Indiana Alters State Tests

K-12 Testing

Proposals for replacing the all-multiple-choice Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress (ISTEP) with exams that would include essays and short answer items as well as multiple-choice were defeated in the Republican-dominated state Senate.


Now the ISTEP will remain, but with two important changes. First, students in grades 2, 4 and 8 will not have to take the test; only those in grades 3, 6 and 10 will take it. Second, ISTEP will now include an essay question.


A major issue raised by opponents of the proposed new tests was the cost of developing a new exam, training teachers and providing remediation to students. The new ISTEP will cost one-quarter of the amount proposed for the new exam. Opponents also argued that the essay and short-answer parts of the exams would be subjectively scored.