[r91] Bill passes both chambers targeting teacher and principal quality (4/20/2011)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Start Date: 4/20/2011 All Day
End Date: 4/20/2011
Rep. Behning sponsors Senate Bill 1

Rep. Bob Behning (R- Indianapolis) is sponsoring Senate Bill 1, which targets teacher and principal quality. This legislation requires local schools to develop fair, meaningful, annual evaluations that consider many factors, including student learning. This bill is aimed at being able to effectively identify a school's best teachers and principals.

"The most important in school factors for raising student achievement are the quality of school leaders and the teachers that delivers the instruction," said Rep. Behning. "This bill directly addresses this need. It is critical that we shift our focus to supporting, growing and retaining our best teachers. They will all lead to a significant impact in student achievement."

Earlier in the week, the bill was heard on a second reading where amendments were adopted on a bipartisan basis.

Rep. Mary Ann Sullivan (D-Indianapolis) amended in language to increase the participation of teachers and requires 75% of teachers to vote for a locally created evaluation plan. The plans do not have to be approved by the Department of Education (DOE) unless the schools want to apply for grant money appropriated for evaluations or merit pay.

Rep. Eric Koch (R-Bedford) amended in language addressing the current education neglect statute by requiring each school to create an attendance policy and mandate that a superintendent must report to the Department of Child Services and the prosecutors when students miss more than ten days unexcused in a school year.

"There is significant data supporting the components of this bill, many foundations support the importance for all educators to receive annual feedback, the importance of incorporating data in evaluations and ending Last End First Out policy" said Rep. Behning.

The following are key aspects of the bill:

  • Puts parameters for a locally created evaluation system which would place educators into one of four categories, high effective, effective, improvement necessary and ineffective.
  • Allows for no more than 33% of the calculation for a salary increase to be seniority and additional content area degrees and or hours, the results of the locally adopted evaluation tool and the assignments of instructional leadership roles. It only allows for increases for the two top categories, highly effective or effective.
  • Provides for transparency and requires the school corporation to submit their plan to the DOE, all of which will be placed on their website.
  • Requires that in cases where teachers are in the same performance categories seniority, degrees held, leadership and academic needs of students may all be considered.Allows ISTEP to be used as an indicator of student growth but does not mandate a percentage of weight to be used.
  • Does not reduce pay for current teachers.
  • Does not allow charter schools to higher any percentage of non certified teachers.

Senate Bill 1 was heard on its final passage during Wednesday's session. It passed the House with a vote of 60-32.