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Gov. Pence signs bill unanimously approved by House, Senate to shorten ISTEP+ test

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INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 23, 2015) - Lawmakers in the Indiana House and Senate unanimously approved a measure to shorten the ISTEP+ test.

The bill passed the House 94-0 during a vote Monday. The changes would shorten the test by three hours and five minutes from 12 hours to 9 hours, cut back on pilot questions, the English and math portions, and for 5th-7th graders, completely eliminate the social studies portion.

ISTEP+ has become a political firestorm, with lawmakers expressing concerns about the length of the test. Gov. Mike Pence and Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz said they would cooperate to find ways to shorten the exam. The Department of Education sent guidelines to schools about the changes last week.

The bill was sent to the Senate, where it passed 50-0. The bill then moved to the governor's desk, where he signed it Monday.

Gov. Pence issued the following statement after signing the bill:

“Hoosier students, teachers and parents can breathe easier now that this year’s ISTEP test will be significantly shortened. I commend the Indiana General Assembly for their unanimous support of this measure, and applaud the efforts of House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tempore David Long in moving this legislation in time to impact this year’s ISTEP test. I also am grateful for the collaboration between our administration, the Superintendent and the Department of Education to achieve this reform. Our success in shortening the ISTEP test should reassure Hoosiers that we can accomplish much for our kids, teachers, and schools when we work together.”

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