Ed­u­ca­tors worry re­vamped ISTEP+ test will take too long

Post-Tribune - - Post-Tribune Local -

CRAW­FORDSVILLE — Some In­di­ana ed­u­ca­tors say they’re con­cerned that young stu­dents won’t have the stamina to com­plete the more rig­or­ous tests be­ing rolled out this spring to mea­sure stu­dent achieve­ment.

Their alarm stems from testing sched­ules for a re­vamped ISTEP+ test, In­di­ana’s stan­dard­ized test for grades 3 through 8. The exam will be ad­min­is­tered to about 450,000 stu­dents to as­sess their mas­tery of new math and English bench­marks.

Ed­u­ca­tors say they were told last year that the new test would be more rig­or­ous. But some say they weren’t pre­pared for the new as­sess­ments to take three times as long as the for­mer test.

The Jour­nal Re­view re­ported that testing sched­ules dis­trib­uted by the state an­tic­i­pate it will take third-grade stu­dents nine hours and 25 min­utes to com­plete the test. Fourth-graders can ex­pect 10 hours and 40 min­utes of testing, while fifth-graders will face 10 hours and 30 min­utes of testing, the news­pa­per re­ported.

Pre­vi­ously, third-grade stu­dents spent two hours and 30 min­utes on the test.

Testing is ad­min­is­tered over mul­ti­ple days.

“I was in shock,” Pleas­ant Hill El­e­men­tary Prin­ci­pal Robin Mills said. “I have great con­cern over the new testing sched­ule. The D.O.E. (Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion) is go­ing to have 8-year-olds spend nearly 11 hours tak­ing a more dif­fi­cult test. We were pre­pared for the more rig­or­ous tests, but we had no idea un­til Mon­day that we should be pre­par­ing our stu­dents’ stamina for this type of testing.”

Hoover El­e­men­tary Prin­ci­pal Kim Nixon said she is con­cerned about how stu­dents with spe­cial needs who re­quire more time for the tests will fare.

Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion spokesman Daniel Alt­man told The As­so­ci­ated Press on Fri­day that the new ISTEP+ test adds more ques­tions to the ap­plied skills sec­tion to meet the new stan­dards. The open-ended ques­tions can take more time to an­swer, he said.

He said the depart­ment con­ducted tests to get an idea of how long it should take stu­dents to com­plete the exam.

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