Lawmakers Ready to Act on ISTEP

INDIANAPOLIS (WOWO): Senate President Pro Tem David Long -Fort Wayne (R) says legislators are prepared to move quickly on any action needed to shorten the ISTEP exam. Long says legislators would accelerate their normal procedures to trim a projected 12 hours of testing time before testing begins at the end of the month. But he says lawmakers won‘t support suggestions to place the A-to-F school accountability grades on hold, a step he says state school superintendent Glenda Ritz is advocating.

Governor Pence has suggested dropping ISTEP‘s reading and social studies sections of ISTEP, and has hired two consultants to offer further suggestions by Friday. Testmaker C-T-B-McGraw-Hill has proposed several possible ways to shorten the test. Ritz‘s office warns most of them would require federal approval, but Long says Pence has gotten personal assurances of cooperation from U-S Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

The Senate was already considering a bill to replace ISTEP with a shorter, cheaper and easier to grade exam before news broke of the anticipated length of this year‘s test. Long says that proposal continues to move through the process, but says he doesn‘t want to cloud discussions of how to solve the immediate issue