The Indiana Department of Education has released the statewide and local 2015 ISTEP+ scores. The results come after months of criticism of the exam, which was plagued by various issues last spring.
The results say 67.3% of students passed the English/Language Arts section, 61% passed the Mathematics section and 53.3% passed both sections. Also, 69.2% of 4th and 6th grade students passed the Science section and 70.4% of 5th and 7th grade students passed the optional Social Studies section.
After the test was administered, an allegation was made that a software glitch caused some students to have lower scores on the writing test. An analysis conducted by an independent panel and released last month showed that no scoring errors were caused by the glitch. However, the controversy has led lawmakers to propose changes to the standardized testing system.
Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz says she believes it is time to "move away" from the ISTEP+ test.
"The one-size-fits-all high stakes approach of the ISTEP+ needs to end," says Ritz. "Instead, Indiana should move towards a streamlined, individualized, student-centered assessment that provides students, families and educators with quick feedback about how a student is performing and how they have grown during a school year. Moving forward, I will work with the General Assembly to oversee the development of this assessment so we can better serve each individual student’s needs. In addition, as the Chair of the State Board of Education, I will recommend action to ensure that each school’s accountability grade is determined by meaningful measures and not just by test scores."
House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath called for the carefully-planned "demise" of ISTEP Tuesday. While announcing his 2016 legislative agenda, Pelath said, "It’s time to pull the plug in favor of something less sensational and more functional."
Governor Mike Pence and Senate Republicans have already pledged their support for legislation that would shield schools’ A-F accountability grades and teacher pay from being affected by the ISTEP scores.
Download the five reports provided by the IDOE: