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Indiana’s testing overhaul gets Senate signoff, with one lawmaker urging colleagues to back it ‘even if you have to gag’

Alan Petersime

The Indiana Senate advanced one of this year’s biggest education debates on Tuesday: what to do with the state’s widely loathed ISTEP exam.

House Bill 1003, which proposes a plan for a system of tests that would be known as “ILEARN,” passed the full Senate 32-16. Sen. Jean Leising, a Republican from Oldenburg, said the bill needs more work, but she urged fellow senators to vote for the bill “even if you have to gag to support it.”

The bill would take effect for the 2018-19 school year, with a new test for elementary and middle school students that would be “computer-adaptive” and adjust difficulty based on students’ answers. High schools would give end-of-course exams in 10th grade English class, ninth-grade biology, and algebra I, as well as a college-entrance exam.

The bill will likely head back to lawmakers for more discussions before it can go to Gov. Eric Holcomb to be signed into law.

For background, check out these Chalkbeat stories:

You can find all of Chalkbeat’s testing coverage here.

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