State superintendent Glenda Ritz says teachers who are marked 'needs improvement' on their evaluations should be eligible for raises. Otherwise, she says inexperienced teachers could leave the profession before they improve.
State Board members say Indiana’s teacher evaluation law needs an overhaul after the vast majority of educators received “effective” or “highly effective” ratings.
“Clearly the system failed,” says board member Gordon Hendry. “We have to find a new way to get accurate, fair results for our teachers so we can continue to improve our schools and our students’ experiences in the classroom.”
“I don’t feel we’re going to be able to capture that in a true form,” state superintendent Glenda Ritz says. “Many teachers that leave the profession — either retirement or resignation — before they get that final rating.” Continue Reading →
The State Board of Education agreed Wednesday to drop a plan to administer a second test next month after schools give ISTEP+. The exam draws questions from CoreLink, a bank of technology-enhanced questions likely to appear on new standardized tests next year. It takes about an hour to complete.
But the platform required to run CoreLink questions will not run on iPads, which many schools use for online tests. And State Board members questioned the need to administer the test at all, as Indiana is moving away from the nationally-crafted Common Core expectations.
“It can’t possibly be based on standards because we haven’t passed them yet,” said State Board member Brad Oliver. Continue Reading →
Bennett is accused of using state resources, including staff and state computers, in his failed 2012 re-election bid. The inspector general filed the charges last November, shortly after The Associated Press reported Bennett had kept Republican Party fundraising lists on his state computers and top staff had been campaigning on state time.
Bennett issued a statement in November saying he had done nothing wrong and would cooperate with the investigation. He hired a pair of high-profile defense attorneys — Larry Mackey and Jason Barclay, with the Indianapolis firm Barnes and Thornburg.
Barclay said Monday that the defense team received 10 binders worth of documents from the inspector general’s office last month in response to their discovery request and is reviewing their contents. Continue Reading →
Indiana schools reported evaluating more than 55,000 teachers, counselors and administrators during the 2012-13 academic year, according to figures released Monday by the Department of Education. Of those licensed educators who were rated, more than 97 percent received the top two scores.
“This is not designed to compare one school corporation to another,” says Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn. “This is designed for a principal to do a vigorous evaluation of their teachers in their building.” Continue Reading →
Indiana is now using the Test Assessing Secondary Completion, which aligns more closely with the state’s goals for preparing students for college and jobs.
Brown County Career Resource Center Career Facilitator Charity Robertson says the transition has been smooth for the teachers. It’s a different story, however, for some students.
“It’s been a struggle with the new students we had,” says Robertson. “The new test is harder. It is more thorough in investigation of what students know from the high school realm. So we have had trouble with the level of material and the things we have to teach them that is new and higher.” Continue Reading →
Indiana schools have to seek voter approval for large construction projects and levy increases outside the property tax cap.
What are the odds your school corporation’s referendum will pass? It’s a coin toss — since 2008, half of the 92 districts who’ve tried to convince voters to raise their own property taxes have been successful.
Nine Indiana school districts will ask for 10 tax levy increases on the May ballot. Elkhart Community Schools is asking voters to approve two questions. And two school corporations — the Metropolitan School District of Boone Township and Mount Vernon Community Schools — are returning to the polls for the second and third time, respectively.
We’ve compiled a list of referenda after the jump. Or, check out our referenda scorecard to see how voters in other districts have weighed in on similar questions since 2008. Continue Reading →
I merged Department of Education spreadsheets with data on free and reduced-price lunch counts and ISTEP-Plus passing rates. Then I sorted by free-and-reduced-lunch rates and focused on schools where 80 percent or more students qualified for lunch assistance. Results include:
For charter schools: Average passing rate for both E/LA and math, 48 percent; passing rate for E/LA, 62.3 percent; passing rate for math, 62.5 percent.
For conventional public schools: Average passing rate for both E/LA and math, 57.2 percent; passing rate for E/LA, 64.1 percent; passing rate for math, 68.1 percent.
The data set includes only schools that enroll students in grades 3-8, who take ISTEP exams; it excludes high schools and many primary-grade schools. I also tried to screen out nonstandard schools such as juvenile detention centers and dropout recovery schools.Continue Reading →
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, told journalists last week that new Hoosier educational standards still are almost mirroring exactly the national standards that Pence eschewed.
As Herbert talked about Utah controlling its decisions over academic standards, he was asked whether the state would legislate a split from Common Core, as Indiana did.
“I’ve talked to Gov.Pence about what they’re doing there,” Herbert said. “In essence, they’re saying they’re creating what’s called the Indiana Core. It’s not the Common Core … but their standards are almost mirroring exactly what is commonly referred to as the Common Core standards.” Continue Reading →
What questions do you have about Indiana's Common Core exit?
This week Indiana became the first state to officially exit the Common Core initiative, an agreement 45 states and the District of Columbia made in 2010 to share academic standards.
The move comes as no surprise to policy-watchers here: For months, Indiana education officials have been reviewing academic standards and writing expectations to replace the Common Core. But that work won’t be complete until the State Board formally adopts the state’s next standards next month.
We hope you’ll tune into WFIU today at 12:06 p.m. EST for Noon Edition, our weekly public affairs program. I’ll be on discussing the Common Core’s rise and fall in Indiana, as well as what’s next for schools. Other guests include:
State Senator Jim Banks
Amy Marsh of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce
Indiana Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction Danielle Shockey
You can listen live on 103.7 FM in south central Indiana, or tune into wfiu.org for the live stream.
If you can’t listen live, send us your questions: Tweet @ellemoxley or @StateImpactIN, and we’ll try to get to as many as possible on air.
Danielle Shockey told local educators dozens of educators from across the state, including Hammond teacher Lori Jones, have put in thousands of hours working on the standards that will prepare students for college and careers. Shockey said there have been many levels of evaluation to ensure the standards are the best they can be.
Shockey was the guest speaker at the Northwest Indiana Writing Project breakfast Thursday at Purdue University Calumet. She filled in for Superintendent Glenda Ritz, who was scheduled to speak but had a family emergency and did not attend.
Shockey focused on the standards, new assessments and accountability. She said on some of the standards, there were more than 1,000 comments submitted and on other standards, several hundred comments. Continue Reading →
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