House education committee chair to meet with teachers to discuss ‘ILEARN’

Tindley Renaissance Academy. (WISH Photo/Joe Melillo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – One lawmaker is getting an inside look at how local schools operate on Wednesday. He says after his visit, he plans to talk to teachers, students and parents about how they can improve state testing.

Representative Bob Behning says its research for the possible new state testing formula is called “ILEARN”.

The house education committee chair is visiting kindergarten, second and fourth grade classrooms Wednesday at Tindley Renaissance Academy to just observe. Then right after the visit, he will talk to teachers, students and parents in a round table fielding questions on the new proposed state test and House Bill 1003.

The state testing system in place right now, ISTEP has been the center of some controversy over the past few years. Educators have come out against ISTEP saying the testing is disruptive to the learning process.

The ILEARN bill would propose a change. It would make testing only once a year, at the end of the year. ILEARN was developed with input from Indiana’s educators including Teach Plus Teachers as part of the ISTEP commission.

Representative Behning says Wednesday’s discussion could have an impact on the bill.

“I don’t think we have everything right,” said Behning . “We have been working with Superintendent McCormick; she has some different ideas she wants to work with. I think we have to really focus on keeping it as short as possible. I mean there’s no question we don’t want to inundate our kids with assessments. We really want to make education a learning experience and not just teaching to a test but teaching for success and making sure their competent and mastery of the subject.”

During Wednesday’s discussion, students will also have an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about House Bill 1003. Behing says teachers have come out to tell him they are excited about both the possibility of grading ILearn tests and having input on the questions that will go on the test.

The round table is set for 9:30 a.m.

House Bill 1003 passed out of the House of Representatives and is currently being considered by the Senate.

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