Indiana Senate Approves Bill Making ‘ILEARN’ New State Test

05 Apr Indiana Senate Approves Bill Making ‘ILEARN’ New State Test

Two national consultants recommend a series of quick steps to improve next year’s ISTEP+ test. (Photo Credit: Kate Parker/Flickr)

Photo: Kate Parker/Flickr

The ISTEP became a liability after Republicans undertook a number of education overhauls that made the test more difficult.

The Indiana Senate approved a bill Tuesday setting guidelines for a new standardized test that will replace the ISTEP exam.

The new test called “ILEARN” would be in place by 2019. But critics note the state has not yet picked a test. They worry the uncertainty and tight timeline could result in the same problems that prompted lawmakers to ditch the ISTEP.

The ISTEP became a liability after Republicans undertook a number of education overhauls that made the test more difficult. Indiana students performed poorly on it and an electronic version of the test was also plagued by technical glitches.

Republican Sen. Jean Leising wants lawmakers to hold off on using test scores to rate teachers until the new exam is in place.

“I really think we have an obligation to do this at least for the next two years until we settle on some kind of a new test.”

The measure, which already cleared the House, was approved yesterday on a 32-16 vote. The House must agree to minor changes before it can go to the governor.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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