(STATEHOUSE) Feb. 24, 2005 - A bill authored by State Representative Steve Heim (R-Culver) to move Indiana’s ISTEP+ student assessment from the fall semester to the spring semester was passed by the House Ways and Means Committee today by a 19 to 5 vote.
House Bill 1134 was amended in committee to include provisions for a pilot program for spring testing at the end of the 2005-2006 school year. After successful completion of the pilot program, a permanent spring test will be instituted each year thereafter.
Under current law, students in grades 3 through 10 are tested each fall on the information they learned the previous school year. Heim said the move to spring testing will provide a more accurate assessment of student and school performance.
“Passage of House Bill 1134 marks a major advancement in education policy in Indiana. Now teachers will be able to adequately assess their students’ academic abilities and address any areas that need improvement before the students advance to the next grade,” said Rep. Heim.
The amended bill also requires the Indiana Department of Education to develop a ten year diagnostic plan to test students’ achievement. The plan must include:
- A diagnostic assessment tool to test language arts, math, science and social studies for grades kindergarten through 8 that can support online assessments throughout the year;
- An annual online academic assessment for students in grades 3 through 8 to ensure students are performing at appropriate grade levels;
- A new graduate exam for students expected to graduate from high school beginning in the year 2011 that demonstrates possession of the skills necessary to succeed in postsecondary education, workplace education, and lifelong learning;
- And the formation of an online question bank and other tools for diagnostic assessment to be used by teachers throughout the year to assess students’ academic performance.
“House Bill 1134 gives teachers a number of tools to evaluate student academic progress throughout the school year and will allow teachers to tailor lesson plans to help improve a student’s academic performance,” said Rep. Heim.
The bill now moves to the full House for consideration.