By Mike Perleberg
(Undated) - Indiana is the "reformiest" state in the country when it comes to parental power for making educational choices.
The annual “Parent Power Index” report from the Center for Education Reform is based on each state's laws on charter schools, school choice, teacher quality, transparency and online learning.
In earning the number one ranking in the U.S. for the second straight year, Indiana was noted for its robust charter school movement, its statewide school choice program and its emerging digital learning options. The state’s Choice Scholarship Program, which provides publicly-funded vouchers for about 10,000 families to send their children to a private school, was expanded by state lawmakers this year to widen eligibility.
Indiana’s teacher evaluation system was praised for making educator performance a larger factor in school corporations’ decisions on keeping and laying off teachers.
“Indiana’s data system has the capacity to provide evidence of teacher effectiveness, and has connected licensure advancement and renewal to objective evidence of teacher effectiveness. Evaluations must include student achievement and growth, but law does not specify at what percentage. Ineffective performance is a reason for dismissal, and Indiana has a streamlined appeal process,” the report stated.
The report also credited Indiana’s Department of Education website for making school data easy to access.
The “Parent Power Index” ranked Ohio third in the nation for being an early pioneer of school choice with statewide reach. Kentucky was ranked 48th as the report stated that few choices are afforded to parents of school children, other than voting for their local school board members in general elections.
On a national scale, the Center for Education Reform said there was little progress with only five states showing above average progress. You can view the full report at http://www.edreform.com/in-the-states/parent-power-index.