Indiana ISTEP+ Grade 10 and ISTAR Assessment Alignment Studies

Note: This WestEd project was completed in 2017.


The Indiana Department of Education contracted with WestEd’s Standards, Assessment, and Accountability Services program to align test items for the ISTEP+ Grade 10 and ISTAR assessments for grades 3–8 and 10 in English/language arts, mathematics, and science to the Indiana Academic Standards and content connectors.

The two studies are designed to determine the following for each item:

  • Its categorical concurrence, to see if it measures at least one Indiana Academic Standard, and for the ISTAR assessments, one content connector
  • Its cognitive complexity, to evaluate the cognitive rigor of the item

The studies are designed to determine the breadth and emphasis of the content coverage for the full assessment item pool in each content area and grade level. The studies determine the following for each content area at each grade:

  • Which standards and content connectors are assessed and not assessed by the items in the item pool
  • At which levels of cognitive complexity the items in the pool measure the Indiana Academic Standards and content connectors

The goal of the two studies is to provide the Indiana Department of Education with information on the degree of alignment between the ISTEP+ Grade 10 items, the ISTAR items, and the Indiana Academic Standards and content connectors. The studies are designed to help the Department understand the qualities of items in its existing item pools and to help inform potential next steps in the development of its item pools in the respective content areas.