On the first day of the convening of the 2020 legislative session, the Senate Education and Career Development Committee met to fast track a bill to hold schools harmless from ILEARN scores for the 2018-2020 school years. State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary), who serves as the committee’s Ranking Minority Member, had the following reaction to the bill’s passage out of the committee:
“While I support efforts to hold schools harmless from low standardized exam scores and pausing intervention efforts, Senate Bill (SB) 2 and its counterpart in the House are mere Band-Aids to a much larger issue. The entire accountability system must be overhauled to prevent similar problems from arising in the future.
“I will support SB 2 as it moves through the process due to its ability to protect our schools from state efforts to intervene; however, I hope the legislature seriously considers my own proposal to address this issue. My bill would move Indiana from its current two-tier system using both state and federal accountability structures to a single system in which we just follow the federal standards of accountability.
“Our schools and students should be protected and not lose funding due to the legislature’s incessant efforts to alter testing requirements. We are right back where we were four years ago when we had to hold schools harmless from ISTEP scores. We cannot let this happen again in another four years. This session, we must move forward on a long-term solution to this recurring problem.”
The bill was approved by the Senate Education Committee unanimously and now moves to the full Senate.