INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
The leader of a state committee reviewing how to replace Indiana’s
much-maligned ISTEP test is hesitant to make specific recommendations,
something other members of the committee say is exactly what’s needed.
The board has a
couple of weeks left to tell state legislators how best to revamp the
standardized exams, which are taken by more than 400,000 students a year at
various grade levels. The Republican-dominated Legislature voted this year
to mandate that the ISTEP test be replaced for the 2017-18 school year, but
lawmakers have said that deadline will likely be pushed back because of the
difficulty of having new exams ready in time.
chairwoman Nicole Fama, a principal in the Indianapolis Public Schools
district, told members on Tuesday she would work with their suggestions and
draft a proposal ahead of the final meeting on Nov. 29.
recommendations are going to be very broad,” Fama said. “From what I
understand, this is just the first step of the process.”
Wendy Robinson, superintendent of the Fort Wayne Community Schools, said she
wanted to know the cost for some of the proposals and other details, adding:
“Generalities are not enough.”
discussed goals, such as shorter tests with quicker results and decoupling
teacher evaluations from student exam scores. Parents and teachers blasted
the exam last year after testing time jumped by several hours and schools
faced months of waiting to receive scores from the company hired by the
state to prepare and grade the tests.
Scot Croner, a
committee member and Blackford County schools superintendent, said he
believed the panel should give clear direction.
conversations with my local legislators,” Croner said. “They want specifics.
They want a detailed plan.”
Dennis Kruse, who chairs the chamber’s education committee, said lawmakers
don’t have the time or experience to review the testing details that the
committee has had over the past seven months.
schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz, who lost her re-election bid last week,
said she worried the process was heading toward inadequate changes.
“We cannot leave
this committee and have a longer test, a more costly test,” Ritz said.
“Parents will be outraged.”