The Indiana Department of Education released the spring 2019 Indiana Learning Evaluation and Readiness Network results Sept. 4. ILEARN was developed with input from over 1,200 educators and assesses the same Indiana academic standards as ISTEP+, but with a redefined focus on rigorous college-and-career readiness (CCR).

When compared to past ISTEP+ scores, ILEARN indicated lower achievement levels across the state in both English/language arts and mathematics. While performance dips to some degree were expected, the combination of the rigors associated with this newly-aligned CCR assessment, national normative data and the defined established performance cuts all contributed to the lower performance levels. With the negative impact assessment results have on educators, schools, districts and communities, IDOE will advocate for responsive legislative action.

“While the 2019 ILEARN results do not provide a true reflection of the performance of Indiana’s schools, they do once again show us the importance of developing a modernized state legislated accountability system that is fair, accurate and transparent,” said Dr. Jennifer McCormick, state superintendent of public instruction. “With this in mind, the department will propose the following legislative actions: place a ‘hold harmless’ year on 2018-19 letter grades, pause intervention timelines for all schools and provide the State Board of Education with emergency rulemaking authority to review and re-establish the state accountability system. The success and well-being of our students, educators and schools are dependent upon these actions.”

Mandated during the 2017 legislative session, ILEARN was created to serve as a replacement for ISTEP+. ILEARN assesses CCR content standards in English/language arts and mathematics in grades 3-8, science in grades 4 and 6, high school biology, social studies in grade 5 and U.S. government in high school. The state’s new assessment went through several significant shifts, including the development of content priorities defined with the assistance of Indiana educators; computer-adaptive functionality; integration of new accessibility features, such as translated glossaries and a Spanish translation option; and reporting aligned to rigorous CCR indicators as early as grade 3.

Indiana policy recommendations emphasized a shift in rigorous expectations to reflect meaningful data and the identification of support for future student success. In addition, assessment and adaptability features allow ILEARN to better measure each student’s CCR level of mastery, while identifying where additional instruction may be necessary. ILEARN achievement levels include Below Proficiency, Approaching Proficiency, At Proficiency and Above Proficiency.

To view the spring 2019 ILEARN results, please visit www.doe.in.gov/accountability/find-school-and-corporation-data-reports.

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