Indiana Department of Education

The state awarded a three-year, $43.4 million contract to a nonprofit assessment and research company Monday to design the replacement of the ISTEP exam.

The Indiana Department of Education announced the Washington, D.C.-based company was chosen among proposals from five vendors.

The company will create the new I-LEARN exam for students in grades three through eight and a new version of the third-grade reading test called I-Read.

The new tests will be given during the 2018-2019 school year.

Results from the 2017 ISTEP exam remain nearly unchanged compared to last year after an overhaul of the standardized test caused pass rates to plummet two years ago.

Only about half of Hoosier students in grades three through eight passed both parts of the required math and English assessment. The state Department of Education released results today.

For the Spring 2017 test, 51.5 percent of students passed both parts. That’s a fraction of a percent less from the previous year.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

Kids are returning to school this month, and according to the National Summer Learning Association, about nine out of ten teachers will spend as much as three weeks on review because of summer learning loss. That’s something school districts and libraries continually try to fight with academic programs.

Indiana To Change How It Calculates Graduation Rates

Jul 7, 2017

Indiana’s general diploma will no longer be considered when calculating school and district graduation rates, state officials announced Friday.

In a memo to principals and superintendents, the state said it will also no longer count students who earn general diplomas in the state’s A-F rating system.

How Indiana Gives School A-F Grades Is Changing

Jul 3, 2017

The state will now consider chronic absenteeism and how non-native speakers are learning English when calculating school A-F grades.

These two changes come as part of the Department of Education’s draft plan for how the state will comply with the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaces the old No Child Left Behind law.

More than 700 Indiana students received a certificate of multilingual proficiency from the state, meaning the students are proficient in two languages.

The Department of Education awarded this certificate, and this is the first cohort of students receiving the recognition.

Food Finders / Facebook

Nearly a fifth of Tippecanoe County youths have spotty access to food, so a local food bank hopes to bring nutrition where it’s needed most with a series of so-called “pop-up sites.”

Food Finders Chief Operating Officer Kier Crites Scherger says when children are out of school, food is even more scarce for low-income families.

Courtesy Indiana Senate Republicans

Today on WBAA's Wake-Up Call, we talk to State Senator Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) about her six-year effort to convince Indiana lawmakers to mandate cursive writing be taught in Hoosier schools.

This year, the General Assembly didn't approve Leising's long-sought after mandate.

But it did support her compromise plan requiring the Indiana Department of Education to ask teachers, school administrators and school board members whether they want mandatory instruction of cursive writing.

The federal Every Student Succeeds Act mandates how states’ hold their schools accountable.

This fall the Indiana Department of Education will submit its plan as required by the law for how to will improve graduation rates, increase English-language proficiency and offer help to the lowest-performing schools – among many other issues.

Senate Panel Moves Forward ISTEP Replacement Bill

Mar 29, 2017

A bill to overhaul Indiana’s standardized testing system passed out of a Senate committee Wednesday, but some lawmakers say the legislation does little to clear up concerns with over testing.

House Bill 1003 sets up guidelines for a new state test that will replace the ISTEP+ and graduation requirement exams by 2019.

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