ISTEP was created by the Indiana General Assembly in 1987 and was administered
for the first time in 1988. In its original form, ISTEP consisted of a
multiple-choice component administered in March and a writing component
administered in December. ISTEP originally was given in Grades 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9,
and 11. The General Assembly subsequently eliminated the writing portion of the
test and testing in Grades 1 and 11. Minor changes were made in test forms
between 1987 and 1995, but the general structure and content of ISTEP did not
change significantly prior to passage of new legislation in 1995.
The 1995 law that changed ISTEP to ISTEP+ required a norm-referenced test (NRT)
to allow comparisons of Indiana student achievement with national norms as well
as a criterion-referenced component. The criterion-referenced component included
a basic skills assessment with multiple choice questions and an applied skills
assessment containing short answer or essay questions along with the solving of
arithmetic or mathematical problems.
The law required that ISTEP+ must provide criterion-referenced scores based on
questions that measure student achievement relative to the academic standards in
mathematics and language arts established by the State Board of Education. The
criterion-referenced component has always been by far the most important part of
ISTEP+. Today, it is the only component.
The State Board established in 1995 that, beginning with the 1996-97 school
year, ISTEP+ would be administered to Grades 3, 6, 8, and 10 in the fall rather
than in the spring. The board enacted this change to enable schools to implement
more flexible instructional approaches and programs to remediate students during
the school year in which ISTEP+ is administered as well as in the summer.
In November 2000, the State Board adopted the Indiana Academic Standards that
represent learning outcomes deemed necessary for successful performances in
school, at work, and in the community. In 2002, the Grades 3, 6, and 8 ISTEP+
tests were modified to reflect the new standards in language arts and math. The
standards were incorporated into new Grade 4, 5, 7, and 9 tests in fall 2003 and
the Grade 5 science test was added. In fall 2004, the Grade 10 GQE was revised
to also reflect the new standards. A 7th grade science test was first given in
the fall of 2005. The ISTEP+ window begins two weeks after Labor Day.
Information on the DOE Website (Site
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View ISTEP scores for HSE schools (choose the specific school from the pull down