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Education Officials Say ISTEP+ Will Go Forward at Current Length

State of Indiana

The Indiana Department of Education says it will proceed as planned to issue the ISTEP+ exam beginning Feb. 25, even after Gov. Mike Pence signed an executive order Monday to re-evaluate the test’s length.

Even though the test could change -- after the testing consultant hired through Pence’s executive order issues recommendations on how to shorten it -- the DOE says they are preparing school districts as if the test will not change.

Deputy state superintendent Danielle Shockey says Pence’s actions only add to the confusion in preparing for this year’s ISTEP.

“I guarantee, principals had already taken this part one and started mapping out where all their students were going to be sitting in what classrooms with which adults and what session was going to happen on which day,” Shockey said. They were ready for this, so any confusion would not be something I suggest we created.”

Shockey says state superintendent Glenda Ritz is open to ideas on how to shorten the exam, but the questions removed from this spring’s ISTEP could reappear this fall in the form of a field test.

Other changes to the exam, such as Pence’s suggestion of removing the social studies portion, would require action by the General Assembly.

The IDOE maintains that the State Board of Education and Pence’s education staff were made aware of the ISTEP’s increased length last August. As of Tuesday, the department and Pence’s office had yet to speak with the other about the test.

An emergency meeting of the State Board of Education is set for Friday to discuss the length of the ISTEP.