- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 20, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A panel in charge of recommending a new state standardized test for students remains divided on a replacement for the ISTEP exam.

State Superintendent Glenda Ritz wants Indiana to use computer-based tests with questions that adapt to students’ skill levels in order to give teachers a better understanding of what individuals know, the Indianapolis Star (https://indy.st/2acGYSx ) reported.

But some panelists, appointed by Gov. Mike Pence, say Indiana should keep a single pass/fail exam and potentially offer additional tests that measure students’ progress.

Republican state Rep. Robert Behning of Indianapolis suggested keeping the current system while taking time to pilot other test designs.

But Ritz said that plan would go against new Indiana law that requires the state to end ISTEP after the upcoming school year.

Behning said he doesn’t want to rush the decision.

“I’m a little concerned, based on where we are today, we’re never going to get to where we need to be in the timeline that we have allotted,” Behning said.

Ritz, a Democrat who is up for re-election this year, said that the state needs to think of creative solutions.

“Just because something hasn’t been done before doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t,” Ritz said.

Some panel members have resisted the idea of using an adaptive test because they worry that some schools won’t have the technology. Some are also concerned that the adaptive tests wouldn’t gauge whether students know what they should for their grade level.

The 23-member panel must recommend a replacement to the Indiana General Assembly by December.


Information from: The Indianapolis Star, https://www.indystar.com

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