Holcomb Seeking Waiver for Schools on ILEARN Scores

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INDIANAPOLIS -

Governor Eric Holcomb is looking to keep schools and teachers from being affected by the first year of the ILEARN exam. In a statement, the governor says the results of the first test, set to be released next week, will show a decrease from the previous academic year's ISTEP+ test.

Holcomb says, because it is the first year of the ILEARN test, he plans to ask Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick to support his request that the Indiana General Assembly hold schools harmless so the results do not have an adverse affect on teacher evaluations and school's letter grades.

"This action will ease the transition to ILEARN, which is a student assessment that allows Indiana to comply with federal ESSA requirements," said Holcomb.

ILEARN, or Indiana's Learning Evaluation Readiness Network, was established in 2017 as a replacement for the ISTEP+ exam. Students this year were the first to take the new exam.

You can read Holcomb's full statement below:

The results of the 2018-19 ILEARN proficiency test are scheduled to be released next week. The results will show a decrease compared to the previously administered ISTEP+ test. Since this is the first year of the ILEARN assessment, I will ask Superintendent McCormick to support my request that the General Assembly take action to hold schools harmless so the test scores do not have an adverse impact on teacher evaluations and schools’ letter grades for the 2018-19 school year. This action will ease the transition to ILEARN, which is a student assessment that allows Indiana to comply with federal ESSA requirements.

I appreciate the dedicated work of Hoosier educators. Bringing consistency and continuity to how we measure student progress and preparing students for post-secondary success is a shared and important goal.

McCormick also issued a statement regarding the test results:

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) has been actively advocating for a new, modernized, state-legislated accountability system that is fair, accurate, and transparent. As communicated last week, in response to the embargoed ILEARN results, we are proposing legislative action addressing the negative impact on educators, schools, districts, and communities.
 
Over the past two weeks, districts and schools received embargoed ILEARN scores. When compared to past ISTEP+ scores, the scores for Indiana’s new assessment, ILEARN, indicated lower achievement levels across the state in both English/language arts and mathematics. The combination of the rigors associated with this newly aligned college and career readiness assessment, national normative data, and the defined established performance cuts all contributed to the lower performance levels. While frustrating, performance dips at some level were expected, as previously experienced in 2014-2015 with the onset of the then newly implemented ISTEP+.

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