- Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz is clashing with Gov. Mike Pence and State Board of Education members as officials scramble to prepare updates to the state's No Child Left Behind waiver application — flagged by the U.S. Department of Education earlier this year for numerous inadequacies.
- The Department of Education is requiring Indiana to use a Common Core-aligned test if it wants to be eligible for the waivers, but a board led by Ritz and Pence suggested making minor changes to next year's ISTEP and then creating a new test for the 2015-16 school year. Ritz voted against this after she was blocked from making an amendment.
- Another discussed change was expanding ISTEP, currently taken by grades 3 through 8, so it would be taken by grades 9 and 10 in the 2015-16 school year.
While the news may be Indiana's struggles to create a new NCLB application, one tidbit that stands out is the U.S. Department of Education's requirement that Indiana use an exam aligned to the Common Core standards if it wants to be eligible for a waiver. This mandate goes against the federal government's promise that states have the option of opting into the Common Core.
In March, Indiana opted out of the Common Core, so having the state test students based on standards its curriculum is no longer aligned to is asinine and runs counter to the point of assessments: measuring understanding.