ISTEP reprieve bills await Mike Pence's signature after lawmaker approval

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Mike Pence is expected to sign into law two bills sparing teachers and schools from penalties for poor student performance on the 2015 ISTEP.

The measures were given final approval by the full House and Senate on Thursday, checking off a major priority for Pence and his fellow Republicans in the Legislature.

The Senate approved a House bill sparing teachers from having merit pay docked due to this year’s low test scores, which plunged because of difficult new standards. The House passed a Senate measure preventing a drop in school A-F letter grades.

The 2015 ISTEP has become a political liability for Republicans. It was rolled out on an accelerated timeline after GOP majorities and Pence withdrew Indiana from national Common Core standards in 2014.

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