Stand for Children Indiana’s Executive Director Justin Ohlemiller issued a statement today on the release of ISTEP+ scores and Superintendent Glenda Ritz’s call for assessment reform:
“It is no surprise that ISTEP scores are down. This assessment is aligned to our new standards and marks the first time our state is truly measuring college and career readiness.
“In the past, the system was dishonest with parents and students about how prepared they really were for life after high school graduation. Under the old ISTEP, students were being told they were prepared for success on college campuses, only to be hit with a harsh truth their freshman year. That was proven by the high remediation rates in our state.
“The most recent statistics show that in 2013, 23 percent of all Indiana public college students needed remediation. An alarming 67 percent of those graduating from high school with a general Indiana diploma needed remediation to catch up to meet their college standards. Tragically, we know that when students have to take extra courses and face additional costs for remediation, the drop-out rate increases dramatically.
“It’s disappointing that Superintendent Ritz wants to return to a system that would not give families an honest read on how their students are truly doing in preparing for life after high school.
“In its first year implementing its new standards, Kentucky’s statewide proficiency rate dropped drastically, by as much as thirty percentage points in some grades and subjects when compared with the previous state test. Similarly in Tennessee, when students took their revised test for the first time in 2010, scores plummeted. Educators in both states persevered and over the next few years, proficiency rates dramatically increased—proving that students can meet high expectations.
“We’re confident that Hoosier students can reach and excel far past the new, higher bar being set by our new standards and assessment. Now is not the time to lower that bar. That only hurts students when it comes time to enter college or compete for jobs.”