Vendor wins $43M contract for Indiana’s ISTEP replacement

Indiana education officials will be paying a company $43 million to create, implement and grade the new test that will replace the much-maligned ISTEP standardized exams.

State officials have approved a three-year contract with the Washington, D.C.-based American Institutes for Research, picking it over four other bidders.

The company will be designing a new Indiana test starting with spring 2019 exams named ILEARN, or Indiana’s Learning Evaluation Readiness Network.

The current ISTEP exam taken by nearly 500,000 students has faced years of complaints about the number of days students spend taking the test and months-long waits for exam results from other testing companies.

Officials say ILEARN will be a computer adaptive test, with questions that change depending on whether a student answers a previous question correctly.