House Bill 1404 – School Accountability
Authored by Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero)

Bills seeks to align high school performance measures with more meaningful post-high school outcomes, including student completion of industry-recognized credentials, enrollment in postsecondary education/training and military enlistment.

Chamber Position:
 Support

The Latest: Heard by the Senate Education and Career Development Committee, with a vote on the bill next week.

Indiana Chamber action/commentary: In testimony before the committee, Chamber President Kevin Brinegar said: “House Bill 1404 moves to bridge the disconnect between what we measure and the outcomes we expect to see by acknowledging the critical role Indiana high schools play in preparing students for success in work and in life. This is the direction Indiana must be prepared to move if we are to equip our young people to thrive in a rapidly changing, increasingly competitive world.”

Brinegar was joined in support by several business and school representatives. Among them were two Indiana Chamber board members: Paul Perkins, president of Amatrol, in Jeffersonville; and John Qualls, CEO of Purpose.ly, in Carmel.

Specifically, HB 1404 aims to change the state’s A-F school accountability system, which is currently based on standardized test scores and graduation rates, to include additional “postsecondary outcomes” more closely linked to students’ long-term success. Outcome measures being considered include student completion of industry-recognized credentials valued by Indiana employers, enrollment in postsecondary education/training programs and enlistment in military service.

The bill also includes language that would provide local schools greater flexibility in offering work-based learning opportunities and career-and-technical education coursework to satisfy the state’s high school diploma requirements. Taken together, these provisions aim to provide a broader range of options for students to acquire essential employability skills and to more closely align school performance measures with the realities of a 21st century economy.

House Bill 1008 (Teacher Career Ladders), authored by Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis), passed the Senate Education committee unanimously this week. The proposed program aims to improve teacher retention rates by establishing a pay progression system based on teachers’ demonstrated effectiveness and level of responsibility (mentor, leader, etc.) rather than the traditional measures of education level and years of experience. The proposal is consistent with the Chamber’s support of pay-for-performance systems and efforts that attract and retain highly effective educators who help ensure students are prepared to meet workforce needs.

House Bill 1628 (Pre-Kindergarten Programs), authored by Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis), passed the Senate Education Committee 8-1. The Chamber priority bill provides that, after June 30, 2019, in addition to the counties currently participating in the pre-kindergarten pilot program, the program includes eligible providers in any county in Indiana. The Chamber supports efforts to expand student access to quality early childhood and pre-kindergarten programs statewide as proven drivers of student achievement and economic development.

Resource: Jason Bearce at (317) 264-6880 or email: [email protected]