- Three Republican state senators in Indiana have sponsored a bill asking the state's Board of Education to revise its K-12 education standards and select a new, nationally recognized exam to replace the ISTEP.
- One of the bill's sponsors, Sen. Luke Kenley, told the Associated Press that he believes Indiana would be better off if it used an “off the shelf” set of tests and that the state standards would only need to be tweaked minimally for a new exam to work.
- A big concern of Kenley's is keeping test costs down, and he believes a nationally recognized exam would help do that.
In December, Indiana's State Budget Committee reviewed schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz's education spending proposal, which called for an overall increase of 3%. Specifically, the committee was concerned about the motivations behind Ritz's request for an additional $20 million for student testing, which would make the state's testing budget jump to $65 million. When Ritz said the extra funds were needed because the state dropped the Common Core and now needed to create a more challenging ISTEP+ test to go with its new standards, many started grumbling about the unexpected costs of dropping the Common Core.
It's clear Kenley's bill is a response, but it's important at some point to just cut losses and stick to one thing. Changing the state tests AGAIN and revamping standards is a disservice to teachers and students, who are constantly in a state of uncertainty about what they are now supposed to be teaching and learning.