ISTEP Tests To Move To Spring

Change Caps Years Of Debate Over Testing Time

Gov. Mitch Daniels on Friday unveiled a timetable for moving the ISTEP test from the fall to the spring.

Daniels said the test will be given in the fall one more time in 2008, then switch to spring in 2009.

The governor has long advocated the move, saying it will help students by providing more immediate feedback on where they need help.

Daniels said the Board of Education has also negotiated a new contract with the test's producers that will lower the cost by more than $2 million a year.

"This achievement by the Board of Education will result in parents and educators having the information on children's progress before school ends, about seven months earlier than has been the pattern," Daniels said. "This will be done at a savings to taxpayers."

Daniels said he believes the change will also result in school starting closer to Labor Day, since there will not be a need to cram for a September ISTEP test.

Spring exam supporters said it makes sense to test students after a full year of learning. Opponents said fall tests help with remediation throughout the school year.

"This marks the first step from a standalone test toward a true assessment system that measures student progress throughout the school year," said Dr. Suellen Reed, superintendent of public instruction.

The change ends several years of debate over the issue. Opponents of moving the test had argued that it would cost too much money to do so.

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