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(INDIANAPOLIS) – The Secretary of Education says Indiana’s request for a mulligan on this year’s ILEARN results shouldn’t face any federal roadblocks.

Governor Holcomb and state school superintendent Jennifer McCormick have said it wouldn’t be fair to use this year’s sharply lower scores to rate schools as “failing,” because it’s the first year of a new test after the transition from ISTEP. Secretary Betsy DeVos said on an Indianapolis visit she doesn’t anticipate any objections. While DeVos didn’t offer any explicit guarantees, he says the department is looking to “be a good partner” for states.

DeVos was in Indianapolis to visit Purdue Polytechnic High School as part of a back-to-school tour through Milwaukee, Cleveland, and Rockford, Illinois. She says schools still need testing to measure how students are doing. But she says Purdue Poly’s emphasis on hands-on learning shows there are other ways to measure performance too. She praises Indiana as a hotbed of education innovation, and says one goal of the tour is to hold up schools like Purdue Poly as examples other states may want to imitate.

State law links ILEARN scores to state accountability grades for schools and to teacher pay. Legislators will discuss whether to grant a one-year “hold harmless” when they begin the new session in January.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos (left) visits a classroom at Purdue Polytechnic High School in Indy (Photo: Eric Berman/WIBC)