Indiana ISTEP+ battles puts spotlight on testing challenges

FILE. Students experienced thousands of problems last year during ISTEP testing.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Thousands of Indiana students have begun taking the state’s standardized tests after an uproar over its increased length forced lawmakers, education leaders and Gov. Mike Pence to step in to shorten the exam.

But the recent battle over the ISTEP+ exam could serve as a lesson for states considering following Indiana’s lead and creating their own academic standards instead of using the national Common Core standards.

Experts say it’s easier for states to object to federal standards than it is to come up with better ones. And they note that states could need at least three years to develop standards and implement assessments effectively.

Indiana adopted its new standards last April, just a month after shunning Common Core. This year’s ISTEP+ is the first test reflecting the revised standards.


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