Parents have been frustrated with the way the state’s education curriculum has been developed in recent years, and they’re now calling for a complete overhaul.
The push comes after the state failed to meet an enrollment target for teachers and was accused of using teacher evaluation to decide which students should receive extra credit in math and reading.
A bill introduced in the state legislature last week would allow schools to have more flexibility in determining the teaching styles that best suit their students.
“It’s been a struggle for many of us to get this right,” said state Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Fort Wayne.
“We’ve been doing this for more than 30 years and I think we need to do it again.”
Yoder said the legislation would allow teachers to focus on developing the content of instruction rather than the content itself.
“I think we can learn from what’s been done in the past,” he said.
“This is a time to really get this done.
There’s a lot of time to figure out what works and what doesn’t.
And this is a perfect time to do that.”
The bill would also allow districts to offer teacher evaluations that can be used to determine which students are best suited for the special education curriculum.
Currently, schools in Indiana can only use evaluations of a child’s reading and math abilities.
A recent ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court upheld a district’s decision to use that evaluation to determine the placement of special education students.
The bill is expected to go to a Senate committee next week.
State Rep. Steve Cohen, D-East Lansing, said he’s heard from parents frustrated with how the state has handled the teacher evaluations process.
“This is really not an issue that’s been brought up at all by the parents,” Cohen said.
“They feel like this is not a priority for their kids.
This is not their education.
It’s not their future.
This isn’t their future.”
Cohen said the bill would help teachers understand what’s needed to make sure their students are receiving the best instruction.
“We don’t have the right to tell teachers what’s right for their students,” he added.
“So we want to make this right.”
Yer also said he’d like to see the bill pass as a way to make it easier for teachers to teach students.
But many educators aren’t buying it.
“A teacher is an educator,” said Julie Rizzo, executive director of the Indiana Association of School Administrators.
“They’re not a computer.”
Yasser and Cohen both say they’re happy to see more educators come forward and say they believe the bill will help improve education in the classroom.
“Our goal is to educate the next generation, so that when they get out of high school, they can go out and make a difference,” Cohen added.