ISTEP passing rate sees huge drop under pass-fail marks approved by State Board of Education

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The percentage of students passing Indiana’s standardized exam will dramatically decline under pass-fail marks approved by the State Board of Education.

The board voted Wednesday to approve benchmarks that will see about 65 percent of students pass the language arts section, with about 59 percent passing the math section. More than 80 percent of students passed each part of the exam in 2014.

State schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz has warned for months that more students would fail last spring’s ISTEP exam because it used new state standards that are more difficult.

It remains unclear whether student performance on the test will used to determine schools rankings and teacher pay raises. Gov. Mike Pence shifted his stance Tuesday, saying teachers shouldn’t be penalized the first year of the new standards.

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