INDIANAPOLIS – On Friday, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) released the recommendations made by the School Accountability Panel on yet another new school accountability framework. The recommended framework consists of three indicators with differing weights. With a weight of 70 percent, the college and career readiness indicator heavily influences a school’s overall score and is calculated using three outcomes: whether a student enrolls in post-secondary education, is employed through an apprenticeship or serves in the military. State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary) had the following response to this new accountability agenda:

“My record shows that I stand with our Hoosier teachers and public schools, and I will continue to do so going forward. This new accountability system is not in the best interests of our teachers and schools and is recommended by a panel whose membership does not even include a single person from IDOE. In addition, the panel members who voted no to this recommendation were all educators. Why recommend a system that does not have the support of educators and will harm them in its implementation?

“With this new system, we would be putting teachers on the hook for the paths students decide to take after graduation. Teachers and schools would be graded on benchmarks they have no control over. If a student chooses a path not allowed by these new standards – such as choosing to work directly after high school to avoid the rising costs of post-secondary education – our schools might receive poor scores for that choice. This accountability system ignores the work that teachers do in the classrooms and the ways they help individual students improve in their education.

“I urge Indiana educators to call your legislators and call the governor. Let your voices be heard as we get closer to the next legislative session. Our state government can help our schools succeed and thrive as long as we listen to the hard-working Hoosiers who are actually educating our children.”