Indiana officials have started planning in earnest for ISTEP’s demise, revealing a proposal for how the new “ILEARN” testing system could look when it goes into effect in 2019.
Lawmakers approved the framework for the new testing system late last month, a move that has been years in the making. Indiana abandoned the Common Core Standards in 2014, resulting in multiple rounds of new standards, new tests and frustrated teachers, parents and students.
Here’s what we know so far based on a plan created by Indiana State Board of Education staff:
For elementary and middle school students, ILEARN would be “computer-adaptive,” and adjust difficulty based on students’ answers. Educators say such an exam can more precisely determine how students are doing in school and offers more useful feedback for adjusting classroom instruction.
Students in grades 3-8 would test once at the end of each year in math and English. In fourth and sixth grades, they’d be tested in science. Those tests fulfill federal requirements, and per Indiana law, fifth-graders would take a social studies exam.
In high school, students would be expected to pass end-of-course assessments in Algebra, ninth-grade biology, 10th-grade English and 12th-grade U.S. Government. If students took the Algebra exam as eighth-graders, they’d be eligible to also take a state-funded college entrance exam, such as the SAT or ACT, in 11th grade.
The process for developing the new test now falls to the state board of education and the Indiana Department of Education. This effort will be one of the first major projects led by state Superintendent Jennifer McCormick, who took office in January.