A bill introduced in the Indiana Senate could make the playing field between public and private schools a bit different.
That’s according to North Judson-San Pierre Superintendent Lynn Johnson. Senate Bill 470 would allow for schools eligible to accept choice scholarships to use another nationally recognized assessment as opposed to the ISTEP program.
Johnson says it could have an impact on all public schools.
“There are assessments that we would prefer to use, but we are of course obligated to use what the state requires,” says Johnson. “There are some other assessments that use more of a targeted growth, giving more information, and aren’t quite as lengthy that we would prefer too.”
SB 470 was passed in the Senate’s Education Committee 7-3, but has been reassigned to the Appropriations Committee.
If signed into law, the bill would also allow accredited schools to have teacher evaluations different from those required in public schools. That’s in addition to language limiting reporting only to that considered necessary to keep a private schools’ accreditation.
North Judson-San Pierre has been bringing education issues occurring at the state level to the public’s attention through both documentary showings and other public conversations. Johnson says it has become apples and oranges.
“The thing with public schools is: we take every child and private schools can pick and choose,” says Johnson. “They can cherry-pick children and say ‘you know, we’re not going to take those kids’ we take everybody, and proudly so. I can say that there’s not one child that doesn’t make progress with us.”
The bill will need to receive a vote on the Senate floor before moving to the state House.
According to information supplied by Johnson, the bill would give private voucher schools an advantage in the school choice marketplace.