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Indiana Seeks Accountability and Evaluation Systems To Enhance Education

Last year, the U.S. Department of Education offered each State Educational Agency the opportunity to request flexibility requiring specific requirement of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) in order to better focus on improving student learning and increasing the quality of instruction.
After the announcement, 11 states formally submitted requests to the Department of Education for waivers from key provisions related to NCLB, with numerous other states indicating they plan to apply for waivers at a later time this year.
The 11 states which applied for waivers are Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
In exchange for receiving waivers, these states must detail plans for meeting several goals, including developing academic standards that prepare students for college or a trade; creating statewide measures of student performance and plans for reforming schools that don’t meet requirements; and developing teacher and administrator evaluation systems tied to student performance.
Over the past weeks, Deltek has focused on a few of the state’s which have submitted initial NCLB waiver requests, and this week turns the spotlight on the state of Indiana.
As part of its waiver request, Indiana disclosed two IT-specific initiatives, including a plan to 1) Provide a State-Developed Differentiated Recognition, Accountability, and Support System, and 2) Develop and Adopt Guidelines for Local Teacher and Principal Evaluation and Support Systems.
In its request, Indiana said it plans to develop and implement a state-based System of Differentiated Recognition, Accountability and Support which is designed to improve student achievement, close achievement gaps, and increase the quality of instruction for students. This system is expected to be implemented no later than the 2012-2013 school year. In developing this assessment system, Indiana is part of a state consortium in which other states may issue RFPs for procurement. 
Elsewhere, Indiana may also seek to Develop and Adopt Guidelines for Local Teacher and Principal Evaluation and Support Systems. Currently, Indiana is using an educator evaluation tool known as RISE, which was launched in 2011-2012 as a pilot program. The pilot program is looking to:
1.     Establish that valuation systems (including the state model as well as other diverse models currently in use) can incorporate state priorities and are fair, accurate, and feasible;
2.     Gather key lessons about systems and implementation to improve resources and outcomes in the statewide rollout; and
3.     Create a community of early adopters of state priorities to share information and problem solve in real time.
Indiana said its new evaluation system provides a transparent way to validate the quality of a school’s human capital by coupling professional accountability with school accountability.


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