“Last year, Hoosier students took the ILEARN exam for the first time. Upon the release of the results, it became clear that there were various issues with the testing process – including the fact that students with Individualized Education Plans (IEP) were denied access to text-to-speech technology for the reading comprehension section of the test.

“I was proud to vote in favor of Senate Bill 2 today because these issues were not the fault of teachers, students or our schools and they should not suffer the consequences of a test that was poorly administered by the Indiana Department of Education.

“My efforts on improving this testing process will not stop here – I will continue to work toward solving the issues that contributed to last year’s poor ILEARN results. To that end, this session I authored Senate Bill 346, which would require the Indiana Department of Education to provide the accommodations specified in each student’s IEP when they take standardized tests.

“I also authored Senate Bill 396, which would create an Education Value-Added Assessment System in order to analyze multiple data points and provide growth measures for students, even though testing transitions like we experienced as Indiana switched from ISTEP to ILEARN.

“Standardized tests should provide all Hoosier students with the opportunity to showcase their abilities, focus on growth, and help their parents and teachers see where they might need extra guidance and support, and I will continue to author and support bills like these in order to make that happen.”