ExcelinEd in Action Statement on bill regarding school performance in Indiana
Tallahassee, Fla. – Patricia Levesque, Executive Director of Excellence in Education in Action (ExcelinEd in Action), released the following statement regarding the Indiana School Performance Measurement legislation (SB 200 and HB 1003):
“We are grateful to Governor Mike Pence, Speaker Brian Bosma, Senate President David Long and Superintendent Glenda Ritz for taking immediate action to improve student assessment, while maintaining transparency and accountability in the testing system. These leaders, and everyone from administrators to teachers and volunteers, are working hard to ensure our students are best prepared for college and career.”
SB 200 stipulates that a school’s A-F grade may not be lower in the 2014-2015 school year than the grade earned in the 2013-2014 school year. This, combined with other similar provisions in the bills, is designed to help teachers and schools transition as Indiana implements more rigorous tests.
Levesque continued, “We applaud efforts to uphold the A-F school grading system policy in the state. But policy is only as good as implementation. Providing a one-year transition will help teachers and schools, but we encourage state policymakers to resist turning this temporary flexibility into a retreat from accountability. It is critical for parents, students and communities to have school grades issued in a timely manner during the school year, because this transparency for schools is a driving factor in improving student learning.”
Since school grades were implemented in the state, National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) 2015 scores have increased by at least three percent of students mastering grade level reading and math, when compared 2009 NAEP scores. The NAEP scores show a six percent increase in fourth grade reading and an eight percent increase in fourth grade math, meaning more fourth grade students on reading and learning math on grade level in 2015 than in 2009.