the General Assembly approved legislation Monday to press pause on state school accountability as Hoosiers transition to a new state exam.

Republican legislative leaders are urging the state to use 2018 ISTEP scores for school letter grades and teacher evaluations this school year, instead of 2019 ILEARN scores. The move comes after widespread alarm from educators and state leaders about a drop in achievement on the state’s new ILEARN exam.

Benjamin Chun / HTTPS://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/BENCHUN/

Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill into law Tuesday that eliminates the current statewide student assessment and lays plans for a new one. The law creates a new committee that can alter test format and stakes.

The committee determining the ISTEP replacement will be made mostly of educators, lawmakers and agency heads.

While it can reformat the test, the statewide standards remain the same, so big changes in test questions are unlikely.

NYC Department of Education / http://schools.nyc.gov/default.htm

Governor Pence signed two education bills into law Thursday aimed at curbing negative consequences for teachers and schools as a result of the 2015 ISTEP test.

House Bill 1003 prohibits low ISTEP grades from being used to calculate teacher evaluations this year– ensuring teachers won’t lose bonuses or be graded in affective because of low scores.

Senate Bill 200 does essentially the same thing for schools, allowing them to take the higher of this year or last year’s A-F grade.