Glenda Ritz calls for an end to ISTEP

(WISH Photo/Ron Nakasone)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) –¬†State School Superintendent Glenda Ritz has been at odds with the governor and with Republican super majorities in the General Assembly ever since she took office following the 2012 election.

Suddenly she finds herself in agreement on a key issue and she took some time today to point that out.

Ritz, a Democrat, called a news conference Monday to spell out her legislative agenda.

It contains just three items and two of them are related to the ISTEP test.

The top priority is the bill that is already moving in the General Assembly. It calls for a a pause in accountability measures tied to ISTEP.

Under it, ISTEP will have no bearing on school grades or teacher raises for one year.

Ritz also called for creating a new test. She said that ISTEP doesn’t help teachers.

“They know their subject matter and they know their students,” she said. “They can tell you who’s not going to pass that ISTEP before they ever hand it out. It’s a pass/fail exam. It doesn’t inform instruction.”

Ritz was careful to say that she’s been calling for a time out on ISTEP for a year and a half. Republicans have come around to her position in just the last couple of weeks.

The third item on her agenda calls for taking steps to address a teacher shortage in Indiana. She’s waiting for recommendations from a commission she appointed. Those recommendations are expected later this week.

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