Statement as distributed Friday by the Indiana Senate Republican Caucus:
STATEHOUSE (August 2, 2013) - Today, House Speaker Brian C. Bosma (R-Indianapolis) and Senate President Pro Tempore David Long (R-Fort Wayne) announced their plans to refer the recent issues regarding the A-F assessment metrics to an independent task force for review.
John Grew, Executive Director of State Relations and Policy Analysis at Indiana University, and Bill Sheldrake, President and founder of Policy Analytics, will serve as the lead assessors of the A-F metrics. In their capacity on this task force, Grew and Sheldrake will be charged with:
• Evaluating the previous A-F assessment tool;
• Determining its validity;
• Ascertaining the fairness of previous grades given to schools;
• Determining whether manipulations of the system occurred; and
• Making recommendations to the State Board of Education and/or the General Assembly as to what next steps may be appropriate.
As the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Legislative Council, Sen. Long and Speaker Bosma have pledged to support this task force’s endeavors with funds from the Legislative Council.
“The most important thing we can do moving forward is to have an independent and fair assessment of the A-F school grading process. This will help ensure that everyone, from our schools and teachers to our parents and students, can have their confidence restored in this past year’s outcomes,” Sen. Long said. “Bill Sheldrake and John Grew are highly respected policy leaders who should have the confidence of Hoosiers everywhere.”
House Enrolled Act 1427 from the 2013 session required the State Board of Education to revise the A-F metric and to base it on growth and achievement. This revision is to be completed by November 15, 2013.
“It is imperative that we assess the previous metric, and ensure that it is fair, accurate and uniformly applied. As we move forward, it is our hope that this task force’s findings can help the State Board of Education develop a new system that bases assessments on growth and achievement, as we always intended,” said Speaker Bosma.
Speaker Bosma and Sen. Long have asked Grew and Sheldrake to complete their work by Labor Day, Sept. 2, as the significance of the situation demands immediate attention in order to resolve outstanding issues.