Indiana districts can decide to provide the state’s third-grade literacy examination to fourth-graders this fall after many college students missed the high-stakes assessments when the coronavirus closed college buildings.
The State Board of Education voted 9-1 Wednesday to permit faculties to manage the make-up IREAD3 regardless that State Superintendent Jennifer McCormick — who voted towards the measure — raised considerations that the take a look at wasn’t created for use to measure progress.
Administrators can use the additional IREAD examination to evaluate the studying abilities of fourth-graders early within the college yr, board members stated, to assist college students catch up after months with out in-person instruction. Typically, third graders who don’t go the take a look at after not less than two makes an attempt are held again, however the fall take a look at received’t have any ramifications.
Nationwide, state leaders are scrambling to determine easy methods to shortly assess college students after an unprecedented hole yr in testing knowledge, and easy methods to navigate federal standardized testing necessities as faculties reopen.
“I certainly appreciate the fact that it’s optional,” stated Board Chairman B.J. Watts. “Without a doubt, we understand that there’s been educational loss over the last several months. I think this gives schools a tool.”
The transfer might gradual McCormick’s push to scrap the test entirely, which was bolstered by the one-year cancellation. She has known as for Indiana to make use of its extra basic standardized take a look at, ILEARN, to evaluate studying capability, though the state board has but to think about the concept.
Schools already produce other instruments for assessing college students, McCormick stated earlier than the vote, and IREAD wasn’t constructed to be “diagnostic.” The state spends “a lot of money” on testing, she stated.
IREAD prices the state $300,000 a yr, in accordance with the Indiana Department of Education. The division continues to be negotiating how a lot it is going to pay for the cancelled spring 2020 examination, stated spokesman Adam Baker.
State leaders haven’t mentioned attempting to make up for the missed yr of ILEARN in grades three to eight after the federal testing requirement was lifted for one yr. High schoolers who didn’t end the 10th grade ISTEP examination earlier than it was cancelled will likely be required to make up the examination to graduate.