States taking a closer look at standardized tests given to students

In response to growing concerns about the standardized tests that students must take, legislative proposals have been introduced this year in a handful of Midwestern states.


In February, The Indianapolis Star reports, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill (SB 62) to shorten the ISTEP test. Given to third- to eighth-graders, the ISTEP measures student learning in core subject areas. The new law gives the state Department of Education the legal authority to reduce the test by three hours and five minutes. Without any changes, testing times were scheduled to increase from six to 12 hours.
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has proposed eliminating one-third of the 21 standardized tests now given to students in his state. He previously had formed a Testing Reduction Advisory Group, which recommended that the state stop administering four assessments.

In Illinois and Ohio, opposition to the PARCC exam has intensified. PARCC assesses college and career readiness and is aligned with Common Core standards. New opt-out legislation for parents has been introduced in Illinois (HB 306), and the Ohio Senate has formed an advisory committee of education experts to make recommendations on state-required assessments.

Stateline Midwest - March 20151.65 MB