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Governor approves student testing 'hold harmless' for Indiana schools, teachers
2020 Indiana General Assembly

Governor approves student testing 'hold harmless' for Indiana schools, teachers

Eric Holcomb

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb gives a thumbs-up to the crowd after delivering his State of the State address to the General Assembly on Jan. 14, 2020.

Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed a new state law that retroactively absolves Indiana schools and teachers from accountability consequences tied to last year's poor student performance on the new ILEARN standardized exam.

In a statement issued Wednesday, the Republican chief executive thanked legislators for promptly advancing Senate Enrolled Act 2 to his desk.

"This legislation ensures that Indiana's students, teachers and schools have the time they need to successfully adjust to the new ILEARN," Holcomb said.

Hard work ahead for Hoosier lawmakers in second half of annual legislative session

"I am grateful that the General Assembly unanimously supported my call to take action, allowing educators to remain focused on helping Hoosier students succeed."

Under the law, schools will be assigned the A-F letter grade they received during the 2017-18 school year for both their 2018-19 and 2019-20 accountability rating, unless the school otherwise earned a better grade.

Testing 'hold harmless' for Indiana schools and teachers headed to governor

Without the "hold harmless," more than half the schools in the state would have received a D or F rating — in an election year — and numerous educators would have been ineligible for performance pay awards that partially are linked to student test results.

Indiana Department of Education records show just 37% of Hoosier students earned passing scores on both the ILEARN math and English exams during the 2018-19 school year, compared to the combined 51% pass rate on the final ISTEP test.

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