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Panel OKs bill linking student tests, teacher pay

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Teacher pay would be linked to student performance under a merit pay bill that has cleared an Indiana House committee.

The Republican-controlled House Education Committee voted 8-5 along party lines Wednesday to approve the bill, which is part of Gov. Mitch Daniels' aggressive education agenda. The bill requires teachers to be evaluated every year, and those who fall into the lowest two of four evaluation categories wouldn't get automatic pay raises.

Local districts would create their own evaluation systems but would have to include objective measures of student achievement such as scores on statewide standardized tests.

Meanwhile, a Senate committee was set to vote Wednesday afternoon on another big part of Daniels' education agenda — a contentious voucher proposal that would direct taxpayer money to private schools.

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  • Oh?
    Jason - Sorry, but... there are questions on standardized tests that evaluate cognitive skills - what the good teacher teaches; ie, the ability to THINK and LEARN, not just memorize. And the evaluations are not JUST to be based on standardized test scores; quoting:

    Local districts would create their own evaluation systems...

    endquote.

    And yes, the paragraph goes on to state that standardized test scores are to be PART of the evaluation. I also have to agree with "Public School Mon", though. The parents are, or should be, any child's primary teacher. I have a theory why that's been allowed to fall by the wayside, but I won't get into that here; or I'd be using about 200 gigabytes, more or less; it's a major rant. Reward good teachers and schools, and stop throwing good money after bad.
  • Really?
    I have to completely disagree with Mitch and our politicians on this one. Let's further encourage teachers to teach to the test vs. teaching with methods that produce well-rounded children, why don't we? Teaching performance is simply something that cannot be quantified or measured by a test. It is apparent that our state "representatives" really don't grasp this nor will they ever. We will never have innovation without creativity and creativity doesn't come from understanding the core principals of reading, math, science and spelling. It's the intangibles within teachers and non-core classes that nurture this. The core classes don't create excitement, intensity and drive within students. I now plenty of underwhelming people who know how to read, write and complete math problems. I agree with Brent that we need to grade our politicians as right now, they are failing all of us and this idiotic bill further reinforces this feeling.
  • Parents MUST step up
    My kids go to a public elementary school in Marion County that doesn't perform well on tests but I have to say that, as an active parent very involved with the school, I cannot fault the teachers. They have to beg for parents to accompany on field trips or help at school functions, lest they be canceled. In a school of 500 kids, the average number of parents at any given PTO meeting is 4! I have personally heard parents say that it is the SCHOOL's job to teach their kids, and there is something so wrong with that mind set. Parents and politicians need to stop blaming the teachers and hold parents accountable. As the principal said to one parent arguing that the student shouldn't have homework "I only have them for six years, but you'll have them for life."

    Yes, there are some poor teachers and evaluating them annually as other employees are has merit, but basing their raises or continued job status solely on test scores will not help the problem, will eventually exacerbate it.
    Those teachers that care most are often the ones that feel compelled to work with kids that need the most help. If they feel that they will lose their jobs for their efforts, they may go the route of only working in well-performing districts, leaving the under-performing schools to teachers that aren't as qualified or well-meaning.
    I have always been a conservative republican, but have to vigorously disagree with the party on this one.
  • Rote Teaching
    This will only encourage those who cannot teach to be teachers. Teaching is more than just teaching facts - it's about encouraging thinking, dreaming and learning. It will eventually bring out the inventer, innovator, artist. This system seems to encourage more droid workers who cannot think for themselves and will accept what anyone tells them. Workers who will accept low paying jobs and not question whoever has the power. But, I guess, Mitch makes up for that by sending those who can afford it to private schools - even help pay their way.
  • agree
    I totally agree with Brent
  • Education for all
    This is so wrong in so many ways. Who writes the statewide standardized test: a Republican, a Democrat, a corporation, a business entity, a business school dean, a liberal arts school phd? I just can't help but think this is another means of controlling the minds of our youth. We need more information and explanation of what this program will be. Daniels wants to privatize our education system - give it to private organizations/businesses when he should be keeping it as a public system that allows even the poor student who can't afford a charter school to get a good education. Any voucher system will not allow these students an opportunity that private school "might" allow. We need to improve a truly public system.
  • Really
    Hmmmm...they should try this out on Politicians. If the people in their District / Counties are not being succesful they should not get pay raises but pay cuts. See if this helps the budget any....then maybe we might be able to give the schools the resources they need to be succesful.

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