INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz released the details of her streamlined, student-centered assessment system proposal today. This proposal, called the Indiana OnTrack Assessment System, would save an estimated eight hours of testing time while cutting the cost to taxpayers by an estimated $12 million annually.
“As Superintendent of Public Instruction, I have a responsibility to students, families and educators to develop and implement a new student-centered assessment system. I ran for this office because I was concerned with the amount of time students were spending on high-stakes, pass/fail tests like ISTEP. Since taking office, I have worked with Democrats and Republicans to get rid of ISTEP.
“Fortunately, now that No Child Left Behind has been repealed we have the flexibility to develop an assessment that provides quick feedback to educators and families about both a student’s grade level performance and their growth towards college and career ready standards. It is time for Indiana to take advantage of this opportunity. Our children, teachers and families deserve nothing less.
“The Indiana OnTrack Assessment System takes advantage of this flexibility by reducing testing redundancies and utilizing new testing approaches. This approach not only keeps our total testing time under 1% of total instructional time, but it reduces the amount of testing time even further by an estimated 8 hours. Even more importantly, by utilizing an adaptive assessment, we can individualize our state test and provide teachers and parents with meaningful feedback about a student’s own performance and growth during a year.”
This proposal was shared with members of the Panel to Study Alternatives to the ISTEP Program Test prior to today’s meeting along with the results of the Request for Information from assessment vendors regarding the viability of utilizing a new approach to assessment. For the second time, the Superintendent’s request to formally present information to the panel was denied resulting in a sixth meeting of the panel with no substantial decisions made.
Indiana OnTrack is in line with the vision of the Panel to Study Alternatives to the ISTEP Program Test: that Indiana should develop an assessment system that is student-centered and provides meaningful and timely information to all stakeholders on both a student’s on-grade proficiency level and growth toward Indiana’s College and Career Ready Standards. It also reflects the input of various stakeholder groups, including the members of Superintendent’s Advisory Committee.
“I look forward to gathering additional input from the field and to continuing to work with the dedicated educators on the Panel to Study Alternatives to the ISTEP Program Test as we finalize our recommendation to the Indiana General Assembly,” Ritz added. “I am committed to working with the legislature and Indiana’s next governor to finally get rid of ISTEP and move forward with the important work of developing a student-centered assessment that works for students, educators and families.”
Feedback to the proposal can be submitted through an online portal.