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[s29] Sen. Delph Proposes Bill to Reward High-Performing Schools
Start Date: 1/2/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 1/2/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

Sen. Kruse, Senate Education Committee Chairman, is 2nd author while Sen. Hershman, Senate Majority Floor Leader, is 3rd author. Sen. Kruse pledges Committee hearing for consideration of SB 189 in January.


STATEHOUSE (Jan. 2, 2013) — State Sen. Mike Delph (R-Carmel) has filed Senate Bill 189 to reward academic excellence in Hoosier schools. This is the second year he has brought this idea before the Indiana General Assembly, but the first time as a stand-alone bill proposal.

Delph’s proposal would grant high-performing districts, such as Carmel and Zionsville, state regulatory relief from rigid requirements generating new and improved academic innovation in the classroom.

“The goal is to create an academic environment where next generational techniques and training can inspire Hoosier students to learn even more,” Delph said. “This is a natural step in our effort to improve public education in Indiana.” 

SB 189 allows top school corporations to have more discretion in their administrative and instructional organization. This includes the following provisions:

  • Freedom to choose, develop, and implement their own curriculum
  • Freedom to construct their own design for teacher and staff evaluations
  • Freedom from state regulation dealing with high ability students
  • Freedom to create own plan for career and technical training
  • Freedom to organize classroom time based on instructional minutes instead of the current 180-day school year requirement

Certified high-performing school districts would still be subject to other statutes specified by the state, including guidelines for special education, contract and salary regulations and other general administrative procedures.

“Districts with proven track records could create environments that better fit their students’ academic needs and capabilities,” Delph said. “This would allow these students to reach their fullest potential.”

The issue was brought to Delph’s attention by Carmel Clay School Board member and constituent, Andy Klein, and Carmel Clay School Superintendent, Dr. Jeff Swensson. Both noted the positive impact this legislation would have on students’ long-term success.

“The proposed legislation represents education reform at its best by creating incentives for excellence,” Klein said. “By rewarding high-performing districts with flexibility, the new law would encourage excellent school systems to find ways to do even better.”

“This is the result of collaboration between various school corporations and leading legislators,” Swensson said. “It provides all public schools in Indiana with a data-based academic goal, which, when attained, opens regulatory doors to enhanced achievement levels for our students. Hoosier educators will use this new opportunity to ensure that our children are globally competitive and well prepared for bright futures."

Delph said school districts’ performance levels would be based on the following:

  • At least 25 percent of students graduating each year must:
    • Earn a grade of 3, 4 or 5 on at least one Advanced Placement exam; or
    • Graduate with a technical honors diploma.
  • A district-wide graduation rate of at least 90 percent.
  • The composite SAT scores of the district’s graduates must be higher than the state-wide average SAT scores.

Once certified as a performance-qualified school district, the corporation must meet or exceed certain benchmarks each year, which include:

  • Participation in performance-based measures determined by the Indiana Department of Education and the district.
  • For a high school, at least 85 percent of students must achieve a passing score on end of course assessments in Algebra I, English 10 or both Algebra I and English 10.
  • For a middle school, at least 85 percent of students in grades 6, 7 and 8 must achieve a passing score on ISTEP assessments in English, mathematics or both English and mathematics.
  • For an elementary school, at least 85 percent of students in grades 3, 4 and 5 must achieve a passing score on ISTEP assessments in English, mathematics or both English and mathematics. At least 85 percent of students in grade 3 must pass the I-READ assessment.

“Such performance standards would help ensure our students are fully prepared to accomplish their goals,” Delph said. “They would create a system where we’re challenging our schools to focus on methods that maximize student success beyond the classroom. In the long-run, our children would be better positioned to be competitive in this global economy.”

The Indiana General Assembly’s upcoming legislative session starts Jan. 7. 

Location Information:
Contact Information:
Name: Tracy Lytwyn
Phone: 317-234-9221
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • Category:
  • Education
  • Agency Name
    Senate Republican Caucus

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