Dad pulls son out of ISTEP testing

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AUBURN, Ind. (WANE) – A father in DeKalb County says he’s making his son stay home until the testing is over. He told NewsChannel 15 ISTEP is a flawed high stakes test that has too much money attached to it.  He feels his son is being taught how to take the test rather than getting a well-rounded education.  So, he says it’s time to speak out.

“Do you want your kids to be look at as a dollar figure or do you want them to be looked at as their own person, as an individual,” parent Jon Hillabrand said.

There’s no doubt Jon Hillabrand’s kids are his life. When he learned just how much money and stress is attached to the ISTEP, he opted his son out of it this year.

“I am here for one purpose and one purpose only. That is to help them get to be successful, and any of these standardized tests does not help it along.”

Hillabrand says because of the test, his son and other kids across the state aren’t getting a well-rounded education. Instead he says about 30 to 40 percent of class time is spent preparing for the ISTEP.

We reached out to DeKalb County Central United School District Superintendent, Dr. Sherry Grate, to get her opinion.

“We are doing our best to provide that most well-rounded education. I think that we do feel that the high stakes testing is counterproductive to what we really are trying to accomplish with our mission,” Dr. Grate said.

Hillabrand says he would rather see the state let each individual district determine the best way to assess their kids.

“I don’t know why we can’t just suspend this for a year and allow each superintendent of every school to submit something and see if it’s ok for their district,” Hillabrand said.

Parents do have the ability to opt their child out of the ISTEP test. The process includes talking with administrators and submitting paperwork to the state.

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