Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick is tapping into the alarm over results of Indiana’s new ILEARN standardized assessment to call for changes in how the state evaluates schools.
She said the test scores “once again show us the importance of developing a modernized, state-legislated accountability system that is fair, accurate and transparent.”
Jennifer McCormick, center, with Department of Education assessment director Charity Flores and accountability director Maggie Paino.
State officials will release 2019 ILEARN results Wednesday at a meeting of the State Board of Education. It’s expected that the percentage of students who scored at the proficient level on the assessment is considerably lower than the number who passed the former ISTEP exam in 2018.
In a statement and at a Statehouse news conference, McCormick said she will call on the legislature to: Continue reading
Here we go again. Indiana has a new standardized test, the results sound bad, and educators are calling on the state to hold off on imposing consequences on schools or teachers using new test scores.
Today, Gov. Eric Holcomb joined the call for a “pause” in accountability based on the tests. House and Senate leaders concurred, which means it’s almost certain to happen. Results from the new assessment, called ILEARN, are scheduled to be made public at the Sept. 4 State Board of Education meeting.
The 1619 Project, the New York Times magazine’s special issue on the history and legacy of slavery in America, includes poignant details and powerful insights on nearly every page. For me, one of the most meaningful passages is in the powerful introductory essay by Nikole Hannah-Jones.
She’s writing about Reconstruction, the brief period after the Civil War when African-Americans, including formerly enslaved people, were elected to Congress and to state legislatures. Black office-holders, she writes, joined with white Republicans to adopt “the most egalitarian state constitutions the South had ever seen,” enacting fair taxes and bans on discrimination. Continue reading
State Rep. Jeff Ellington wants to change the law so people who donate to political campaigns no longer need to reveal their addresses. This is a truly bad idea. Indiana should be collecting and disclosing more, not less, information about the people who finance elections.
Ellington, a Bloomington Republican, is all worked up about the idea that people could “target” individuals who have donated to certain candidates. He’s mimicking the right-wing outrage machine, which has spun into overdrive since Texas Congressman Juaquin Castro tweeted the names of 44 residents in his district who contributed the maximum allowed to President Donald Trump.
Ellington told the Bloomington Herald-Times that the tweet “will likely get someone hurt.”
News flash: Castro didn’t disclose the identity of the donors. The Federal Election Commission did, just as it has disclosed campaign finance information for decades. Anyone could look it up and share it.
Only one in five of parents, teachers and other adults say that preparing students for work should be the main goal of schools, according to the 2019 PDK Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools.
Will someone please tell our elected officials?
Thousands of Indiana K-12 students may be scrambling to find schools just as the 2019-20 school year gets under way. The reason: The charter schools they attended, or in which they were enrolled, are shutting down, sometimes with little or no warning.
The big factor is the pending closure of Indiana Virtual School and Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy, which have been under fire for inflating enrollment numbers and for producing low test scores and abysmal graduation rates. Combined, they claimed over 7,000 students last year.
Sen. Eddie Melton said it made obvious sense to invite Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick to join him on a statewide listening tour, even if they do represent different political parties.
Sen. Eddie Melton and Jennifer McCormick
“It should not be about Republican or Democrat at the end of the day when we talk about our children,” he said Thursday during a stop in Bloomington.
Indeed, 12 years ago, no one would have given a second thought to officials from opposite sides of the aisle sharing a stage to talk about schools. But times have changed, and education has become a highly partisan topic. Also, Melton may seek the Democratic nomination for governor. And McCormick is increasingly on the outs with her fellow Republican office-holders.
With 16 stops in July and August, the tour is generating some buzz, politically and policy-wise.
In Indiana, schools called Indiana Virtual School and Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy are finally shutting down after officials determined they inflated their enrollment figures by 50%, billing the state for as much as $40 million for students who didn’t enroll or didn’t earn credits.
In California, two businessmen have been charged with conspiracy, misappropriation of public funds and other offenses for a scam that involved opening 19 online schools and funneling $50 million in state education funds to companies that they controlled.
And in Louisiana, nearly half of the senior class at John F. Kennedy High School was found to be ineligible for graduation after officials discovered widespread grade-fixing and other problems.
What do Indiana Virtual School, Indiana Virtual Pathways Academy, the 19 California schools and John F. Kennedy High School have in common? Continue reading