If you are the parent of a third through eighth grader, your child likely took the ILEARN test this spring. Touted as a new way to gauge student learning, ILEARN was ultimately a disaster on many levels.

Students were tested on materials above their grade level, materials far too in-depth for the intended age level. Students spent hours on each test, cutting into actual, meaningful learning time. Unlike ISTEP, parents were not given a portal to view their child’s test score. In fact, parents were expected to request a rescore before pass/failure scores were even calculated at the state level! It comes as no surprise to anyone in education that scores dropped dramatically across the state, with many state averages falling below 50%.

Are you OK with the state of Indiana saying that more than 50% of Hoosier children are failures? I’m not. Furthermore, these tests are tied directly into teacher compensation and school letter grades. Are you OK with the state adversely impacting your schools and teachers on a flawed test? I’m not. Accountability requirements should be paused until the test and curriculum can be adjusted accordingly.

Contact your legislators and let them know that you are not OK with our children and our teachers being judged by one test, especially when there is no valid research showing that standardized tests improve student learning. Let them know that you are tired of the continued attacks on public education in our state. Let them know that you believe that our students and teachers are much more than a test score.

Erin Charpentier, Hebron