Indiana educators are among the best and the brightest, and have the utmost important job of teaching our future Hoosier workforce. Last week was Teacher Appreciation Week across the United States. The Indiana Chamber was proud to support many pieces of legislation to help raise up the teaching profession. Many bills sought to provide ways to ease the teaching shortage issue, provide supplemental funding to educators and provide opportunities for teachers to grow in their profession. We look forward to more opportunities during the 2017 session.
House Enrolled Act 1395 not only sunsets the high-stakes ISTEP exam, but it also creates a 23-person panel which will review and recommend an alternative based on the new federal regulations set forth by the Every Student Succeeds Act. The Indiana Chamber worked tirelessly to ensure that the business community had a seat at the table and we are pleased that Indiana Chamber board member and former board chair, Marilyn Moran-Townsend, was recently appointed by Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne). Moran-Townsend serves on the Chamber’s Business Higher Education Forum policy committee and has an incredible background in education, including as former chair of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education and a founding member of the Indiana Education Roundtable. Other appointees include:
- Nicole Fama – principal of Indianapolis Public School #93; Fama will be chair of the board
- Dr. Jim Roberts – Batesville Community School Corp. superintendent
- Chuck Weisenbach – principal of Roncalli High School in Indianapolis
- Brent Freeman – special education officer for Indianapolis Public Schools
- Dr. Michelle McKeown – part-time assistant professor of education studies at DePauw University
- Ayana Wilson-Coles – third grade teacher at Eagle Creek Elementary School in Indianapolis
- Julie Kemp – principal at Chrisney Elementary School in the North Spencer County School Corp.
- Wendy Robinson – superintendent of Fort Wayne Community Schools
- Callie Marksbary – Indiana State Teachers Association
- Melissa Scherle – Indianapolis Public Schools second grade teacher
- Edward Rangel – assistant principal at Tindley Genesis in Indianapolis
- Dr. Scot Croner – Blackford County Schools superintendent
- Dr. Lynne Stallings – Ball State University professor
- Jean Russell – literacy specialist at Haverhill Elementary in Southwest Allen County Schools, 2016 Indiana Teacher of the Year
- Steve Baker – Bluffton High School principal
- Dr. Kenneth Folks – East Allen County Schools superintendent
Also on the panel: Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz, Department of Workforce Development Commissioner Steve Braun, Higher Education Commissioner Teresa Lubbers, Senate Education and Career Development Committee Chairman Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn), House Education Committee Chairman Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) and State Board of Education member Byron Ernest.
The panel will submit recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly no later than December 1, 2016.