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Glenda& IDOE board clash over waiver
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Glenda& IDOE board clash over waiver


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  • 1. 1 Glenda Ritz, state education board clash over waiver by Eric Weddle, Indy Star June 24, 2014
  • 2. 2 Glenda Ritz, State Education Board clash over waiver Tensions and disagreements involving Indiana's superintendent of public instruction, the governor and members of the State Board of Education returned Monday. During two consecutive meetings on critical education policy issues, Glenda Ritz was rebuffed by Gov. Mike Pence and faced strong criticism from board members. Sta r
  • 3. 3 Glenda Ritz, State Education Board clash over waiver The discontent comes a week before Ritz must file amendments with the U.S. Department of Education in a bid to maintain Indiana's waiver from some federal education requirements. Federal monitors have flagged numerous deficiencies in the state's education reforms and continue to question the state department's proposed fixes.
  • 4. 4 Glenda Ritz, State Education Board clash over waiver The meetings did shed light on how students and teachers will be affected by a revamped academic achievement exam. Indiana's high-stakes standardized exam could be changing and expanding to more students in the next two years in an attempt to help lagging students and satisfy federal education officials.
  • 5. 5 Glenda Ritz, State Education Board clash over waiver A board led by Pence and Ritz recommended that a one-time update to the ISTEP exam be developed by current vendor CTB/McGraw-Hill and Indiana teachers for spring 2015. The state Education Department would then select a vendor to develop a future standardized test to be used in 2015-16. Ritz, though, voted against the recommendation after her attempt to amend it failed. She wanted to require that reading assessments be part of the new test design.
  • 6. 6 Glenda Ritz, State Education Board clash over waiver Pence urged the board not to approve Ritz's motion. The U.S Department of Education is requiring Indiana to begin new standardized tests next spring that would be based on the recently adopted K-12 academic standards that replaced Common Core. Failure to do so would jeopardize the state's federal waiver from meeting requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act.
  • 7. 7 Glenda Ritz, State Education Board clash over waiver Pence said working with current vendors for the exam next spring would add consistency between the new test and the current version. The amount that CTB/McGraw-Hill would be paid is unknown. CTB/McGraw-Hill administered ISTEP, also known as Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress, under a four-year, $95 million contract with the state Education Department. The contract ends this week but will be extended.
  • 8. 8 Glenda Ritz, State Education Board clash over waiver "A diploma from our high schools should signal that our graduates are ready for careers or college," Pence said. Currently, 10th-graders take assessments required for graduation. These assessments could be phased out and become part of ISTEP.
  • 9. 9 Glenda Ritz, State Education Board clash over waive "We are asking a lot of our teachers over the next two years in regards to rollout of our new standards, (updating) ISTEP," Pence said. "Therefore, I think we should make every effort to maintain as much consistency as we can in redesigning ISTEP for the 2015 and 2016 academic years."
  • 10. 10 Glenda Ritz, State Education Board clash over waive The State Board of Education will have final say on any ISTEP changes. The board did not vote on the issue during its meeting Monday, but members asked whether Ritz and the Department of Education were prepared to submit amendments by June 30 to extend Indiana's waiver from No Child Left Behind.
  • 11. 11 Glenda Ritz, State Education Board clash over waive   At the start of the meeting, member Brad Oliver  told Ritz he and other board members were not  provided all materials the state department  prepared for the application. Oliver attempted to  add a resolution to the agenda that would give the  board more oversight of the waiver application,  but Ritz rejected it.
  • 12. 12 Glenda Ritz, State Education Board clash over waiver Oliver said board rules allowed members to  appeal Ritz's decision. Lawyers for the  Department of Eduction and Center for Education  and Career Innovation, Pence's education office  that assists board members, disagreed on what  the rules allowed.
  • 13. 13 Glenda Ritz, State Education Board clash over waiver "Brad, I am totally committed to this waiver. I live  and breathe this waiver," Ritz said at one point.  "You have all the info you need on this waiver."   Oliver disagreed.   "I am concerned," he said after the meeting, about  the possibility Indiana could lose its waiver. "I'll be  cautiously optimistic."
  • 14. 14 Glenda Ritz, State Education Board clash over waiver Indiana is one of 42 states with a waiver from No  Child Left Behind and was one of the first states,  in February 2012, to receive a waiver. States  sought waivers to be released from stringent  federal requirements of the 2001 law, such as  passing scores for all students, including those  with learning disabilities, and to have more control  over how federal funds are spent in exchange for  certain types of reforms.
  • 15. 15 Glenda Ritz, State Education Board clash over waiver Former state Superintendent Tony Bennett  championed the reforms, such as adoption of  teacher evaluations and Common Core academic  standards, that were instrumental to the waiver  approval.   Ritz has been left with much of the  implementation of the reforms to satisfy the  waiver. Bennett, a Republican, lost re-election in  2012 to Ritz, a Democrat.  
  • 16. 16 Glenda Ritz, State Education Board clash over waiver Indiana is the only state with a condition placed on its waiver as a result of a monitoring inspection last fall. Federal monitors found problems with the state Department of Education's ability to help failing schools, monitor compliance and provide technical assistance for teacher and principal evaluations, among other issues.
  • 17. 17 The department also must prove the recently adopted K-12 academic standards meet federal requirements for preparing students for college or careers. Also during Monday's meetings, resource guides about the state's new math and English standards were approved. These online documents are intended to help teachers, families and community members understand the standards. The state Department of Education will release the guides by July 1.