State board could extend ISTEP, will review failing schools

ISTEP’s testing window could be extended by up to seven more days in March under a plan the Indiana State Board of Education will consider Wednesday.

For ISTEP, the state sets a window of 10 school days during which local schools must administer the exams. This year, the window was planned for March 3 to 12. A proposal from the Indiana Department of Education would extend the window by five, six, or seven school days, depending on what the board prefers.

Some school districts that have lost several school days to bad weather cancellations have asked for a longer window to allow for a few more instructional days before taking ISTEP.

Also on the state board’s agenda, which was posted today, is a review of schools now entering their fourth and fifth consecutive years with an F rating. A sixth straight year rated an F prompts state board intervention, which could include state takeover.

Neither list includes any Indianapolis Public Schools. The five-year list includes two schools from Gary and two from Evansville. The four-year list does include one Indianapolis-area school — Options Charter School in Noblesville.

Finally, the board will hear an updated on Indiana’s standard’s review process. That effort likely will come under more scrutiny if the legislature approves Senate Bill 91, which would void the Common Core and require new state standards by July 1.