News release from the Indiana Urban Schools Association:
IUSA Asks State Board of Education to Postpone Vote on A-F Table
(April 14, 2016) – IUSA today sent a letter to the members of the Indiana State Board of Education asking that they postpone a final vote on the A-F Accountability Growth to Proficiency Tables until concerns about the accountability system can be addressed. There are concerns that the plan violates state law by allowing peer-to-peer comparisons and is discriminatory. There are also concerns about how it fit in with the recently authorized federal Every Student Succeeds Act and the yet-to-be-designed replacement for ISTEP+.
About the IUSA
What is IUSA? Indiana Urban Schools Association (IUSA) represents 37 Indiana school districts educating more than 356,000 students (34 percent of all Indiana students). Of these students served almost half (46 person) receive free or reduced price meals, 72 person are students of color, 36 person receive special education services, and 64 percent are Limited English Proficient.
Text of the letter:
Indiana Urban Schools Association (IUSA)
April 14, 2016
To the Members of the Indiana State Board of Education:
We are writing to request that you postpone taking action on the A-F Accountability Growth to Proficiency Table until concerns about the accountability system can be addressed. There remain several areas of concern for IUSA members, primarily that it violates state law and is discriminatory.
The Indiana Urban Schools Association (IUSA) represents 37 Indiana school districts educating more than 356,000 students (34 percent of all Indiana students). Nearly half (46 percent) of these students receive free or reduced-price meals; 72 percent are students of color; 36 percent receive special education services; and 64 percent are Limited English Proficient.
We believe this model affects our ability to provide a quality education to all students and could result in having a disparate impact on students based on their race, socio-economic status and/or disability.
- There is a lack of clarity from the practice of using Student Growth Percentiles (SGPs), which rank students to determine growth. The proposed ranking creates inequitable opportunities for students to move up within the accountability table and does not adequately address the relationship between a student’s background and learning outcomes. This method of determining student growth forces a comparison of students against each other, which is contrary to Indiana Code 20-31-8-5.4 prohibiting peer to peer comparisons.
- There is a minimum 6-year stabilization period that will follow the implementation of the new test to replace ISTEP+. During this time, the model, as it is presented, ensures a large number of all students will be placed in low growth categories leaving students, schools and districts with accountability ratings that are not reflective of the commitment of Indiana public educators and their students’ learning. At the same time, Indiana will also be coming into compliance with the new federal accountability system, Every Student Succeeds Act, which may cause additional confusion and instability.
IUSA looks forward to participating in ongoing efforts with the Indiana Department of Education and State Board of Education in developing an accountability model that accurately reflects student learning in Indiana schools.
The Member Districts of IUSA
Indiana Urban Schools Association
- Executive Director – Dr. Hardy Murphy
- President – Dr. Nikki Woodson
- Vice President – Dr. Jeff Hauswald
- Secretary – Dr. Flora Reichanadter
IUSA Member School Corporations
- Beech Grove
- East Chicago
- Evansville Vanderburgh
- Fayette County
- Franklin Twp.
- Fort Wayne
- Lake Ridge
- Lake Station
- Lawrence Twp.
- Michigan City
- MSD Decatur
- MSD Perry Twp
- MSD Pike Twp.
- South Bend
- Washington Twp.
- Warren Twp.
- Wayne Twp.