Cook's bill to increase transparency of school performance heads to the Senate

Posted by: Andi Sommers  | Wednesday, February 17, 2021 8:57 am

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 17, 2021) – State Rep. Tony Cook's (R-Cicero) bill to better inform Hoosier parents about school performance now heads to the Senate after the Indiana House of Representatives voted unanimously in support of the legislation.

Cook, the author of House Bill 1514, said schools would have to publish their performance success on a statewide dashboard on the Indiana Department of Education's website. He said schools could choose to post benchmark assessments in a wide variety of subjects to better communicate with families what areas the school may be excelling in and areas that may need some improvement.

"When a school publishes their results of AP exams, ILEARN scores or other assessments given throughout the year, parents will have a better understanding of how their school's performance compares to other districts across the state," Cook said. "This new system will make it easier for parents to compare schools and quickly identify the best place for their child to learn."

Indiana's current accountability system includes consequences for schools that do not meet expectations. House Bill 1514 would eliminate these consequences, including ending state takeover of schools that receive failing accountability grades from the Indiana Department of Education. Cook said his bill would also hold schools harmless from ILEARN test results and provide them with a "null" or "no letter grade" for the 2020-2021 school year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The pandemic has caused a lot of disruption for students and educators as they have worked tirelessly to keep children on track with their academics," Cook said. "Holding schools harmless from ILEARN scores and issuing a 'null' grade are just a couple ways Indiana can help ease the burden on educators as they continue to navigate this last leg of this public health crisis."

House Bill 1514 now heads to the Senate for further consideration. For more information, visit iga.in.gov. 

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State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero) represents House District 32, which includes all of Tipton County and portions of
Hamilton, Madison, Delaware, Howard and Grant counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.