Indiana must develop new ISTEP test after ditching Common Core - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Indiana must develop new ISTEP test after ditching Common Core

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- New standards will turn into new tests for Indiana school children much sooner than expected.


Travis Drake enjoyed the first day of his summer vacation Tuesday with one of the last things he heard at school lingering in the back of his mind. He will be responsible for teaching Henryville 5th graders the content of a new exam in just seven months. Drake said, "My first reaction is uncertainty, the unknowing of what it will be....yes it is a shock." 

Indiana education leaders told WDRB the test isn't complete yet, and won't be fully piloted before it reaches students. It's the new ISTEP, being shaped around Indiana's newly adopted college and career standards.

"We're used to the current ISTEP model and preparing kids in order to take those tests based off the current standards," Drake said. "But really, standards are going to be changing too, so we don't know what's going to happen with this college-ready new ISTEP."

Indiana planned to roll out new assessments for students in 3rd grade - 8th grade in the 2015-2016 school year, but when the legislature dropped Common Core, it set off red flags with the federal government. The U.S. Department of Education is now telling Indiana to prove its new standards are up to par, or risk losing a No Child Left Behind waiver that brings in more than $150 million in federal funding.

Troy Albert sits on the state board that voted in these new standards.

"No, I did not foresee that coming. I thought everything was in place," Albert said.

He said  400 teachers are working this summer to evaluate new questions for this new ISTEP.

"I don't care if you had two years or five years to plan for some change," Albert said. "Change happens -- and once it does, you either jump on board...or lose your opportunities....and if we wait a year-and-a-half...the consequences are just not good for Indiana."

Drake said he will not do six weeks of worrying before he heads back to school.

"In teaching, you have to be able to adapt quick," Drake said.

He's hoping his students will do the same.

For many teachers in Indiana there is an added urgency: pay and evaluations are directly tied to their students' test results. Estimates are new assessments will cost taxpayers $30 million.

Indiana Superintendent Glenda Ritz responds to new ISTEP earlier than expected.
Click HERE to read it.

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