STATEHOUSE (March 15, 2017) — State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) visited Tindley Renaissance Academy in Indianapolis on Wednesday, where he observed elementary classrooms and discussed legislation that would replace Indiana’s statewide assessment, ISTEP.
“Spending time with educators and students is the best opportunity to truly see how each school operates differently,” said Behning, chair of the House Committee on Education. “This visit was unique, as I was able to sit down and have an open discussion on changes being made to education in Indiana. The kids were engaged and had great questions. At the end of the day, we have to remember that it’s the students taking the test, and their feedback is just as important as anyone else’s. I hope to have similar conversations in the near future with other schools.”
During his visit, organized in conjunction with Teach Plus, a teacher leadership organization, Behning observed kindergarten, second and fourth grade classrooms. After the classroom visits, Behning joined a round-table discussion with students, teachers, the principal and parents on what Indiana’s next generation of assessments could look like under House Bill 1003.
House Bill 1003 was developed with input from Indiana educators, including Tindley Renaissance Academy’s Principal Eddie Rangel, a Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellowship alum. In 2016, policy makers, including Behning, and educators from the across the state met to study and recommend potential replacements for ISTEP. Rangel and Melissa Scherle, a second grade teacher at Washington Irving Elementary in IPS and a Teach Plus alumna, served on the statewide ISTEP review panel.
“As a Latino educator in an urban school, I know how important a quality assessment is to ensuring we serve all students equitably,” Rangel said. “I was excited to see that House Bill 1003 incorporated many recommendations from teachers, including Teach Plus teachers, and I look forward to working with Rep. Behning and others on a bill that meets the needs of teachers and students in Indiana."
“Moving forward, we’re going to continue seeking input from Hoosier teachers on what our statewide assessments will look like,” Behning said. “Their input is invaluable, and as we continue to discuss ways to improve Indiana’s statewide exams, it is vital that we look at how we can incorporate educator suggestions.
House Bill 1003 is being considered in the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the Senate Chambers.
State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) represents House District 91,
which includes portions of Hendricks and Marion counties.
A high-resolution photo of Behning can be downloaded by clicking here.