The following statement was issued Saturday by the Indiana PTA:
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz met with Indiana PTA during this weekend's Indiana PTA Board of Managers meeting to give PTA leaders an update on the current issues within the state and Common Core Standards, Assessments and Accountability.
Superintendent Ritz gave PTA leaders an update on proficiency levels and how necessary they are for students to develop and the flexibility that may be needed for Core 40 diploma standards so that students can thrive in today's economy. Students will have to have post-secondary training in the future and the question is how to get this right especially with the mathematic standards. The standards are just the first phase of moving students to college and career ready standards. Then implementation of a growth model assessment system will need to be developed to address students at the level they are at so they can be moved forward. Growth will now be measured on a 100 point scale that will help parents and students and the categories will be based on a 5-8 tier growth model that will incentivize students to keep working. Every student will have their own growth line and each student will be rated on proficiency and growth.
Superintendent Ritz also updated Indiana PTA on the controversies that are surrounding the Department of Education and the politics of what is playing now in Indiana.
Indiana PTA also received an update on the new Outreach Department at IDOE as a system of support to get student's needs taken care of. The outreach efforts will drive the grant writing, use of technology, conversations with decision makers, and legislative agenda once it is determined what is needed in the communities.
Questions and discussion included what Indiana PTA can do to help the IDOE with educating students, widening dual credit opportunities across the state and making them more affordable for families, including family engagement through the school improvement process, Family Friendly Schools, Superintendent Ritz's priorities for early education, counseling of young people going to proprietary schools, Race to The Top early education funding (Indiana is one of 16 that applied this year), lowering the mandatory school age to age 5, using CTE funding for counselors and social workers, special education assessments; ESEA reauthorization
Ms. Ritz suggested we talk to state legislators on the issues that are important to students and urged our support so that parents are heard and listened to.