After HB 1395 passed through the House this week, the future of Indiana’s testing system has the opportunity to go in a different direction.
The bill, among other things, would create a panel of educators, legislators and community members to study and create a plan for moving to a new assessment type. This is also made possible by the Every Student Succeeds Act passed by the federal government this year, which replaces No Child Left Behind provisions.
State superintendent Glenda Ritz says she is pleased the bill made it through this first hurdle in the legislature.
This move towards dropping the ISTEP and looking for a different assessment system comes after administration and scoring troubles during the 2015 assessment.
Ritz says ideally, she’d like the proposed panel to come up with a vision for a different type of test rather than one that asks kids what they learned once a year.
“I’d like for it to be adaptable, I want to know where children do preform as well as how they grow over the course of the year,” Ritz said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to really have assessments that give meaning to what the students see the results for.”
But many parents and educators have trouble with the high stakes attached to standardized assessments, not the test itself. Ritz says the State Board of Education took steps to address that issue last year, voting to factor more student growth into A-F grades.
“We have allowed within the new system that we created to put multiple measures, to perhaps include some formative information as part of accountability, to really get that accountability system where it is really talking about what happens in our schools and not just focused on one test,” she said.
HB 1395 passed through the House and will now to go the Senate.