Jean Leising

OLDENBURG — State Senator Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) said in recent months her office has received concerns from administrators, teachers, parents and students about Indiana’s educational standards and testing requirements – most specifically, the Indiana Learning Evaluation Assessment Readiness Network (ILEARN) and the accountability grades associated with the assessment.

This August, the Indiana Department of Education announced only 37.1% of students in grades 3-8 passed the inaugural ILEARN exam. This is the first time that more than half of students failed the state’s standardized test.

Leising said as a member of the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development, she is deeply troubled by these statistics and empathizes with many of the concerns brought forth.

As a result, she has drafted two bills that she said she will file for the 2020 legislative session.

“The first bill I plan to file will hold schools across Indiana harmless in light of their ILEARN results,” Leising said.

“If no action is taken, such results would negatively impact teacher pay and school accountability grades. I expect a measure like this to advance during session given the public support announced by state leaders for such action.

“The second bill I plan to file will decouple ILEARN scores from teacher evaluations for the 2019-2020 academic year, ensuring teachers aren’t held accountable for the drop in scoring. In addition, the bill will require school districts to base no more than 5% of ILEARN scoring on future teacher evaluations beginning in the 2020-2021 school year,” she continued.

She also said she remains committed to improving educational standards in Indiana, and encouraged residents in her district to contact her if they have any questions, comments or concerns regarding this topic or others that she can address.

Leising may be contacted at Senator.Leising@iga.in.gov or by calling 800-382-9467.

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