ISTEP test scores won't lead to penalties for teachers and schools under new Indiana law

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Mike Pence has signed two bills into law 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 morning, checking off a major priority for Pence and his fellow Republicans in the Legislature. Pence signed both measures Thursday afternoon.

One spares teachers from having merit pay docked due to this year’s low test scores, which plunged because of difficult new standards. The other prevents a drop in school A-F letter grades for the same reason.

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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