INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
Indiana legislators have voted to end the mandatory use of student
standardized test results in teacher evaluations, dropping a requirement
long opposed by teachers.
The state Senate
voted 50-0 Tuesday in favor of the proposal, following a unanimous vote by
House members in January.
The votes represent
an about-face on the mandate dating from a 2011 Republican-driven education
overhaul that school districts incorporate those student exam results in
their teacher evaluations, which are used in determining merit pay raises.
Schools districts would still have the option of incorporating the scores in
Bill sponsor Rep.
Tony Cook, a Republican from Cicero, has said removing the requirement
acknowledges the trouble with measuring teacher effectiveness based on a
single student exam.
The test mandate
was often decried during a November rally by thousands of teachers at the
Statehouse, but some business and education reform groups opposed dropping
maintain most teachers are being rated effective or highly effective under
the current system and that the test scores typically make up less than 10%
of the rating.
Indiana Chamber of
Commerce Vice President Jason Bearce said the state should include objective
test scores along with subjective reviews by school administrators in the
“Jettisoning it all
together, we think, sends the wrong message and ultimately will be
counterproductive to education in the state,” Bearce told a Senate committee
The bill now goes
to Gov. Eric Holcomb for consideration.