Pence withdraws Indiana from new multi-state test, commits to ISTEP+

2013-07-29T18:00:00Z 2013-07-29T19:12:06Z Pence withdraws Indiana from new multi-state test, commits to ISTEP+By Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com

INDIANAPOLIS | Indiana will continue designing and managing the standardized tests administered to Hoosier students after Republican Gov. Mike Pence filed notice Monday that the state intends to withdraw from a multi-state testing consortium.

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, also known as PARCC, is one of two state-led groups across the country working to develop elementary and high school English and math assessments that align with Common Core standards.

PARCC's tests, which are set to be first administered during the 2014-15 school year, cost less than Indiana's current ISTEP+ exams and are intended to better track each student's preparations toward college or a career.

Indiana joined PARCC in spring 2010 under Republican Tony Bennett, the former state superintendent for public instruction. The State Board of Education, whose members were appointed by Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels, adopted Common Core as the state educational standards in August 2010.

However, the Republican-controlled General Assembly in April approved legislation "pausing" the state's Common Core implementation and barring further participation in groups like PARCC.

Pence, who signed that measure into law, said Indiana must never cede control of its schools to any outside group.

"(I) firmly believe it is the right and responsibility of the state to make independent, fiscally responsible decisions regarding standards and assessments for the good of all the people of Indiana," Pence said.

State Superintendent Glenda Ritz, a Democrat, is expected to concur with Pence's decision to quit PARCC. Indiana education officials have skipped PARCC's quarterly meetings since Ritz took office in January.

House Enrolled Act 1427 requires Hoosier schools use the ISTEP+ exam through at least the 2014-15 school year. 

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