Dear Throop Parents,
Below you will find a recent letter from our State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Glenda Ritz. In her letter she highlights some of the changes that teachers and students are experiencing as the Indiana Academic Standards and assessments are changing.
October 14, 2014.
As the fall season settles on Indiana and colors begin to change, educators across the state are experiencing change in the way we teach and measure student growth and performance. The immediate change, the change that we are all experiencing with our students, is the advanced rigor of our new assessments. The 2014-15 E/LA and Math Acuity Readiness Assessments for grades 3-8 are being administered in classrooms, and the results are catching some educators by surprise.
We are beginning to move away from the “teach to the test” Philosophy, and move toward an assessment system that no longer measures how well our students can do on a test, but instead measures their college and career readiness. Educators must be prepared for a transition in the way they prepare our students for a system of assessments designed to measure how well prepared our students are for college and the workplace.
Today’s Acuity and ISTEP+ are designed to measure our students’ depth of knowledge, and where they perform in relation to Indiana’s new standards.
Changes to our system of assessments will create opportunities for our educators to embrace methods of teaching learners how to learn. Our educators will need the resources and expertise to design student-centered inquiry-based lessons that will engage students to be critical readers and thinkers.
Please ensure that your staff, teachers and parents are aware of, and utilizing, the numerous resources found on the IDOE’s website and below in the memorandum section. Furthermore, in the Assessment section of the IDOE website, one can find resources related to testing windows, 2014-15 assessment resources, examples of items found on the new ISTEP+, and contact information of IDOE staff.
Glenda Ritz, Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Our teachers are spending a tremendous amount of time “unwrapping” the new standards and implementing assessments that will allow our students the opportunity to be exposed to rigorous instruction and activities that promote a deeper level of knowledge. Our teachers and our students are experiencing much change and I encourage all of our parents to be as familiar with the standards and knowledge expectations as possible. Please take time to learn more by accessing the Indiana Department of Education’s website. The information is helpful to all stakeholders.