Ind. (AP) — The state's plan to seek a contractor to design a new
standardized test for the 2015-2016 school year has some educators
concerned the short timetable could create challenges for Indiana's
teachers, students and parents.
the director of secondary curriculum and instruction for Warrick County
School Corp., worries that the federal Department of Education, the
State Board of Education and Schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz are all
looking for something different when it comes to standardized tests.
"I think all
three entities have different ideas of what they want for testing, so
it's about getting to the best solution for kids and even for taxpayers
because it does cost a significant amount of money to give these tests,"
he told the Evansville Courier & Press.
announced earlier this week that major changes in Indiana's education
policies will have students taking new, different standardized tests in
each of the next two academic years.
education officials have said contractor CTB/McGraw-Hill will create the
test for the 2014-2015 year in order for Indiana to maintain its waiver
from the No Child Left Behind law. The state will seek a contractor to
design a new standardized test for 2015-2016. The deadline to meet
federal concerns and submit a one-year extension over the waiver is
Democrat, suggested Monday that the new tests provide a separate reading
score, but a majority of the state's Education Roundtable and Republican
Gov. Mike Pence disagreed, saying the State Board of Education could
discuss reading scores at a later date.
Teachers Association President Mark Lichtenberg said a lack of reading
comprehension data — which teachers and parents use to determine the
best educational path for students — is one of the flaws in the current
indicator of academic success is reading comprehension," he said. "By
not embedding reading level data in assessments such as IREAD and ISTEP,
teachers must turn to other assessments in order to get that
Vanderburgh School Corp. Superintendent David Smith said the district is
interested in seeing what content the new test covers. He also said the
district is working this summer to align its curriculum with the new
state standards adopted in April, and officials are finding gaps in what
was not included in the standards and having to fill those.
there is a lot at stake with standardized testing.
understand the need to take a year's pause to determine the validity and
reliability of data," Smith said, "but I do understand the desire to
continue to have accountability metrics for schools."