Governor Mike Pence is expected this afternoon to sign bills shielding schools’ A-F accountability grades and teacher pay from being affected by the ISTEP scores. The measure attracted widespread support after last year’s exam was plagued by various issues.
Earlier this month, the Indiana Department of Education released the statewide and local ISTEP+ scores. The department says 67.3 percent of students passed the English/Language Arts section, 61 percent passed the Mathematics section and 53.3 percent passed both. Many political and education leaders said lower passing rates were expected because of new, more rigorous educational standards.
After last spring’s test, there was also an allegation made that a software glitch caused some students to have lower scores on the writing test. An independent panel concluded that no scoring errors resulted from the glitch.
Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz has said it’s time to "move away" from the ISTEP+ test. House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath agrees, calling for the carefully-planned "demise" of ISTEP, in favor of "something less sensational and more functional."