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Indiana leaders want to delay penalties on new standardized test

By TOM DAVIES Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State officials are looking to delay any penalties from lower student scores on Indiana's new standardized test even before its first results are released to the public.

Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and top GOP legislative leaders said Monday they want lawmakers to approve a one-year delay so that the English and math test scores don't hurt teacher evaluations or the A-F ratings for schools.

About 500,000 students took the new ILEARN test last spring after the Republican-dominated Legislature in 2017 ordered it as a replacement for the much-maligned ISTEP exams.

The state Department of Education says it sent ILEARN scores to schools this month and will make them public Sept. 4.

State schools Superintendent Jennifer McCormick says the results show Indiana needs a modernized accountability system that's fair and accurate.

“The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) has been actively advocating for a new, modernized, state-legislated accountability system that is fair, accurate, and transparent. As communicated last week, in response to the embargoed ILEARN results, we are proposing legislative action addressing the negative impact on educators, schools, districts, and communities.
 
“Over the past two weeks, districts and schools received embargoed ILEARN scores. When compared to past ISTEP+ scores, the scores for Indiana’s new assessment, ILEARN, indicated lower achievement levels across the state in both English/language arts and mathematics. The combination of the rigors associated with this newly aligned college and career readiness assessment, national normative data, and the defined established performance cuts all contributed to the lower performance levels. While frustrating, performance dips at some level were expected, as previously experienced in 2014-2015 with the onset of the then newly implemented ISTEP+.
 
“ILEARN scores will be made public at the September 4 State Board of Education meeting. During a scheduled August 28 press conference, I will be sharing more detailed embargoed information and specific actions I have already requested.”



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