(STATEHOUSE) Oct. 5, 2007 - Today, Governor Mitch Daniels and the State Board of Education announced that the ISTEP+ exam will be moved from the fall to the spring. House Republicans, under the leadership of Representatives Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) and Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis), have made moving the ISTEP+ a top priority for many years.
"I am thrilled with Governor Daniels and the State Board of Education's decision to reform the ISTEP exam and move it to where it was originally designed to be taken," said Rep. Bosma. "It's just common sense to test at the end of the year rather than testing students in the fall on last year's lessons. Students are spending the first month of every school year reviewing last year's lessons specifically for the ISTEP+ instead of learning the current year's material. Test results are received so late in the year that remediation plans are implemented well into the second semester. Moving the exam to the spring will allow students to be tested on material they learned that year. Its just makes common sense, and teachers, parents and most policy makers know it."
Spring testing will begin in 2008-2009 academic year. In order to meet federal guidelines, students will be tested in fall 2008 and spring 2009. After that, the exam will only be given in the spring.
"ISTEP+ testing was in the wrong part of the school year. We should not be testing 2nd grade material in the fall of 3rd grade, then receive the results from the exam in December or even January," stated Rep. Behning. "Students who need remediation would already be halfway through the next grade level. By holding the ISTEP+ exam in the spring, if remediation is needed, it can be done during the summer. This is a long overdue move."
Established by the General Assembly, the 11-member State Board of Education oversees state education policy-making. The Superintendent of Public Instruction is a voting member and chairs the Board. The remaining 10 members are appointed by the Governor, one from each of the state's congressional districts. No more than six of the 10 appointed members may be from the same political party, and at least four must be educators.