Monday, December 23, 2013

Vic’s Statehouse Notes #163 – December 23, 2013

Dear Friends,

After opening with unanimous approval of a revised agreement on meeting procedures that had been negotiated earlier in the week, Superintendent Ritz and the State Board of Education efficiently completed a substantive meeting, adjourning at 1:30 compared to the 4:00pm adjournment of recent meetings.

School letter grades using Dr. Bennett’s old formula were approved by the Board by a vote of 9-1, with the dissent of Board Member Andrea Neal.

The State Board’s Executive Director on the Governor’s Center for Education and Career Innovation (CECI) staff announced that the state hearings on REPA 2/REPA 3 rule changes are scheduled for January 13, 14 and 16 in South Bend, Indianapolis and Evansville, respectively. All teachers and teacher educators should know that the effort to lower standards for teachers and administrators now known as REPA 3 are back and that the January hearings offer the public’s best opportunity to convince the State Board that these rule changes should be rejected. Details are below.

School Letter Grades


Using Dr. Bennett’s old system, school letter grades on the whole went up. More A’s and B’s and fewer C’s, D’s and F’s were recorded statewide than in 2012. There were many schools that experienced wild swings in grades which was attributed to the weaknesses in the growth section of the system. Much was said in the meeting about the new A-F system to come, which it was said will be used two years from now for the 2014-2015 student data.

It can’t be soon enough.

REPA 2/REPA 3

I was unaware until the Dec. 20th meeting that REPA 2 is back and the public hearings are scheduled for three weeks from now. That is your unwelcome December surprise.

REPA 2 was Dr. Bennett’s parting shot to try to lower standards for getting teacher and administrator licenses. He asked the State Board to pass the revised rules in December of 2012 after his election defeat. They were passed but with so many amendments that the Attorney General ruled that the rules could not be finalized until they were clarified and given another round of public hearings.

The CECI has now picked up the ball and is calling them REPA 3. They contain at least four really bad ideas:
1) Individuals with any four year degree can get a 5-year “Adjunct” teaching license.

2) Training required to get a principal’s license would be reduced.

3) Training required to get a superintendent’s license would be reduced.

4) Administrative certification can be offered by non-higher education organizations. Whether for-profit private organizations can become training sites for administrators and adjunct teachers is not clear but remains a possibility that should be clarified before the hearings.
The hearings are in South Bend, Indianapolis and Evansville as announced in the Indiana Register:
Notice is hereby given that on January 13, 2014, at 10:00 a.m., at the St. Joseph County
Public Library, Main Branch, Colfax Auditorium, 304 South Main Street, South Bend, Indiana;
AND
on January 14, 2014, at 9:00 a.m., at the Indiana Government Center South, 402 West Washington Street, Conference
Center Room A, Indianapolis, Indiana;
AND
on January 16, 2014, at 9:30 a.m., at the Evansville Public Library System, McCullough Branch, Meeting Room, 5115 Washington Avenue, Evansville, Indiana,
the Indiana StateBoard of Education will hold public hearings on proposed changes to Title 511 of the Indiana Administrative Code
Since Dr. Bennett had the REPA 2 passed in January of 2013, there are six new members of the State Board, so it is time to contact them about correcting this proposal. One new member, Brad Oliver, testified against REPA 2 in its only hearing in June of 2012.

Thank you for your advocacy for highly trained teachers and for public education!


Best wishes,

Vic Smith


ICPE is working to promote public education and oppose the privatization of schools in the Statehouse. We are preparing for the next session of the General Assembly beginning January 6th. Joel Hand will again serve as ICPE lobbyist for the session. We need your membership to help support his work. Many have renewed their memberships this fall, and we thank you! If you have not done so since July 1, the start of our new membership year, we urge you to renew by going to our website.

We need additional memberships to pay for our lobbying efforts which begin in January and to carry on our advocacy for public education. We need additional members and additional donations. We need your help!

Go to www.icpe2011.com for membership and renewal information and for full information on ICPE efforts on behalf of public education. Thanks!


Some readers have asked about my background in Indiana public schools. Thanks for asking! Here is a brief bio:

I am a lifelong Hoosier and began teaching in 1969. I served as a social studies teacher, curriculum developer, state research and evaluation consultant, state social studies consultant, district social studies supervisor, assistant principal, principal, educational association staff member, and adjunct university professor. I worked for Garrett-Keyser-Butler Schools, the Indiana University Social Studies Development Center, the Indiana Department of Education, the Indianapolis Public Schools, IUPUI, and the Indiana Urban Schools Association, from which I retired as Associate Director in 2009. I hold three degrees: B.A. in Ed., Ball State University, 1969; M.S. in Ed., Indiana University, 1972; and Ed.D., Indiana University, 1977, along with a Teacher’s Life License and a Superintendent’s License, 1998.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Vic’s Statehouse Notes #162 – December 19, 2013

Dear Friends,

Letter grades for Indiana schools are scheduled to be issued this Friday, December 20th, using Dr. Bennett’s flawed formula that the General Assembly rejected and thought that they had voided. HEA 1427 passed last April says, “Not later than November 15, 2013, the state board shall establish new categories or designations of school performance under the requirements of this chapter to replace 511 IAC 6.2-6. “

It didn’t happen.

The new letter grades to be announced Friday for 2012-13 will be based on the old failed formula. To speed up the change, the State Board would have needed to pass emergency rules which they showed no interest in doing. In the October State Board meeting, Board Secretary Dan Elsener praised the current A-F system and called for the employment of the consultant who helped Dr. Bennett with the formula. The Governor’s State Board staff attorney stated in the same October meeting that the old formula should be used two more times for 2013-14 data and 2014-15 data before ending it. That remains the current plan.

Meanwhile the battle for control of education policy rages on. Indiana taxpayers are now funding three different systems of schools, and Governor Pence’s 2014 legislative agenda does nothing to relieve the funding agonies of the biggest and largest of the three, Indiana’s community public schools.

School Letter Grades

The flaws of the current A-F system have been ignored in the news about State Board members trying to speed up letter grade announcements. In their controversial October 16th email action, now the subject of a lawsuit in Marion County filed by Bill Groth saying that State Board members violated the Open Door law, ten members asked legislative leaders to have the Legislative Services Agency calculate the letter grades without notifying their chair, Superintendent Ritz. The fact that this is all about a flawed and discredited formula has been ignored in the media.

No one should forget that the members of the General Assembly heard so many complaints about the unfair A-F system unveiled in 2012 that they voided it, or at least thought they did. The inadequacies of the system are fourfold:

Flaw #1: It is based primarily on the percent passing, rather than on improvement as PL221 called for.

Flaw #2: The bonuses for growth are anemic compared to the weight given to percent passing.

Flaw #3: The growth model used for bonus points is based on peer comparison statistics. This leads to capricious and unpredictable results about low-growth and high-growth students.

Flaw #4: In the final analysis, the current A-F system was badly miscalibrated. Many good schools received low grades, damaging the economic development efforts of communities all over Indiana as they try to explain to prospective businesses why their strong local schools ended up with a low grade using a flawed grading system. The current system is not fair to Indiana’s schools.

I presented details on these four points in public comments to the State Board meeting on November 8th. My comments on that day are attached for those who want a one-pager on the problems of our current system and the reasons the General Assembly lost confidence in it. Yet the members of the State Board apparently want to use it this year and for two additional years to grade our schools.

That makes no sense and challenges the rule of law. I wonder if any members of the General Assembly have noticed that the members of the State Board have somehow found a way to deny their legislative intent in HEA 1427.

Legislators heard your outrage about this letter grade system in 2012. I hope they will do so again this year.

I would hope that all public announcements about school letter grades by state or local officials will include a reminder to the public that this current system has been voided by action of the General Assembly and is in the process of being replaced with one that could deserve public confidence.

Three Different and Competing School Systems

In August, Governor Pence created the Center for Education and Career Innovation, a $5 million duplicative education bureaucracy, to divert control of Indiana education policy from Superintendent Ritz to his office. He was willing to do this, risking his national reputation for efficiency and small government, because of deep differences on educational policy.

As a result of seismic changes in the 2011 General Assembly, Indiana taxpayers are now funding three school systems which compete in a marketplace of schools:
1) Community Public Schools, established in Indiana’s 1851 Constitution, serving 291 communities or geographic areas, open to all students, tuition free, governed by a school board which is in most cases elected, non-sectarian and non-partisan, unionized under Governor Bowen’s collective bargaining law passed in 1973 which was revised in 2011, serving over 1 million students in over 1800 schools.

2) Charter Public Schools, established by the General Assembly in 2001, not linked to a geographic area and open to any student in the state, tuition free, governed by an authorizer and an appointed school board, non-sectarian, non-unionized, serving about 30,000 students in about 80 schools.

3) Voucher Private Schools, established by the General Assembly in 2011, not linked to a geographic area, open to students whose application is accepted by the private school, tuition paid or subsidized by taxpayer funded vouchers and by taxpayer subsidized scholarships from Scholarship Granting Organizations, governed by appointed school boards, primarily sectarian religious schools (98%), non-unionized, serving about 100,000 students with about 20,000 receiving vouchers.
In the deep controversy between Governor Pence and State Superintendent Ritz which has now reverberated to the pages of the New York Times, each official is identified with different elements of this tripartite system.

Superintendent Ritz was elected as an advocate for community public schools, the largest of the three systems. She has said she supports community-based charter schools but not the efforts to bring to Indiana large scale for-profit charter school networks. She has in the past opposed the use of public dollars to subsidize tuition with vouchers for private schools, although after her election she resolutely pledged to enforce all voucher laws enacted by the General Assembly in 2011 and 2013.

Governor Pence was elected as an advocate for voucher schools and for charter schools. He put his power behind a major expansion of vouchers in the 2013 General Assembly which raised the voucher count to 20,000 this past fall. In his 2014 legislative agenda, his “Roadmap”, he has singled out charter schools for help, such as a plank to strengthen the state’s hand in taking underutilized buildings from local school boards for use by charter schools. Another plank would give state money to pay the differential to excellent public school teachers who want to transfer to low-performing charter schools that now pay teachers on average $12,000 less. Needless to say, this is not a hit with public school leaders who would lose excellent teachers from their schools due to this state incentive. Even an internal memo from his new education agency, the CECI, says that “the program has the appearance, rightly or wrongly, of showing favoritism towards charter schools.”

There is the word: favoritism. Since his election, the Governor has favored voucher schools and charter schools over community public schools. His new 2014 agenda contains nothing to help community public schools. His first budget gave a 2% increase for public school funding in the current year 2013-14 and only a 1% increase in 2014-15, the lowest non-recession funding increases since I started watching the General Assembly in 1997. Low funding levels have led to community-shaking agonies in Muncie, Carmel, Fortville (Mt. Vernon Schools) and others. Several districts face the loss of bus transportation funding due to property tax caps. The Indianapolis Public Schools, facing a $30 million deficit, has seen layoffs for three years in a row threaten the stability of remarkably improved programs such as the Harshman Magnet Middle School, recently highlighted in the Indianapolis Star.

In the intense conflict among these three competing school systems, the Governor is taking every legal edge to take policy control away from Superintendent Ritz and to maintain the growth of the two new systems at the expense of community public schools.

Governor Pence vs. State Superintendent Ritz

The Governor has all the power in this dispute with the State Superintendent. He has appointed State Board members who vigorously pursue his positions and join in his steady campaign to reduce the influence of the State Superintendent. If any vote is held, he will win. It is not surprising that a CECI memo discussed a plan to seek legislative changes to remove the State Superintendent as chair of the State Board. It is also not surprising that Superintendent Ritz reacted strongly to the CECI spending state-funded time outlining options for her demise as chair.

These are high stakes battles. The outcomes will shape the future of education in Indiana. The Governor has taken the lead in supporting charter schools and voucher schools while diminishing the funding for community public schools, just the opposite of the positions taken by Superintendent Ritz on this tripartite school mixture.

In the long run, however, the power is in the hands of the people. It is not yet clear that the people of Indiana want to let community public schools slowly disintegrate due to poor funding and high class sizes, leaving them to students of poverty and disability, while parents flee to voucher schools and charter schools.

The Future of Community Public Schools

Public schools have served Indiana well for over a hundred years. They are non-partisan and non-sectarian forums that bring whole communities together in ways that a fragmented system of private and charter schools could never do. Voting citizens are just waking up to the depth of this issue for our democracy and for the future of our communities. The final analysis in a democracy will be made by the voters, a very slow process.

Actually, the process began in 2012 when the voters chose Glenda Ritz over Tony Bennett. Without the voters, there would be no “Governor vs. State Superintendent” controversy, and Indiana would be rolling faster down the road to more vouchers and weaker community public schools in the vision of Governor Pence.

The people are deciding now which of the three school systems they want to support. Instead of taking politics out of education, as the Governor has said he wants to do, he has put it on the front burner. For advocates for public education, it needs to be on front burner to reverse the hard times that continue for too many of our community public schools.

The fact is that Indiana doesn’t have enough money to appropriately fund three different school systems. As one system is given preference, another system is diminished.

The voters will soon have a turn in 2014, this time in the form of legislative races for the Indiana House and the Indiana Senate. What priority will candidates give to the three different systems in Indiana? Will they back community public schools, charter public schools or voucher private schools? Will they support Governor Pence or Superintendent Ritz on education policy? The stakes in Indiana have never been higher.

I urge you to keep your legislators informed about the problems with school letter grades and the obvious policies of favoritism that are undermining and diminishing community public schools. Your participation in this generational battle on behalf of community public schools is greatly appreciated!


Best wishes,

Vic Smith


ICPE is working to promote public education and oppose the privatization of schools in the Statehouse. We are preparing for the next session of the General Assembly beginning January 6th. Joel Hand will again serve as ICPE lobbyist for the session. We need your membership to help support his work. Many have renewed their memberships this fall, and we thank you! If you have not done so since July 1, the start of our new membership year, we urge you to renew by going to our website.

We need additional memberships to pay for our lobbying efforts which begin in January and to carry on our advocacy for public education. We need additional members and additional donations. We need your help!

Go to www.icpe2011.com for membership and renewal information and for full information on ICPE efforts on behalf of public education. Thanks!


Some readers have asked about my background in Indiana public schools. Thanks for asking! Here is a brief bio:

I am a lifelong Hoosier and began teaching in 1969. I served as a social studies teacher, curriculum developer, state research and evaluation consultant, state social studies consultant, district social studies supervisor, assistant principal, principal, educational association staff member, and adjunct university professor. I worked for Garrett-Keyser-Butler Schools, the Indiana University Social Studies Development Center, the Indiana Department of Education, the Indianapolis Public Schools, IUPUI, and the Indiana Urban Schools Association, from which I retired as Associate Director in 2009. I hold three degrees: B.A. in Ed., Ball State University, 1969; M.S. in Ed., Indiana University, 1972; and Ed.D., Indiana University, 1977, along with a Teacher’s Life License and a Superintendent’s License, 1998.

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Horace Mann's 12 Days of Gifting Contest

Educators have a chance to win a prize each day during Horace Mann's 12 Days of Gifting contest--Dec. 9-21. Enter at

http://www.pinterest.com/horacemannins/contests-giveaways-and-freebies/

Vic’s Statehouse Notes #161 – December 6, 2013

Dear Friends,

National Assessment test results released in November showed that Indiana students performed very well in comparison to national averages. This has happened several times before, a positive story that few have noticed. All in all, Indiana’s performance on NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) has been an overlooked story of improvement in Indiana’s public schools over the past 20 years.

Politicians, including Dr. Bennett, have tried to claim this year’s NAEP success as evidence of the success of recent reform efforts, but the details below will show that improvement on NAEP reprises similar gains made in 1996, 2003 and 2007.

Data also clearly show a bigger gain among 4th graders than among 8th graders. This result is likely to be linked to data presented by Dr. Richard Hill to the State Board on September 4th that 2500 3rd graders were retained and tested again as 3rd graders due to retention rules pushed through by Dr. Bennett. Previously, about 600 were retained in 3rd grade each year. Taking approximately 2000 students who could not pass ISTEP out of the 4th grade cohort could go a long way to explain why 4th grade scores on the National Assessment noticeably went up.

Findings for 2013

Indiana began participation in the National Assessment in 1990. NAEP identifies a stratified random sample of students to take the test, generally given every two year. It is known as “the nation’s report card” from a time when politicians thought it would not be necessary to test every child to see how the schools were doing. National Assessment has survived as a respected measure while “No Child Left Behind” results initiated in 2002 have already faded in disrepute and waivers.

There was a time in the 1990’s when participation was optional at the local level, but that discretion ended when PL221 was passed and participation in NAEP testing was required by rules passed by the Indiana State Board of Education. The data below therefore show every result that Indiana has recorded in the NAEP testing program.

Diane Ravitch, in an article entitled “The Myth of Charter Schools,” has described the meaning of the basic, proficient and advanced standards used to report National Assessment results:
“I served as a member of the governing board for the national tests for seven years… The highest level of performance, “advanced,” is equivalent to an A+, representing the highest possible academic performance. The next level, “proficient,” is equivalent to an A or a very strong B. The next level is “basic,” which probably translates into a C grade.”
Since 2000, I have reported NAEP results at the basic and proficient level in my annual report on improvement in Indiana’s public schools. The most recent full report from June 2013 and a new update on NAEP data are both available for those who want all the data. With this background about the National Assessment, consider now the 2013 results for Indiana in their historical context.

Grade 4 Math – Basic Standard: % AT OR ABOVE BASIC

...............................................INDIANA..........US........IN:US GAP
Mathematics..Gr.4 1992.........60%...........57%...........+3
.........................Gr.4 1996.........72%...........61%...........+11
.........................Gr.4 2000.........77%...........64%...........+13
.........................Gr.4 2003.........82%...........76%...........+6
.........................Gr.4 2005.........84%...........79%...........+5
.........................Gr.4 2007.........89%...........81%...........+8
.........................Gr.4 2009.........87%...........81%...........+6
.........................Gr.4 2011.........87%...........82%...........+5
.........................Gr.4 2013.........90%...........82%...........+8

The 2013 Indiana math results showed a solid improvement of 3% among 4th graders on the basic standard. The historical record above shows that even bigger 5% gains were recorded in 2007, 2003 and 2000. In 1996, an eye-popping 12% gain was recorded in 1996 when Project Primetime was actively reducing class sizes in the early grades. Indiana’s advantage over the national average reached +8% in 2013, a level reached or exceeded previously in 2007, 2000 and 1996. Note that Indiana has been higher than the national average on every assessment on this table.

Grade 4 Reading – Basic Standard: % AT OR ABOVE BASIC

...............................................INDIANA..........US........IN:US GAP
Reading ....... Gr.4 1992.........68%...........60%........... +8
........................Gr.4 1994.........66%...........59%........... +7
........................Gr.4 2002.........68%...........62%........... +6
........................Gr.4 2003.........66%...........62%........... +4
........................Gr.4 2005.........64%...........62%........... +2
........................Gr.4 2007.........68%...........66%........... +2
........................Gr.4 2009.........70%...........66%........... +6
........................Gr.4 2011.........68%...........66%........... +2
........................Gr.4 2013.........73%...........67%........... +6

The 2013 Indiana reading results showed a 5% improvement over the previous test, 1% higher than the previous highest gain of 4% in 2007. Indiana’s advantage over the national average reached +6% in 2013, a level reached or exceeded previously in 2009, 2002, 1994 and 1992. Note that Indiana has been higher than the national average on every assessment on this table.

Grade 8 Math – Basic Standard: % AT OR ABOVE BASIC

...............................................INDIANA..........US........IN:US GAP
Mathematics..Gr.8 1990.........56%...........51% ...........  +5
.........................Gr.8 1992.........60%...........56% ...........  +4
.........................Gr.8 1996.........68%...........59% ...........  +9
.........................Gr.8 2000.........74%...........62% ...........  +12
.........................Gr.8 2003.........74%...........67% ...........  +7
.........................Gr.8 2005.........74%...........68% ...........  +6
.........................Gr.8 2007.........76%...........70% ...........  +6
.........................Gr.8 2009.........78%...........71% ...........  +7
.........................Gr.8 2011.........77%...........72% ...........  +5
.........................Gr.8 2013.........77%...........73% ...........  +4

The 2013 Indiana math results for Grade 8 showed no change from the previous test in 2011 on the basic standard. The historical record above shows that Indiana’s advantage over the national average was +4 in 2013, a figure equaled or exceeded in every test to date. In 2000, Indiana recorded a double digit advantage over the nation of +12. Note that Indiana has been higher than the national average on every assessment on this table.

Grade 8 Reading – Basic Standard: % AT OR ABOVE BASIC

...............................................INDIANA..........US........IN:US GAP
Reading ....... Gr.8 2002.........77%...........74%........... +3
........................Gr.8 2003.........77%...........72%........... +5
........................Gr.8 2005.........73%...........71%........... +2
........................Gr.8 2007.........76%...........73%........... +3
........................Gr.8 2009.........79%...........74%........... +5
........................Gr.8 2011.........78%...........75%........... +3
........................Gr.8 2013.........79%...........77%........... +2

The 2013 Indiana reading results for Grade 8 showed a 1% gain over the 2011 test on the basic standard, equaling the 79% level reached once before in 2009. The historical record above shows that Indiana’s advantage over the national average in 2013 was +2, a figure equaled or exceeded in every test to date. Note that Indiana has been higher than the national average on every assessment on this table.

Proficient Standard Attached

By now, if you are still reading, you have probably seen enough numbers for a while. The conclusions are clear. On the Basic standard, the one Diane Ravitch equated to a “C”, the Grade 4 scores jumped up noticeably, while the Grade 8 scores remained stable. On the Proficient standard, equated to “an A or a very strong B”, there is a similar set of numbers which show a higher gains in Grade 4 than in Grade 8. You can examine the attached NAEP results for the Proficient data if you are so inclined.

This raises a key question: Why are Grade 4 gains noticeably higher that Grade 8?

The ISTEP Report from Dr. Richard Hill

Dr. Richard Hill was the national testing expert retained by the Indiana Department of Education to review the CTB/McGraw online testing debacle last spring. His report to the General Assembly last summer and to the State Board of Education on September 4th revealed that Grade 4 ISTEP scores went up while Grade 3 scores went down. This Grade 3 result contradicted his finding that in general scores at every grade followed trends of previous years in support of his overall conclusion that the online disruptions did not invalidate the Spring ISTEP tests, so he looked more closely at the 3rd and 4th Grade data.

He reported that 2500 Grade 3 were retained and retested as Grade 3 students, whereas in past years approximately 600 had been retained. This, he said, could account for the drop in Grade 3 scores and the rise in Grade 4 scores unrelated to the online disruptions.

This documentation also could account for rising test scores on NAEP in Grade 4 and would explain why an equally strong gain was not seen in Grade 8 NAEP scores. If Indiana took nearly 2000 ISTEP-failing students out of the Grade 4 cohort of approximately 75,000 for the 2013 NAEP tests, anyone would expect the 4th grade tests to get a noticeable bump up. The same effect was not active for Grade 8 scores, which showed stable and only modest gains, as seen on the NAEP table attached. You can examine the scores and draw your own conclusion. I believe it is clear that a smaller Grade 4 cohort cleansed of IREAD-failing students would account for noticeable gains on NAEP in Grade 4 and much greater gains in Grade 4 than in Grade 8.

This analysis debunks the claims of those who say a reform agenda of private schools vouchers, 3rd grade reading promotion tests and merit pay created higher NAEP scores.

It Worked for Florida

Governor Daniels and State Superintendent Bennett invited Jeb Bush and other Florida leaders to the September 2009 meeting of the Indiana Education Roundtable to tout the reforms in Florida that Indiana might adopt, especially a reading test for promotion to 4th grade. The validation of the Florida program was entirely based on NAEP gains in 4th grade reading. Elaborate data graphs about Florida’s gains were presented, showing positive results for every subgroup.

No one mentioned that day that reducing the Grade 4 cohort by several thousand Grade 3 retentions had influenced the positive Florida results on Grade 4 NAEP.

No one mentioned that day that Indiana’s 4th graders have had a long record of consistently higher NAEP scores in math when compared to Florida’s 4th graders.

No one mentioned that day that Indiana’s 8th graders have had a long record of consistently higher NAEP scores in both reading and math when compared to Florida’s 8th graders.

A masterful marketing job was mounted using only 4th grade NAEP reading results, propelling passage in the 2010 session of the reading law which Dr. Bennett used to create IREAD tests to determine promotion to 4th grade. The program lives on. When Superintendent Ritz was presenting her proposed changes to the reading program in the July State Board meeting of this year, Dan Elsener interrupted her presentation and her plan was tabled, perhaps permanently.

One can well imagine that a plan to export Indiana’s reform package of vouchers, merit pay and 3rd grade reading tests based on NAEP success has been considered, following the model of Florida. That thought gives more importance to understanding NAEP results as I have presented them above in their complete historical context.

Thanks for your support and actions on behalf of public education!

Best wishes,

Vic Smith


ICPE is working to promote public education and oppose the privatization of schools in the Statehouse. We are preparing for the next session of the General Assembly beginning in January. Joel Hand will again serve as ICPE lobbyist for the session. We need your membership to help support his work. Many have renewed their memberships this fall, and we thank you! If you have not done so since July 1, the start of our new membership year, we urge you to renew by going to our website.

We need additional support to carry on our advocacy for public education. We need additional members and additional donations. We need your help!

Go to www.icpe2011.com for membership and renewal information and for full information on our three ICPE membership meetings this fall. Thanks!


Some readers have asked about my background in Indiana public schools. Thanks for asking! Here is a brief bio:

I am a lifelong Hoosier and began teaching in 1969. I served as a social studies teacher, curriculum developer, state research and evaluation consultant, state social studies consultant, district social studies supervisor, assistant principal, principal, educational association staff member, and adjunct university professor. I worked for Garrett-Keyser-Butler Schools, the Indiana University Social Studies Development Center, the Indiana Department of Education, the Indianapolis Public Schools, IUPUI, and the Indiana Urban Schools Association, from which I retired as Associate Director in 2009. I hold three degrees: B.A. in Ed., Ball State University, 1969; M.S. in Ed., Indiana University, 1972; and Ed.D., Indiana University, 1977, along with a Teacher’s Life License and a Superintendent’s License, 1998.

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

CECI Plans to Remove Superintendent Ritz as chair of State Board of Education

The job of the Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction is being threatened!

Daniel Altman, press secretary for the Indiana Department of Education posted the following on the DOE web site today:

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Indiana Department of Education Releases CECI Roadmap

Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Daniel Altman
Press Secretary
(317) 232-0550
daltman@doe.in.gov

INDIANAPOLIS – In response to a reporter’s question about attempts by the State Board of Education and Governor Pence’s Center for Education and Career Innovation (CECI) to remove her power, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz today reaffirmed her position that the CECI is seeking to have her removed as Chair of the State Board and lessen her authority.

Below is a document that was sent from a CECI attorney regarding the CECI’s plans to remove Superintendent Ritz as chair. Section five of the document details those plans. The document is CECI’s roadmap to:
-Remove the elected Superintendent as chair of the State Board;

-Continue the corporatization of public education to the detriment of public education in our state;

-Transfer and erode local control over school facilities; and

-Take away authority statutorily given to the Department of Education.
“Last year, I was elected to lead the Indiana Department of Education and chair the State Board of Education,” said Superintendent Ritz. “This document shows that the CECI is attempting to change a governing structure that has worked for over 100 years, under both Democrats and Republicans.”

Also below is a preliminary draft of a bill that was circulated at an interim summer study committee that would take away authority from the Department of Education over carefully protected student privacy data.

“As an educator and a parent, I know that the protection of student information is one of the key roles of the Department.

“I am committed to ensuring that the elected Office of the Superintendent continues to serve as chair of the State Board while preserving the authority of the Department to protect the voice of the voters and the integrity of public education in Indiana."

A copy of the documents can be found here.

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