-- Indiana education officials plan to pay a company $43 million to create,
implement and grade the new test that’ll replace the much-maligned ISTEP
have approved a three-year contract with the Washington, D.C.-based American
Institutes for Research. They chose it over four other bidders, though it
wasn’t the lowest cost offered.
will cost $3 million. The first year of the test’s use will cost $20.6
million, and the second year will cost $21.6 million, according to the
The company will
design a new Indiana test named ILEARN, or Indiana’s Learning Evaluation
Readiness Network. It’s planned for implementation in the spring of 2019.
The current ISTEP
exam, which nearly 500,000 students take, has faced years of complaints
about the number of days students spend taking the test and months-long
waits for exam results from other testing companies.
The new test is
planned to be given in a shorter testing window. Results are also expected
to be released faster.
ILEARN will be a
computer adaptive test, with questions that change depending on whether a
student answers a previous question correctly. State officials said it will
assess a student’s abilities better.
The tests will be
administered completely online to grades three through eight and test
students’ abilities in English language arts and mathematics.
Department of Administration led the evaluation team that chose the company.
It included educators, state Department of Education representatives and
several members of the state Board of Education.
“We are excited for
what the future holds for education here in Indiana,” said Charity Flores,
director of assessment for the Indiana Department of Education. “We will
continue to move forward with the procurement process.”