Students pose with Ind. superintendent of of public instruction Glenda Ritz after she spoke on campus Nov. 8. The Ball State alumna said she doesn’t approve of the state’s current teacher student assesment system. PROVIDED BY ERICA WALSH
Ind. superintendent of public instruction talks student assessments, charter schools
The superintendent of public instruction in Indiana said she doesn’t approve of the current teacher and student assessment system.
Glenda Ritz, also a Ball State alumna, visited campus earlier today for a discussion on the state of education in Indiana.
Though she supports teacher evaluations based on their student’s growth, she doesn’t think Indiana has a fair system for credible teacher evaluations.
“I actually believe we are responsible for how our much our students achieve, but it has to be fair, and it shouldn’t be the predominant measure of a teacher,” Ritz said.
Indiana’s current system focuses on ISTEP scores, taking a student’s score from the previous year and comparing it to how the student scored the current year. Whether the student improved plays a huge part in the current teacher’s evaluation.
Ritz said that’s not the right model for teacher evaluations.
“[This] involves two teachers, not one,” Ritz said. “Currently, we don’t have a fair measurement of student growth to actual inform teacher evaluations.”
Ritz offered her solution for making teacher evaluations fairer.
“If we are going to look at growth of a student, it needs to be from the beginning of the year to the end of the year,” she said. “It needs to be growth in the year the teacher has the student.”
Ritz also said she was impressed with Ball State’s immersive learning programs.
“The program sounds wonderful,” she said. “I am all for courses that make sure kids are going to out in the community and actually seeing what its like to work and learn and do problem solving.’
Last year, Ball State closed down five charter schools the university financially supported.
Though often seen as an opponent to charter schools, Ritz said she supports local charter schools, schools that are created locally and with local oversight, not schools that receive money from private, distant entities.
Ball State supports both local and distant charter schools. The ones closed were distant charter schools and were located in Lake County.
Democrat Rep. Sue Errington, from District 34 in Muncie, thought the closing of the charter schools was a smart move.
“I think it was a responsible thing to do because some of them were not performing up to par,” Errington said. “They deserved to be closed down.”
Despite being busy, Ritz said she was happy to be back on campus.
“I love Ball State,” she said. “I got a great education to become a teacher here. It truly is a teachers college and always will be.”