Pence Adds Second Expert to Shorten ISTEP Times

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Governor Mike Pence has announced a second outside contractor has been added to make "substantive recommendations" on shortening the length of next month's ISTEP tests. Pence hopes the consultants will have recommendations in place by Friday. He adds that Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz, the Department of Education and the State Board of Education have agreed to release all records to the assessment experts.

The Indiana State Board of Education has scheduled a special meeting Friday to address the length of time allotted for next month's ISTEP tests.

The meeting agenda also includes a request from Ritz to suspend the state's teacher evaluation system for the 2014-2015 school year because of the potential interruption.

Ritz, who serves as chair of the board, called Friday's meeting in response to an executive order issued this week by Governor Mike Pence.

The order calls for an independent assessment expert to cut the expected time of the tests. The Department of Education announced earlier this year the duration would nearly double compared to last year.

Michigan-based Edward Roeber has since been identified as the governor's choice to review and make recommendations to the Governor's Office, State Board of Education and Indiana Department of Education.

Source: Inside INdiana Business

February 11, 2015

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Governor Mike Pence has named Edward Roeber as the consultant who will review and make recommendations to the Office of the Governor, the Indiana Department of Education, and the Indiana State Board of Education in order to shorten the 2015 ISTEP test. The announcement comes the morning after the Governor signed Executive Order 15-04 to shorten the test, which would otherwise double in length this year for Indiana students. CTB McGraw Hill, the vendor for the 2015 ISTEP test, has also expressed its support to discuss options and engage with the consultant pursuant to the Governor's Executive Order to shorten this year’s test.

"Hoosier families can be assured that we will shorten this test," said Governor Pence. "With more than four decades devoted to educational assessment, Edward Roeber is a nationally-recognized consultant who has the depth of knowledge and experience necessary to conduct a thorough and efficient review of Indiana's 2015 ISTEP test. I appreciate his willingness to bring his expertise to the table and craft a solution to this issue in a way that will be less burdensome to Hoosier students and families while still maintaining accountability for schools."

Roeber, of Michigan, is an independent consultant to various organizations including the Michigan Assessment Consortium, to which he serves as Assessment Director, and Assessment Solutions Group, where he serves as Managing Partner. In his more than forty-year career, he has served as an adjunct professor in measurements and quantitative methods at the Michigan State University College of Education, Senior Executive Director for the Office of Educational Assessment and Accountability at the Michigan Department of Education, and Director of Student Assessment Programs at the Council of Chief State School Officers. In addition, Roeber has consulted with a number of states as well as national entities on the design, development and implementation of large-scale assessment programs.

Roeber earned his bachelor's degree in psychology, his master's degree in educational psychology, and his doctorate in measurement and evaluation from The University of Michigan.

The maximum cost for Roeber's contract, which was effective yesterday, with the state is $22,000. The contract identifies two phases of work, each valued at $11,000. The first, to be completed prior to February 20, is for initial analysis and recommendations for spring 2015, and the second, from February to December of this year, is to continue consultation for spring 2016 assessment and piloting should phase one recommendations impact next year’s test.

On Wednesday, February 11, Governor Pence named second consultant Bill Auty to also make recommendations on ways to shorten the 2015 ISTEP test.

Source: The Office of Governor Mike Pence