Schools would no longer be required to use student standardized test scores in teacher evaluations under a bill approved by the Indiana House.
The 100-0 vote on Monday would repeal a state mandate dating from a 2011 Republican-driven education overhaul that school districts incorporate those student exam results in their teacher evaluations, which are used in determining merit-pay raises.
Teachers have long objected to the requirement, and bill sponsor Republican Rep. Tony Cook of Cicero said removing it acknowledges the trouble with measuring teacher effectiveness based on a single student exam.
Democrats supported the change while arguing the requirement should never have been adopted and was a “false promise” that a student test could determine who are good teachers.
The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.
The action comes as lawmakers are also supporting a two-year delay on any penalties to schools from lower student scores on the state’s new ILEARN standardized test.
Statewide results for the spring 2019 ILEARN exam show that 47.9% of students in grades 3-8 met or exceeded proficiency standards in language arts and 47.8% met or exceeded them in math. Those are both more than 10 percentage points lower than the passing rates in 2018 for the pass or fail ISTEP exam.