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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student


Indiana education reform bill successful in Senate

Senate Bill 409 has moved through the Legislature and will now go to the desk of Gov. Mike Pence. This bill would set forth the Commission on Education Legislative Study Committee to help evaluate teacher education schools, departments and programs.

The bill is authored by Senators Jim Banks, R-Columbia City; Carlin Yoder, R-Middleburry; and Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, co-authored by Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary, and sponsored in the house by Rep. Robert Behning, R-Indianapolis.

Education programs will now be required to submit certain information to the committee such as completion rates of candidates and the types of teaching positions participants receive.The committee will also collect pass rates of candidates taking education licensing exams.

The department will inspect education programs and work with them to ensure participants can achieve the highest professional standards.

Dean Gerardo Gonzalez of the IU School of Education said he welcomes the new evaluation program. The School of Education, he said, is already collecting some of their own data, such as graduation and retention rates.

“These are all things we generally do anyway,” he said.
Gonzalez said he believes this new committee will help keep programs responsible to their students and to the Indiana education system as a whole.

“We would welcome that kind of accountability,” he said.
He said the School of Education has received positive feedback from graduates and employers. The 2011 and 2012 Indiana teachers of the year were both School of Education graduates.

He said the collection of reliable data would help keep people from making incorrect assumptions about the state of education and, if done correctly, will help advance the way teachers are evaluated.

“The data suggest we are doing a very good job,” he said.

—Sydney Murray

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