Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Breaking News

April 15, 2012

Online assessment in the works to replace ISTEP

GOSHEN — Students in courses such as science and history will spend less time listening to lectures and taking multiple-choice exams and more time debating concepts and taking essay-based tests in order to meet new state standards and to pass the test that’s coming with them.

In other words, it no longer will be enough to know when Christopher Columbus sailed to America. Now students need to know why he took the trip and its overall impact. And they need to be able to write about it clearly.

The change is a result of new state education standards and a new statewide exam.

For years, Indiana has used ISTEP to see how well students understand math and English lessons and whether they meet state standards.

Students read stories and answer questions about characters and the author’s main idea and are asked to reorganize prewritten paragraphs so they make better sense.

To test math skills, students are given word problems and have to decide which of the many details given are needed to answer the question.

Indiana has been using the same academic standards since 2000. But those standards, along with Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress exam, are going away.

Students still will be assessed in math, English, social studies and science. But now they will take the test online, might be shown a video clip that’s paired with an online article on the same topic. Then students will write an essay that details the similarities and differences between the clip and the article and creates a conclusion from the information provided.

Other essays will involve students using a Google-like search engine to research a topic on the Internet and write a response about what they found.

The test, which is being written, is a part of a new set of academic standards Indiana and more than 40 other states are using. The standards require students not only to know subjects, dates, addition and subtraction but also how to apply what they’ve learned in different areas, such as folding what they’ve learned in English into science.

Indiana is one of 24 states that are part of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College Careers, and the states are working together to create the new assessment, which all of their students will use.

Indiana students now take ISTEP in grades 3-8 and take end-of-course assessments at the end of algebra I and English 10 classes.

But in three years, all third- through 11th-graders will take the new exam, which will replace ISTEP and the assessments, Indiana Department of Education chief assessment officer Wes Bruce said.

To make sure students are prepared, teachers are starting to use the new standards in their classrooms. Kindergarten classes already use the new standards, and upper grades will start using them over the next two years.

Ideally the new standards and test will prepare students for college as well as their careers, Greenwood Community Schools director of secondary education Rick Ahlgrim said.“(Teachers) are going to have to help students become as proficient in the acquisition of knowledge, the processing of knowledge and then the dissemination or demonstration of knowledge as the teacher is. This is getting kids college- and career-ready,” he said.

The new exam won’t test students on a greater number of topics. In fact, the number of standards required by common core is fewer than Indiana’s current standards. Instead, the test will ask students to show they understand more than dates and formulas but can show how different lessons and subjects relate.

For math, that might involve solving an algebra problem and then using the answer to help solve a multi-step geometry problem, Bruce said.

The computerized test also will give students more interactive ways to solve problems. A science question could display a model of the human body and ask students to draw arrows to different bones or organs. And English portion of the test could have students drag and group different kinds of words together, Bruce said.

Teachers already use similar technology-based lessons with students, and the new computerized test will ensure what students are tested on is closer to what they’re used to seeing and doing in class, Bruce said.

The new test also will help juniors who have plans to go to college after graduation.

The PARCC group is working with public college in several states, including Indiana, which will accept the test in place of the placement exam they typically give incoming freshman. That means colleges and prospective students would know earlier what, if any additional help a student needs before beginning college classes full time, Bruce said.

The new test will be broken into two parts and given about midway through the spring, similar to the way ISTEP is now.

Next year a small group of students throughout the state will take a practice test, and in 2014 schools in Indiana can chose to take an updated practice test. Everyone, in Indiana and the other 23 states, will take the test in 2015.

Text Only
Breaking News
  • Police & Rescue News LaGrange County police advise avoiding Ind. 5 and C.R. 400 South

    HONEYVILLE -- LaGrange County police are cautioning motorists to stay away from the intersection of Ind. 5 and C.R. 400 South due to a traffic accident.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police & Rescue News Person injured in fall at Goshen business

    Someone has been injured in a fall at Hoosier Interior Doors along Goshen’s East Lincoln Avenue.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Press Release 04-23-2014 J.jpg SLIDESHOW: Police need help ID'ing suspects The Goshen Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in identifying suspects wanted for questioning in relation to a number of thefts from retail stores throughout Indiana. The four individuals have stolen over $25,000 worth of merchandise, according to law enforcement. The men are believed to be African-American and have been seen fleeing in a white Dodge Ram or another white pickup truck with a white cap which may have Florida license plates. Anyone with information is asked to call the Goshen Police Department at 574-533-8661 or Michiana CrimeStoppers at 800-342-STOP.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michigan Prisoner Escape Michigan murderer arraigned in prison escape that led to manhunt in Elkhart, LaGrange counties

    IONIA, Mich. — A convicted murderer who broke out of a western Michigan prison in February has been arraigned on escape, carjacking and kidnapping charges.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEMA OKs aid for 19 Indiana counties hit by storm

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved disaster aid for 19 Indiana counties

    April 22, 2014

  • NWS GN140421 jobless rate Elkhart County jobless rate drops to 5.8 percent

    Elkhart County’s jobless rate dropped below 6 percent last month, according to figures released today by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development.
    The March unemployment rate for the county was estimated at 5.8 percent, compared to the February estimate of 6.2 percent and the March 2013 figure of 8.3 percent.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police & Rescue News Bristol motorcyclist dies from crash injuries

    Dale Greensides, 32, Bristol, the driver of a motorcycle involved in a crash with an automobile Sunday north of Middlebury, died today at 11:25 a.m.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police & Rescue News No injuries in Concord Township fire

    Firefighters were called to a basement fire in a Concord Township home shortly after midnight today.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police & Rescue News Bristol bank robbery suspect arrested

    A South Bend man has been arrested in connection with a bank robbery last year in Bristol.
    Zamale E. Davis, 19, 1805 Chapin St., was arrested at 7:10 a.m. Friday in South Bend by officers with the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police & Rescue News Six injured in crash northwest of Wakarusa

    A two-vehicle crash injured six people north of Wakarusa Tuesday.
    The mishap occurred around 7:20 a.m. at the intersection of C.R.s 1 and 26.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo


Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US

There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
     View Results