Education Roundtable endorses key pieces of 2011 Education Agenda

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Press release from the Indiana Department of Education:

Education Roundtable Endorses Key Pieces of 2011 Education Agenda

(December 8, 2010) – Indiana’s Education Roundtable passed measures in support of rigorous teacher and administrator evaluation systems and accelerated graduation opportunities for high school students at today’s quarterly meeting. Both items are central pieces of Indiana’s 2011 Education Agenda and support the Roundtable’s long-term objective to prepare all Hoosier students for college and career success.

“School communities must have freedom and flexibility to implement a fair system of annual evaluations that considers multiple factors—including student performance data,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett said. “I hope the Roundtable’s endorsement is a call to action for those seeking to identify and reward Indiana’s great teachers and leaders who are driving student success.”

The vote followed a presentation of the state’s 2011 Education Agenda by Governor Mitch Daniels and Superintendent Bennett. Both officials stressed the need to promote excellence in teaching and school leadership, increase accountability and local flexibility, and provide families high-quality educational options for their children.

The Roundtable’s recommendation in favor of revamped teacher and administrator evaluations calls for an annual performance review based on measures of content knowledge, instructional skill, classroom management, student academic achievement and leadership effectiveness. Members acknowledged studies emphasizing the positive impact effective teachers have on the academic trajectory of traditionally at-risk students and encouraged local school leaders to implement systems that reward teachers for driving academic growth.

The measure in favor of accelerated graduation proposes allowing students who complete the state’s high school diploma requirements by the end of 11th grade to pursue a post-secondary education using state average daily membership funds (ADM) set aside for the 12th grade year. Supporting accelerated graduation opportunities aligns with the Roundtable’s commitment to increase college and career readiness pathways for all Indiana students.

“Schools must allow Hoosier students to pursue options tailored to meet their individual academic needs,” said Dr. Bennett. “This is a practical measure that rewards academic excellence and uses taxpayer dollars to fund increased post-secondary academic opportunities.”

Indiana’s Education Roundtable is co-chaired by the Governor and State Superintendent and serves to improve educational opportunities and achievement for all Hoosier students. Comprised of leading stakeholders from education, business, community and government, the Roundtable makes ongoing recommendations to the Governor, State Superintendent, General Assembly and State Board of Education at each of its four meetings per year.

To access an overview of the 2011 Education Agenda, please visit www.doe.in.gov/puttingstudentsfirst.

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