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School leaders ask state to change ILEARN testing requirements

Pandemic has created unprecedented school year
Posted at 11:31 PM, Feb 05, 2021

NOBLESVILLE — Public schools across central Indiana are getting ready for annual standardized testing, ILEARN. However, many teachers and school administrators are hoping the Indiana Department of Education decides to take into account the unprecedented school year when it comes to ILEARN requirements.

Third grade Michele Justus-Hobbs said she's glad school leaders are pushing for changes to help students during this challenging time.

"A standardized test in the most non-standardized year that we've had really is a stressful thought for those kids," Justus-Hobbs said. "I was so appreciative that our superintendent and the other superintendents did that because I can't even imagine doing testing under these circumstances."

The superintendents want the Indiana Department of Education to know the ILEARN requirements could take away even more valuable instruction time. They're also worried about staffing shortages and getting it all done in the testing window.

Justus-Hobbs is also considering the challenges parents are facing because she is one. Her seventh-grader, Emma, has had to make a lot of adjustments, some of which would not be possible without the hard work of teachers.

"The teachers are doing an amazing job. She's in a hybrid model, so she's every other day virtual and every other day in the classroom. They have done tremendous under the circumstances," Justus-Hobbs said.

This new situation is working, but Justus-Hobbs believes ILEARN requirements could throw a wrench into this delicate balance that has been created. That's why she is hopeful the Indiana Department of Education will make some changes to ILEARN testing.

Justus-Hobbs is also concerned about students who may have lost a loved one to COVID-19 or are feeling the financial toll of the pandemic. She believes those are just two more reasons the Indiana Department of Education should consider changes to ILEARN requirements.

The Indiana Department of Education announced they don't plan to make changes to ILEARN this year.