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Department of Education notifies schools of testing changes

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Indiana schools are receiving official word about the steps being taken to shorten the state’s standardized tests.

The Department of Education notified schools Thursday of changes that will shave more than three hours from testing time for students in grades 3-8. The department also will cut nearly two additional hours from testing for students in grades 5 and 7 by eliminating the social studies exam.

The changes stem from an uproar over a revamped ISTEP+ exam that caused testing times to soar to about 12 hours. The test was revised after Indiana abandoned the Common Core educational standards and crafted its own.

Gov. Mike Pence ordered the ISTEP+ test shortened and hired two consultants to work with the Department of Education and lawmakers to make it happen.