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STATE HOUSE–Thousands of people dressed in red made their way onto the state house steps Tuesday morning for Red for Ed Action Day. Teachers and other school personnel from across the state are asking legislators for more money, to modify or eliminate the requirement for an externship, and to be held harmless for last year’s state test scores.

“The testing culture we’ve created in the state of Indiana is ridiculous,” said Ross, a teacher from Terre Haute. “I saw a sign out here that said standardized testing is child abuse and I don’t think I disagree with that, to be honest with you. It serves no purpose other than to punish educators. It has no bearing on how kids do at all.”

Scores are linked to teacher pay and evaluations, and that’s something that many of the teachers are asking lawmakers to stop.

Red for Ed action day on the state house steps

“We do a lot of work and our pay needs to be changed,” said Tricia, a teacher from Whiteland. “The 15 hours, extra volunteer hours that we need to do to get our license renewed, we do a lot of volunteering as it is.”

She said didn’t know of anyone who has started trying to complete an externship.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick called the demonstration a “great day”.

“We are here to make sure that our schools have adequate and equitable funding. We are here to make sure our teachers get flexible professional development, make sure our accountability is fair,” she said. “It’s a movement for the State of Indiana.”

While teachers gathered on the steps, waiting for the beginning of a 9 a.m. news conference, they chanted phrases like “fund out future”. 

PHOTOS Chris Davis/Emmis