Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb and Republican legislative leaders calling on Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick to join them in holding schools harmless based on this year’s anticipated ILEARN test results.

The ILEARN results, which are slated to be released next week, will show that Indiana students did not perform as well as they did on the previous ISTEP+ test that it replaced.

In a statement today, Governor Eric Holcomb said, “Since this is the first year of the ILEARN assessment, I will ask Superintendent McCormick to support my request that the General Assembly take action to hold schools harmless so the test scores do not have an adverse impact on teacher evaluations and schools’ letter grades for the 2018-19 school year.”  This action will ease the transition to ILEARN, which is a student assessment that allows Indiana to comply with federal ESSA requirements.

 Both House Speaker Brian Bosma as well as Senate President Pro Tem Rod Bray, both agreed with the Governor’s assessment.

“A strong accountability system is important for our students and schools, but we must be sure that the system is fair,” Bray noted.  “I believe in our teachers and schools and know they are working hard to benefit our kids. As such, I’m in favor of delaying the impact of the ILEARN scores for a year as schools and teachers continue to adjust to this new exam.”

Bosma said, “As the state recently transitioned from ISTEP to ILEARN, we understood scores would be lower since students and schools needed time to adjust to the new exam. I agree with Governor Holcomb’s call to hold harmless our hard-working teachers and schools during this critical transition year. We will work closely with our House and Senate colleagues, and the governor to continue supporting Hoosier students, teachers and schools.”

McCormick’s office says it will go into more detail next week regarding the test scores.  “The combination of the rigors associated with this newly aligned college and career readiness assessment, national normative data, and the defined established performance cuts all contributed to the lower performance levels. While frustrating, performance dips at some level were expected, as previously experienced in 2014-2015 with the onset of the then newly implemented ISTEP+,” she said.   “ILEARN scores will be made public at the September 4 State Board of Education meeting. During a scheduled August 28 press conference, I will be sharing more detailed embargoed information and specific actions I have already requested.”