Indiana Secretary of Education Dr. Katie Jenner Tuesday thanked Indiana’s federal education partners, following the release of guidance from the U.S. Department of Education on required spring assessments.
“Hoosier educators have worked relentlessly over the last year to continue providing quality instruction for all students despite the challenges resulting from the pandemic,” said Jenner. “It is more important now than ever that we capture a snapshot of student learning and progress to fully understand the impact of COVID-19, address educational inequities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic, and inform parents on how their children are doing. We are thankful for our partners at the U.S. Department of Education for their guidance on administering federally-required assessments this spring.”
Consistent with federal guidance, Indiana is working to help schools administer these assessments in a manner that prioritizes safety. This includes extending the window for federally-required assessments for English language proficiency, and alerting schools last week that Indiana would also extend the ISTEP+ retest window.
While assessment data is one important step in identifying and addressing students’ learning loss, it’s important that schools and students aren’t penalized. Indiana has already requested a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education for calculating accountability determinations this year, and we’re working with state legislators to ensure schools are held harmless for the test results by issuing a null grade for the current school year.
“We look forward to continuing to work to improve outcomes for Hoosier students,” said Jenner.