INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz called for reforms to Indiana’s student assessment program today. In addition, the Indiana Department of Education released statewide and local 2015 ISTEP+ scores.
The 2015 ISTEP+ was the first state assessment to be based on Indiana’s new, more rigorous college and career ready standards. Because of this change, the 2015 ISTEP+ scores are not comparable to previous years’ pass rates. Instead, for the first time they show the percentage of students meeting the new college and career ready benchmarks at each grade level. In 2015, 67.3% of students passed the English/Language Arts section, 61% passed the Mathematics section, and 53.5 passed both sections. Additionally, 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.
In response to these results, Superintendent Ritz issued the following statement:
“After years of legislative changes at both the state and federal level, our schools were asked once again to implement new standards and subject students to a new assessment without time to transition. The 2015 ISTEP+ results have established a new baseline for Indiana’s progress towards college and career ready benchmarks, and I want to thank our students, educators and administrators for their hard work during such a challenging school year. I look forward to seeing student growth towards these new, more rigorous benchmarks moving forward.
“My top priority is the educational, social, and emotional well-being of Hoosier students. That is why I believe that it is time for Indiana to move away from the costly, lengthy, pass/fail ISTEP+ assessment. The one-size-fits-all high stakes approach of the ISTEP+ needs to end. 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.”
A copy of school, corporation and statewide results are attached.