The ISTEP exam will no longer be in effect starting next year, thanks to a bill signed into law Tuesday by Governor Mike Pence. House Enrolled Act 1395 eliminates the test, effective July 1, 2017.
The bill also establishes a 23-member panel to study ISTEP alternatives and requires all members be appointed by May 1. That panel will include the superintendent of public instruction and her four appointees, the commissioner of workforce development, the commissioner of higher education, the chairperson of the Senate Education and Career Development Committee, the chairperson of the House Education Committee, a member of the State Board of Education, five governor’s appointments, four president pro tempore appointments and four speaker of the house appointments.
"By signing House Enrolled Act 1395, we’re taking the first step toward eliminating ISTEP and ensuring that multiple perspectives are considered as Indiana develops its next iteration of assessment and accountability of our schools," said Pence. "I’m also grateful to sign into law bills that will help ensure students in Indiana receive an excellent education in a safe and nurturing environment, and that working teachers who take in additional responsibilities may receive recognition and compensation for their efforts."
Pence also signed into the law the bill establishing the Next Generation Hoosier Educator Scholarship Fund. The fund offers up to $7,500 in scholarships per year to eligible candidates, as long as they commit to teaching in Indiana for at least five years.
The governor also signed HEA 1005 into law, which establishes the Career Pathways and Mentorship Program. The bill was authored by Rep. Dale DeVon (R-5), provides for differentiated pay for qualified teachers based on "demonstrated effectiveness and additional responsibilities in advanced roles." The bill also requires schools to "disclose any knowledge of substantiated abuse or neglect incidents regarding a teacher."
Pence signed the bills surrounded by students and teachers at Eagle Elementary School in Zionsville.