Press release from the Indiana Department of Education:
SB 258 Helps Ensure Student Success
(January 28, 2010) Enhancing early reading proficiency and greatly reducing the practice of social promotion remain the goals of Senate Bill 258, say Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) and Sen. Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn). The two senators join Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett in supporting the bill’s changes following an amendment added in the Senate Appropriations Committee Tuesday.
Kenley offered an amendment removing some of the bill’s detailed provisions regarding prescribed actions in Indiana classrooms and schools. The new language empowers the State Board of Education to devise and implement a plan to ensure third grade students are reading at third grade level before being promoted. Without this directive, the board had no authority to consider social promotion or to require schools to retain students who aren’t prepared to move to the next grade level.
“I am pleased we have been able to keep the core focus of the bill intact while removing sections that might have added costs,” Kenley said. “The primary objective for any K-3 student should be to become a great reader- and we must ensure this happens”
The bill, authored by Kruse, now includes safeguards requiring the State Board of Education to make sure the plan has no fiscal impact, provides legislative oversight and allows public input.
“I cannot imagine anything more important to address in my first year as Senate Education Committee chair than early childhood reading,” Sen. Kruse said. “This bill keeps the focus on the most important skill students must master and will help prepare them for a lifetime of success.”
SB 258 is now eligible for Second Reading amendment before the full Indiana Senate.
“I am thrilled by the cooperation and efforts of Sens. Kenley and Kruse to ensure students are not passed on to the next grade level before they are ready,” Dr. Bennett said. “This bill gives the State Board of Education the authority it needs to take action to end the practice of social promotion in our schools.”
For more information about SB 258,.
And another press release on the same subject:
Bennett Statement on Senate Appropriations Vote on SB 258
(January 26, 2010) “Senate Bill 258 addresses a key driver of educational success â€” early reading proficiency. I’m very glad members of the Senate Appropriations Committee voted today to allow this legislation to come before the full Senate for consideration. In particular, I want to thank Senator Kenley for his terrific leadership, and I commend Senator Rogers for offering her bipartisan support on this important initiative. I believe our essential goal is the same: to make sure all Indiana students have the basic literacy skills they need to succeed in school and in life.”