News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Breaking News

Opinion

June 21, 2014

FLASHPOINT: Working toward an equitable, high-quality education system

INDIANAPOLIS — Last month, I vowed to preserve and extend Indiana’s ESEA Flexibility Waiver from certain aspects of No Child Left Behind. Because Indiana schools rely upon the flexibility of federal dollars afforded to them through the waiver, it is important that Indiana extend its waiver.

In recent conversations with the U.S. Department of Education regarding Indiana’s ESEA Flexibility Waiver, it has been made clear that Indiana must administer a fully operational assessment based on the newly adopted college-and-career ready Indiana Academic Standards in the spring of 2015. Therefore, the 2014-15 ISTEP (grades 3-8) will measure student performance based on the 2014 Indiana Academic Standards. This does not allow Indiana the ability to pilot the test for one year, as originally planned.

The federally required alignment of next year’s ISTEP to college-and-career ready standards means holding schools and teachers accountable for new standards that they have only had seven months to teach. The new assessment will be more rigorous with technologically enhanced items.

Even though the Department of Education is prepared to provide a full array of support for educators to prepare our students for these college-and-career ready assessments, including professional development and experiences for students with sample questions in both math and English/language arts, I have concerns regarding school and teacher accountability based upon these new assessments.

I have always been a proponent for strong teacher and school accountability. However, as we have seen historically in Indiana and across the nation, it is typical for student scores on standardized tests to dip as a result of new and more rigorous expectations, giving the appearance of a decline in achievement. In order for an accountability system to be strong and meaningful to parents and educators, it must also be fair and equitable. That is why we need to look at ways we can minimize the effect of a likely expected drop in performance.

Regardless of decisions made about accountability concerns, my Department is committed to reporting out all data from the new assessment to parents and schools to inform student learning, school improvement and professional development.  

While the waiver is an agreement between the Department of Education and the federal government, these issues are Indiana’s. Because past and future legislation will impact the waiver, it is vital that all parts of government understand its implications. That is why, in the coming weeks, I will be working with state and local leaders to minimize any negative impact of this federal requirement.

I am in regular contact with the Governor’s staff and legislative leadership, as well as the State Board of Education and its staff about steps we can take to implement the new assessment while also maintaining strong and transparent accountability. I look forward to continuing this work as we submit our formal waiver application later this month.

As an educator, I pledge open communication with parents and schools as we move forward to assure that students feel supported in this transition and that parents and educators receive meaningful feedback for students’ continued academic growth.

— Glenda Ritz, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction, Indianapolis

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help Today in History for August 1st Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill
NDN Video
Under Armour Launches Biggest Women's Campaign with Inspiring Ad NYPD chokehold death of Eric Garner was homicide: medical examiner Christina Aguilera Pulls a Demi Moore! Man with no arms throws first pitch Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2"
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity