Today, the Indiana House of Representatives and Indiana Senate passed final versions of SB 200 and HB 1003. Collectively, these bills will hold schools, teachers and communities harmless for an expected drop in ISTEP+ scores for the 2014-15 school year, as Indiana made the transition to college and career ready academic standards. The bills now head to the desk of Governor Mike Pence and it is expected that they will be signed into law this afternoon.
In response to these developments, Glenda Ritz, Indiana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction issued the following statement:
“The passage and enactment of this legislation is a welcome step and something that I have been fighting for over the last eighteen months. These common sense bills recognize the reality that when leadership in Indianapolis changes our standards, we need to give our schools time to adjust.
“I have appreciated recent momentum behind this vital issue, but it is worth noting that this issue should have been dealt with a year ago. Had we done so, there is no doubt that much of the consternation and difficulty our schools experienced in the last year could have been avoided. Our students and schools need leadership that focuses on them, not ideology.
“As a lifelong educator, I support accountability, but it has to be accountability that is fair. Moving forward, that should include looking at ways to reform our assessment and move beyond the expensive, lengthy, high stakes, pass/fail approach of ISTEP+.
“As Superintendent, I will continue to fight for legislation that streamlines and strengthens our assessment system, works to stem the teacher shortage, expands our Pre-K infrastructure, expands resources for special needs students, cuts red tape for schools by streamlining data collections and increases technological equity for all schools. Our students, schools, educators and communities deserve nothing less.”