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Standards and Testing
January 20, 2016
Indiana’s new A-F grade system: It’s not just about pass or fail anymore
2016 will be the first year grades are calculated under the new model.
January 19, 2016
ISTEP rescore plans reduced after lawmakers consider high costs, expert advice
House Education Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Behning said a vote is expected on the bill Thursday.
January 12, 2016
Near unanimous support has bills to shield teachers, schools from ISTEP sanctions flying
Legislative leaders said this week they hope to have both bills to Pence to be signed into law by the end of the month.
January 7, 2016
Lawmakers say ISTEP rescore necessary to ensure accuracy in 2016
The dramatic drop in standardized test scores that hit nearly every school in Indiana has re-energized some state legislators to go after the exam.
January 6, 2016
Republican senator's call for a 2-year delay of ISTEP sanctions goes nowhere
A bipartisan plan for a one-year reprieve from ISTEP consequences sailed through two legislative committees today.
January 4, 2016
Pence signs on to Ritz's approach to 'pause' A-F grades, ISTEP sanctions
Democrats and Republicans are backing a bill is expected to be considered by the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday.
November 4, 2015
After adjustments to ensure fairness, board approves ISTEP scoring process
An analysis showed some online ISTEP tests were more difficult than their paper counterparts.
October 12, 2015
State board decision Wednesday could mean a big drop in ISTEP passing rates
If the state board grants its approval, ISTEP test passing rates could plummet by about 16 percentage points in English and 24 percentage points in math compared to 2014.
October 7, 2015
The science of setting ISTEP’s passing scores relies on a lot of judgment calls
The first step of determining ISTEP passing scores begins with educators making a carefully considered guess. The process is widely accepted as valid, but still falls well short of scientific.
September 17, 2015
'Superman' a hero at connecting music, math and reading
Expectations for what kids should learn in art and music have stayed the same since 2012. Even so, teachers are doing things differently to keep pace with other subjects.
September 16, 2015
State board members approve lower passing scores for teacher exams
In a divided vote, the Indiana State Board of Education today voted 7-3 to make it a bit easier for aspiring teachers to earn a passing score on five different exams required to earn licenses.
August 17, 2015
Top 10 IPS schools for passing ISTEP in 2014 were all magnet schools
The top 10 IPS schools for passing ISTEP have one thing in common — all of them were magnet schools in 2014. Seven of the 10 also are located North of downtown.
August 5, 2015
CTB: More ISTEP problems will delay results for months
Re-scoring of new computer questions could delay school letter grades until 2016.
July 17, 2015
Test yourself: Do you know the basics of Indiana education?
It's a good time to brush up on your Indiana education knowledge. Try your hand at our quiz that includes questions on our four newest "basics" posts out this week.
July 15, 2015
The basics of Indiana’s NCLB waiver: An ongoing debate
In 2012, Indiana negotiated a waiver from sanctions of NCLB, making promises to the federal government in exchange. Ever since, managing it has been a bit messy.
July 12, 2015
Coming this week: Your updated guide to education issues in Indiana
Starting Monday, come back to Chalkbeat each day next week for a new post on a topic that's important to education in Indiana.
May 14, 2015
A year after Common Core, the next battle could be Indiana's new science standards
The Indiana Department of Education is set to update the state’s science standards, but some are worried it'll rely too heavily on standards deemed too easy and unclear.
April 8, 2015
State board's Neal asks lawmakers to block ISTEP bid
Andrea Neal wants legislators to revisit a plan to replace ISTEP as a way to solve a dispute over the selection of a British company to make the test starting next year.
April 7, 2015
House committee saves ISTEP, calls for study of replacement options
A proposal to replace ISTEP with an off-the-shelf national test was derailed today as a House committee sent the idea to a summer committee for…
April 6, 2015
Could the battle over ISTEP put Indiana's NCLB waiver in jeopardy?
A showdown is brewing this week over the future of ISTEP, but expect a new question to be raised: could changes to state tests could put…
April 2, 2015
State budget chiefs still pushing to dump ISTEP
The two men who hold the purse strings in the Indiana legislature are not backing down from their idea of dumping ISTEP for a cheaper, "off-the-shelf" exam.
March 19, 2015
Ritz's revised testing budget would cut cost by half
A revised plan today from state Superintendent Glenda Ritz would drop the cost of state tests by almost half from her last two-year $134 million estimate.
March 12, 2015
State board members: How can Indiana cut costs for testing?
The state might have to live with a more expensive state test, at least for for 2016, unless the legislature quickly makes good on an idea it is considering to ditch ISTEP altogether and moves up the timeline to do it.
March 11, 2015
Indiana dumps CTB-McGraw Hill, picks Pearson to create future ISTEP
Indiana appears ready to ditch the company that creates ISTEP after years of testing problems, but the cost of delivering Indiana's state tests could go way up if it does
March 3, 2015
Here are the 33 education bills that are still alive in the 2015 Indiana legislature
Despite Gov. Mike Pence's call for 2015 to be an "education session" for the legislature, there are actually fewer bills still alive at the session's halfway point this year — 32 — than the 43 that were still being considered at this point last year.
February 23, 2015
ISTEP changes pass House and Senate, signed by Pence (updated)
(Update: Gov. Mike Pence signed Senate Bill 62 late this afternoon. This story has been updated with that information.) The Indiana legislature kicked into overdrive…
February 20, 2015
Explaining the ISTEP debate: 6 reasons why the test ballooned
The Indiana legislature is moving fast to cut at least three hours from the state ISTEP after two weeks of sharp words over its length. What caused the blow up?
February 19, 2015
Here’s how schools will shorten the ISTEP
The instructions tell schools to give half of the English and math sections in the test's first part, which is made up of primarily essay-style and short answer questions. This change reduces the test by three hours and five minutes for students in all grade levels, according to the education department.
February 17, 2015
House moves to shorten ISTEP, broaden state board's testing role
An accelerated bill that would overhaul ISTEP to shorten the test got rolling quickly today, but the Indiana House isn’t stopping there. If all the…
February 13, 2015
Ritz jumps on board with Pence consultants' ideas to shorten ISTEP
After a contentious week of criticizing each other, Indiana State Superintendent Glenda Ritz and Gov. Mike Pence appear to mostly be on the same page…
February 12, 2015
Test yourself: Practice high school end-of-course-exams now available
Indiana’s high school end-of-course exams — which students must pass in English and Algebra to graduate — have mostly been untouched by the…
February 11, 2015
Senators back a bill that could end Indiana's testing woes — by dumping ISTEP
If Republicans in the Indiana Senate get their way, Hoosiers will never have to fight about ISTEP again. That’s because Senate Bill 566, which passed…
February 11, 2015
Pence says he and Ritz will cooperate to shorten ISTEP
Shifting away from Monday’s sharp criticism of state Superintendent Glenda Ritz, Gov. Mike Pence today said the two would work with legislative leaders to shorten…
February 10, 2015
Glenda Ritz's team fires back at Pence, says no changes planned for ISTEP — yet
A spokesman for state Superintendent Glenda Ritz today rejected Gov. Mike Pence’s call to shorten the state ISTEP exam, calling his claims that…
February 9, 2015
Pence signs executive order to shorten ISTEP test
Gov. Mike Pence signed an executive order today aimed at shortening Indiana’s ISTEP test, an action that follows days of heated conversations about how the 2015 test…
February 5, 2015
Could Indiana junk ISTEP for a national test?
Indiana lawmakers and educators Wednesday praised the idea of replacing ISTEP with a national “off-the-shelf” test in the Senate Education Committee. Senate Bill 566,…
February 3, 2015
State board poised to add more test scores into teacher ratings
The Indiana State Board of Education is expected to vote tomorrow on how much student test scores factor into teacher evaluations — for some, it could…
January 27, 2015
Lawmakers consider shifting Ritz's power to state board
The Indiana State Board of Education would get specific authority over testing, standards, student data, state takeovers, teacher evaluation and other functions that today are primarily managed by state Superintendent Glenda Ritz under a bill Indiana lawmakers considered today.
January 21, 2015
No changes expected to IREAD test in 2015
A proposal to shift the state’s IREAD exam — which third graders are required to pass — to be given in second grade…
January 20, 2015
Overtesting concerns could derail bill's proposal for civics exam (updated)
The question of whether Indiana high school graduates should pass a civics test is running up against an emerging concern that Hoosier children are simply…
January 16, 2015
Sen. Mike Delph proposes ditching new academic standards for 2006 version
If a new bill proposed by state Sen. Mike Delph passes this year, Indiana could do a complete about-face and dump its newly implemented…
January 15, 2015
Education Department: Indiana schools unprepared for online tests
About 77 percent of Indiana schools are technologically ill-equipped to to reliably administer state ISTEP tests online, and the Indiana Department of Education told state lawmakers it…
December 11, 2014
Ritz tells budget makers new state tests could cost much more
Indiana’s move to create new state test to connect to its new academic standards — rather than follow Common Core standards and cheaper tests developed…
December 8, 2014
IPS tackles new standards with tailored teaching
New academic standards require teachers to be more attentive than ever to exactly what their students do and don’t know. Focus on individual student needs have been ratcheted up, but teachers are still dealing with the same limited time and resources. Doing more group work and more detailed lesson planning might just be the best way to manage those demands.
November 17, 2014
Panel asks whether testing has gone too far
Educators, city leaders and even a student took on those questions at a event centered around testing tonight at the Central Library. The panelists talked about their personal philosophies on testing as well as how tests have changed since No Child Left Behind and the changes in store for Indiana's ISTEP tests this spring, which are being written to reflect Indiana's adoption of new academic expectations designed to prepare students for college and the workforce.
November 16, 2014
Testing foes call for change after film's premiere
After viewing a film critical of testing, Indianapolis parents who have organized into an advocacy group argued parents in the city should opt not to permit their children to take the many standardized tests given at school. The film, called "Standardized: Lies, Money & Civil Rights,” was produced by a former Pennsylvania teacher named Daniel Hornberger and argues increasing use of tests has narrowed the curriculum and made school less enjoyable for students and teachers.
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