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(INDIANAPOLIS) –  Legislators are expected to move quickly to ensure ILEARN scores aren’t part of teacher evaluations this year. There’s more disagreement about the role they should play in the future.

Governor Holcomb and legislators in both parties agree it would be unfair to hold teachers responsible for the first year of ILEARN, when teachers and students had to adjust to a brand new test. It’s likely to be the first bill to reach Holcomb’s desk. 

But House Republicans say they want to at least begin whether the test should be part of teacher pay at all. Holcomb says he doesn’t rule out decoupling the test from teacher pay, but says he’s wary of addressing just one piece of the testing debate. He notes some opponents of high-stakes testing don’t want to stop at teacher pay, but get rid of the test entirely. Holcomb says there has to be a way to measure how well students and schools are doing. And he says eliminating the test would put federal education funding at risk.

State law limits school districts’ ability to consider experience or advanced degrees in determining teacher raises, capping it at half of any calculation. Performance is part of the other half, with test results a key factor in that assessment. House Republicans haven’t specified the limits they want to put on that, but the Indiana State Teachers Association has suggested capping it at 10{342d4ff9325a28dcb7f2c75b24c2a469a7c28c0aebd22d83bf56550a2655925a}. President Keith Gambill says the best way to assess teachers’ performance is to put a trained evaluator in the classroom to watch teachers at work. And Senator Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg) says she’ll introduce a bill capping the role of testing at5{342d4ff9325a28dcb7f2c75b24c2a469a7c28c0aebd22d83bf56550a2655925a} of salary calculations. 

(Photo: Jetta Productions/Thinkstock)