WOWO EXCLUSIVE: Where are we now with the state’s ISTEP exams?

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): The committee, slated with making recommendations for revamping the state’s ISTEP exam, submitted their findings Tuesday, so what happens next?

WOWO News spoke with Dr. Wendy Robinson, Fort Wayne Community Schools’ Superintendent to get some answers. Robinson is one of the 23-members on the study panel and she says the panel emphasized the importance of getting rid of the ISTEP all together. However, she says the state still needs assessments.

“We are getting rid of the title, ISTEP… but you still have to have all school districts, across the county, some way of measuring end of year student results,” said Robinson. “Now the big issue is, and this is what the committee pushed, those end of year results should not be used for letter grades for schools or for determining a teacher’s pay.”

Any school district in the country cannot get rid of the requirement for standardized assessments, unless it’s legislated by the federal government. However, Robinson was quick to point out that when it comes to Indiana, the standardized testing should not be used as a form of judgement.

“… those results should be used for teachers, to change instruction, and to determine whether students have mastered the standards and shown growth. It should not be used to judge anything other than that one student’s progress for that year, it should be used as an information piece.”

The committee’s recommendations still need to go to state legislators, to the State Board of Education and to the State Department of Education. They will then move through several other levels of organizations before being put out for bid to vendors.

RELATED: ISTEP panel members release final report, Superintendent Ritz not impressed

You can listen to the whole interview below.


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