Holding Schools Harmless for ILEARN Results

Holding Schools Harmless for ILEARN Results

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

When the new ILEARN test results were released last fall, legislative leaders promised to expedite a hold harmless bill during the 2020 session so schools wouldn’t be left in limbo. This week, Senate Republicans kept that promise by passing Senate Bill 2, which would hold K-12 schools harmless for the 2019 and 2020 ILEARN test scores.

In 2018, Indiana transitioned its statewide test from ISTEP to ILEARN. This new test was developed by a group of educators under the direction of the Indiana Department of Education (DOE). They decided the passing score should be set higher than that of ISTEP. This higher standard resulted in fewer passing grades, which, in turn, resulted in a negative effect on the assessment of our state’s schools and teachers.

Senate Republicans know our teachers are working hard to give our kids a great education, and our caucus was happy to support SB 2 when it came before the Senate this week and passed unanimously.

Although schools can decide to administer additional assessments if they choose, Indiana only requires two tests – ILEARN and IREAD. ILEARN, which fulfills our federal testing requirement in order to receive federal funding, measures student performance in grades 3 through 8, and once in high school. IREAD measures whether students have achieved basic reading skills by the end of third grade.

To gain a better understanding of your local schools’ academic performance, visit DOE’s Compass portal. There, you can search by specific school corporation and find data on a school’s enrollment, attendance, student performance, accountability and personnel.

To learn more about a specific school corporation’s financial information, you can also view the School Corporation Fiscal Indicators report. This resource provides important fiscal data such as a school corporation’s fund balances and annual deficit and surplus.