- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 12, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana lawmakers say they expect to delay the rollout of a new standardized test for students until after spring 2018, missing the original deadline.

Nicole Fama is the state’s ISTEP replacement study committee chairwoman. She said Tuesday that the 23-member panel won’t be able to recommend a new test for lawmakers to adopt for use during the 2017-18 school year.

“Our recommendations will need to be broad in nature,” Fama said. “This is really just the first step in the process.”

Legislators and Gov. Mike Pence killed off the ISTEP standardized exam seven months ago after repeated test administration and technology errors.

The panel has met for dozens of hours since May analyzing what other states do.

The biggest issue with replacing ISTEP is maintaining Indiana’s standards that by law require the state to maintain jurisdiction and be the highest standards in the United States.

The guidelines restrict Indiana from adopting another state’s standardized test as their own.

Senate Education Committee chairman Dennis Kruse, a Republican, says the Legislature in January will likely have to require schools to continue using ISTEP for at least a few more years.

Glenda Ritz, the Democratic state superintendent of public instruction, has proposed to replace ISTEP with the “Indiana OnTrack Assessment System.”

According to Ritz by eliminating a reading test for third-graders, a remediation test for high school students and a social studies test, the system could save the state more than $12 million. The system would also include testing for third through eighth grade students in fall, winter and spring.

The panel will meet again in November before its Dec. 1 deadline to submit a recommendation for the General Assembly.


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