Monday, December 5, 2016
Inconsistencies within the test itself make it very difficult, if not impossible, to use those test results in a meaningful way. Attempting to compare test scores and passing rates (i.e. student achievement) from one year to the next, especially when the spring 2016 test changed significantly from the previous year, is problematic at best.
For the reasons stated above, we support HEA 1395 that called for the end of ISTEP+ at the end of the 2016-2017 school year. It is extremely disappointing that the committee charged with finding and recommending a replacement for the ISTEP+ fiasco chose not to make a recommendation that would resolve issues associated with our broken and irreparable assessment system. Reportedly, several meaningful options were not allowed to be presented and/or discussed by the committee during their deliberations. If true, such actions are sad and frustrating. Maintaining the status quo with ISTEP+ will only continue to project a tainted and inaccurate assessment of the achievements of our students, teachers and public schools.
If the objective of our state’s high stakes accountability system is to accurately report student achievement to the public, then the data from the currently flawed system must not be used. We respectfully request our elected officials and members of the State Board of Education to ignore the most recent results of the totally broken ISTEP+ assessment and not use them to place letter grades on our schools. The A-F grading system needs to be suspended again and schools need to be provided with a hold harmless provision regarding the results of the 2015- 2016 ISTEP+ assessment, similar to what was done last year.
Posted by Hoosier Voices for Public Education at 12:32 PM
Over 40 Superintendents from School Systems located in the 1st Congressional District signed an "Open Letter to Members of the Indiana General Assembly and the State Board of Education" with an important message about the most recent ISTEP+ results...
"We respectfully request our elected officials and members of the State Board of Education to ignore the most recent results of the totally broken ISTEP+ assessment and not use them to place letter grades on our schools. The A-F grading system needs to be suspended again and schools need to be provided with a hold harmless provision regarding the results of the 2015- 2016 ISTEP+ assessment, similar to what was done last year."
Here is a link to the full letter. Or you can take a look at the images below.
Monday, November 21, 2016
So, as I began to recover from the disappointment of election day, I found myself cautiously optimistic with the comments and "campaign speak" of our newly elected Superintendent of Public Instruction. I thought, "maybe the voters see some type of promise from her experience and her ideas". It didn't take long for me to realize I was kidding myself. I went back to her back-peddling statement about changing her mind that "it would be OK for the SPI to be appointed instead of elected". That comment continued to stick in my head. However, I was calmed by her statements about being non-political, transparent, and open to all stakeholders.
WELL, WELL, WELL...Imagine my surprise when I noticed, while checking post election tweets, that this "non-political - transparent - open to all" Superintendent-elect had blocked the Hoosier Voices Twitter account from following or viewing tweets from the @DrMcCormickIN twitter feed. What is she concerned about? She won the election. Is she afraid we will hold her accountable for her campaign comments? Does she fear being reminded of her "Plan" for Indiana's schools? Dr. McCormick blocked the Hoosier Voices twitter account, however, my personal account and those of many other PUBLIC education advocates can still view, follow, re-tweet, and reply to posts from the @DrMcCormickIN account. There are still many ways for us to keep an eye on her actions and hold her accountable for all of her claims and our expectations.
Which Dr. McCormick will Hoosiers see once the legislature begins to pull her toward the wishes of the GOP's big "education policy" donors. With House Education Chair Bob Behning, House Speaker Brian Bosma, Senate President Pro-Tempore David Long, Senate Education Chair Dennis Kruse, and Even Governor-Elect Holcomb all receiving large donations from privatization and voucher supporters like Christel DeHaan, Fred Klipsch, Hoosiers for Quality Education, and the Institute for Quality Education, it appears it would be difficult for Dr. McCormick to go against these Tony Bennett donors and reverse the GOP course of continued robbery of our PUBLIC schools. Will she be "allowed" to work with ALL stakeholders and do what needs to be done to reverse course and build up our public schools, or will she prove to be another puppet like Tony Bennett and bow to the GOP leadership and their donors to drain our public schools further and allow further demeaning actions toward Indiana's public school educators.
One thing is for certain. ALL stakeholders need to stay informed, stay alert, and be ready to stand up and be heard at a moment's notice. We all must hold our elected representatives accountable for our children and the future of our PUBLIC schools. We at Hoosier Voices WILL NOT GIVE UP! We will continue to fight for high quality PUBLIC education for ALL Hoosiers! We will not give up!