McCormick Proposing Alternative Testing Model

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The Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction is weighing in on the future of standardized testing in the state. Jennifer McCormick is asking the Senate Education and Career Development Committee to consider the use of computer adaptive testing as a means of evaluating students.

The Indiana Department of Education says the state's current ISTEP test and end of course assessments use the fixed form model, in which every test taker receives the same questions. The computer adaptive model allows test takers to receive "challenge leveled questions adjusted based upon students' individual responses and tested skill-level."

"For many years, instructional methods have significantly changed and improved, yet, our state-mandated assessments have not," said McCormick. "Indiana's K-12 schools, families, employers, and institutions of higher education are rightfully calling for a change in student performance and growth measures that better reflect our students. To truly prepare our students for their future endeavors, we must create individualized instruction based on need."

McCormick is calling for computer adaptive testing for grades 3-8 as well as national readiness measures such as PSAT and SAT in high school. She says using the model will "dramatically" cut testing times and costs.

McCormick is looking to roll out the new testing model in 2019, saying "Though this means one more year of programs like ISTEP+, it gives us enough time to ensure we get this right."

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