Board of Education extends spring ISTEP/IMAST testing windows

File Photo. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)
File Photo. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WANE)  The Indiana State Board of Education tackled several key issues at Wednesday’s meeting, including extending the testing windows for ISTEP/IMAST, adopting new social studies standards, and debating teacher licensing requirements.

Following requests from multiple school corporations, the board extended the testing windows for the spring multiple-choice ISTEP and IMAST tests. The spring ISTEP testing window is now April 28-May 13 and the IMAST period from April 28-May 9. The change is anticipated to provide flexibility for school districts that lost instructional days due to severe winter weather.

Under the regular six-year cycle of standards review, social studies standards were up for adoption, following a process which began last summer and involved more than 175 Hoosier social studies teachers. The resulting drafts were not substantially different from the 2007 version.

Board member Cari Whicker told the group that after receiving several constituent emails, she sat down to compare the previous standards, marking the existing standards in green marker and the new words in orange.  She said the standards were substantially similar, finding only approximately 25 word changes in the elementary/middle school grades.

“I taught social studies for 14 years, and my middle school standards differed only by a few words,” Whicker said. “The high school version changed in that examples that were previously included in the standards text are now listed in a separate reference sheet. They’re still in here, but now in the reference documents, which also offers links to papers and resources that really help me as a middle school teacher.”

The SBOE also considered feedback to the proposed rule-making for teacher licensure, known as REPA III, with a variety of opinions across all issues for both teacher and administrator licenses. The current rules were adopted in 2010 and the proposed revisions drew more than 1000 online and public hearing comments. Staff will reflect the comments in a new draft to the SBOE likely in April.

The SBOE’s next meeting will be April 9, with live streaming and the agenda to be posted at http://www.in.gov/sboe/.

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