Indianapolis – Governor Mike Pence offered remarks during the Chairpersons’ Reports section of today’s Education Roundtable meeting. The Governor serves as Co-chair of the Education Roundtable. Excerpts of his remarks can be found below.
Education Roundtable Excerpts
As Prepared for Delivery
Before we get to the substance of the Education Roundtable’s agenda today, I would like to provide some brief remarks about the status of Indiana’s work with the U.S. Department of Education in regard to retaining the state’s federal No Child Left Behind Waiver.
I have had two calls this past month with Secretary Arne Duncan regarding Indiana’s retention of its existing waiver. I reiterated that my administration is fully committed to retaining the waiver and the state and local flexibility that it affords to our students, teachers and schools.
I also reinforced that my administration is committed to maintaining student assessment and teacher and school accountability without interruption.
I understand that this is a time of considerable transition for our teachers and our schools. Our new standards will be in place this upcoming school year, ISTEP will be revised for 2014-2015 to reflect these new standards, and then we will be transitioning to a new assessment in 2015-2016.
We cannot forget the impetus behind shifting to more rigorous standards and college-and-career ready assessments. According to the most recent annual data from the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, more than 10,000 of our high school graduates required remediation upon enrolling in a public college or university. Those are outcomes we simply cannot accept.
We have taken an important step forward by adopting rigorous new standards, and we are continuing this journey by developing new, more rigorous state tests.
I have great faith in our teachers and the professionalism and dedication that they bring to our classrooms every day. I also have great faith in our principals and superintendents to provide strong leadership and clear communication as our state transitions to new standards and assessments.
On behalf of Hoosier students, we must work together to oversee a smooth transition that will ultimately contribute to the economic vitality and well-being of our state.
Finally, let me share some thoughts with you in regard to our efforts to create new tests that will align with our new College and Career Ready Standards. First, I believe that assessments provide an important picture of how our students are doing and what they need in the classroom.
As we work to design new tests, I believe we must keep the following principles in mind:
· Indiana must retain control over the content and design of its assessment. That is why I supported our withdrawal from the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), the national testing consortium.
· Indiana’s assessment must be fully aligned with our new standards, and it must measure both proficiency and growth. While I support a focus on individual growth in our accountability formula, it cannot come at the expense of ensuring that students show proficiency in our standards, which will help them excel in any classroom and ensure they are competitive with their peers both inside and outside of Indiana.
· While assessments are important, we should guard our instructional time in the classroom and ensure that we do not increase the time that our teachers and students spend on mandatory, statewide testing.
· Student learning in Kindergarten – second grade lays the foundation for success. However, I do not believe that mandatory testing is developmentally appropriate at these ages. Therefore, I support optional formative assessments that will aid teachers in the classroom rather than mandatory, statewide testing for Kindergarten through second grade.
· I firmly believe that “what gets measured gets done.” Since we introduced IREAD-3 in 2011, our state’s reading scores have increased. IREAD-3 is a critical component of our strategy to ensure that Hoosier students transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn.” Therefore, I support retaining IREAD-3 as an independent, stand-alone test.
· We must address the remediation crisis in our schools. Therefore, I support extending ISTEP from eighth grade to tenth grade. This will allow us to continue to measure student progress and growth into high school and will be an important first step in identifying students that require remediation, so that they can receive additional support in high school. A diploma from our high schools should signal that our graduates are ready for career or college.