INDIANAPOLIS -- Governor Mitch Daniels announced today that the ISTEP test will move back to the spring.
"Some commitments we were able to keep on the first day, dozens more in the first couple of years. Putting ISTEP back where it should be took a little longer, but this is a great result," said Daniels. "The test will be in the spring, the results will be in hand months sooner, the cost to taxpayers will go down, and school will no longer start sooner than it should."
The governor said the State Board of Education informed him it has concluded negotiations for a spring test and expects to soon enter into agreement with CTB-McGraw Hill and Questar Assessment, Inc. to provide the new assessment at a lower cost than now paid annually.
The cost of the test was $31 million annually. It will drop to $29.5 million each year for two years, then to $28.5 million in the third and fourth years.
Spring testing will begin in the 2008-09 academic year. Students will take the current ISTEP for the last time in September 2008 to be tested on what they learned in the 2007-08 school year, then take the new test in spring 2009 on what they've learned in the current academic year (see attached schedule). Thereafter, the test will be given only in the spring.
As a result of 2006 legislation, the State Board of Education was assigned to develop a comprehensive state assessment system. After much public input, the board unanimously approved a new comprehensive testing plan for K-12 students and schools in November 2006, which includes diagnostic testing in the fall and throughout the year and accountability testing in the spring for grades 3-8 and high school end of course exams. The board issued a Request for Proposal early this year for the new assessment system.
"This is the first step in the comprehensive plan that was unanimously adopted by the board," said Dr. Suellen Reed, Superintendent of Public Instruction. "We're making good gains, and there will be more to discuss soon about incorporating diagnostic testing for kindergarten through eighth grade."