Ritz announces proposal to shorten ISTEP exam by three hours

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INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 13, 2015) – As a political firestorm brews over the ISTEP+ test, Superintendent Glenda Ritz announced plans to shorten the test by three hours.

The Indiana State Board of Education convened a special meeting at 9 a.m. to discuss the test.

Much of the controversy surrounding ISTEP involves the amount of time needed to take the exam. Gov. Mike Pence announced this week that he hired consultants to shorten the exam.

Here’s what the Department of Education said about the plan Friday:

This morning, Indiana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz announced that the Indiana Department of Education has reduced the length of the 2015 spring ISTEP+ by over three hours for all Indiana students in all grades. In addition, Superintendent Ritz announced that the Department of Education would seek legislative support to suspend the Social Studies portion of the ISTEP+ for students in grades 5 and 7. This would further reduce their testing by over one hour.

The announcement was made during this morning’s special meeting of the State Board of Education. Superintendent Ritz has been working diligently with Indiana’s other elected leaders to find ways to reduce the burden that Indiana’s high-stakes testing system has had on all schools, students, parents and educators.

The time reduction will come from modifying the way that certain questions are piloted for the next testing year. In short, the Department will ensure that students are tested on half of the pilot questions during Part One of the ISTEP+ administration, while ensuring that all pilot questions are taken by enough students to guarantee validity for future use. Additional technical information will be communicated to schools in the immediate future.