Throughout the summer and fall when the Indiana General Assembly is not in session, interim committees and commissions are convened to conduct in-depth research and analysis on many complex issues facing the state. The recommendations formed over the next few months by the work of these committees –including public testimony– are included in proposals likely to be considered during the next legislative session. Most study committees must complete their work by November 1st.
The newly-established committee will take up whether the state will continue to roll out Common Core standards or proceed in a different direction. The committee will compare the state’s current standards to Common Core and consider best practices in developing and adopting Common Core standards. The committee will also examine the cost of implementation and hear testimony from teachers, testing experts, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction among others.
Another new working group, the School Safety Interim Study Committee, will look to improve safety among the state’s schools and develop best practices for school resource officers hired under provisions laid out in Senate Enrolled Act 1. The bill provided schools with grant funding to hire officers to assist with school safety and security.
The Commission on Education will study the effects of unprecedented school voucher expansion in Indiana. The committee will consider the academic performance and graduation rates of choice scholarship schools and how they compare to traditional public schools. The committee will also study the demographics of students receiving vouchers including income, race, and special needs of choice scholarship students as compared to those students enrolled in public schools. Overall, the committee will examine why parents choose to enroll their child in the school choice scholarship program, as well as the student growth and achievement for students enrolled in the voucher program over time.
Following widespread issues with ISTEP testing across the state this spring, lawmakers will immediately review the testing process in June. The commission will hear testimony from the company behind ISTEP’s online testing software, McGraw-Hill, administrators and other concerned parties. Continue reading ’2013 study committees to examine ISTEP, Common Core, ACA and more’