INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
Indiana education officials are trying to find a balance between preparing
students for a new statewide test and overloading them with assessments as
Indiana moves forward as the first state to drop the Common Core education
State Board of
Education members on Wednesday canceled a May transitional assessment to
prepare students for a full-blown pilot next spring, because of worries that
too many tests could be overwhelming and unnecessary during the realignment
to new standards.
will be taking at least two tests next spring because of new education
standards set to replace the national guidelines in the Common Core. Indiana
became the first state to drop those standards this March.
Only ISTEP, which
currently is in place, will be used to gauge progress and evaluate teachers
in spring 2015. Students and teachers will have next school year to prepare
and adjust to the pilot test for the new standards.
The Department of
Education planned to use the CoreLink test to expose students to what could
lie ahead in the full-blown pilot assessment, but the plan prompted
criticism from some board members who say the test is one too many for
eventually pushed off a decision on whether to delay the test until
September and instead voted to postpone it indefinitely.
Member Brad Oliver
said upcoming discussions during the standards revision process on how many
assessments students should take will help set precedent for the culture of
testing in the state.
"We’re seeing a
culture of a lot of schools centered on testing and focusing on compliance
rather than learning,” he said. “We’ve really got to get the culture back on
learning, ability and skills.”
But some parents
and superintendents say more frequent testing could help teachers and ensure
students do their best on assessments.
Teachers Association Vice President Keith Gambill said many educators are
against too much testing, but that the answer could be shorter tests gauging
progress throughout the year and not simply fewer tests.
teachers and schools with diagnostics as they progress through the year as
to where students’ weaknesses are if any are falling behind,” he said.
Corporation Assistant Superintendent John Layton said area schools have
their own tests they give throughout the year to break up assessment of
state standards and give teachers a better idea of what students need help
with as the school year progresses.
Mosier, of Fishers, Ind., said she wants more of students’ time to be spent
learning and not filling in bubbles, but she also backs giving more tests
throughout the year that don’t tie qualification for remedial classes, for
example, with one final exam. She said if a student is having a bad day
during the assessment, their test results might not accurately show what
this follow-up on one test at this one time,” Mosier said. “That’s a not