Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

ILEARN Set To Replace ISTEP As Indiana’s New Standardized Test

The legislature is considering legislation that changes the standardized assessment students take, replacing the current ISTEP+.

The legislature is considering legislation that changes the standardized assessment students take, replacing the current ISTEP+. (photo credit: David Hartman/Flickr)

The Indiana Senate approved a bill Tuesday setting guidelines for ILEARN, a new standardized test that will replace the troubled ISTEP+ exam in 2019.

The proposal would require the test, for students in grades 3-8, be given on a computer and allow Indiana scores to be compared with scores nationally.

Lawmakers have sought to replace the ISTEP+ after facing years of technical problems in its administration and a drop in test scores.

But some worry that relying on the exam to evaluate teachers during the next two years will cause unneeded problems.

The bill has already passed the House, but Sen. Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) wants lawmakers to tweak the measure in conference committee to ensure test scores won’t be used to rate educators.

“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,” she says.

House Bill 1003 passed 31-16. It calls for student’s scores to be reported no later than August 15. It also requires a “nationally recognized college entrance assessment” to be used for grades 9-12. That means the SAT or ACT testing companies will likely be sought to offer end-of-course assessments in English 10, Biology I and Algebra I.


  • JJaquish

    The standards of what skills to teach are already written out here: . The state governors need to ignore the feds and get with each other and agree that each state will take 1/50th of the standards (alphabetical order assigned) to create test questions and answers. Hire a programming company of home schooled nerds to pool the questions to create the software to make an internet delivered test for each grade. The states agree on the date to take the tests. Ta daa! Now was that so hard?

  • Chris Proffitt

    Has anyone considered that the original test score dropping issue was due to the teaching methods that have been standardized? As a parent of 4 I often find it difficult to understand the method being used by the school to teach them, which in turn makes it difficult to help with the absurd amount of homework they bring home. And I know the subject matter!

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