House Speaker Bosma Outlines Plan For "Hold-Harmless" Policy

In August, state leaders unanimously called for a one-year hold harmless policy regarding 2019 school accountability grades and Teacher Appreciation Grants (TAG’s).

(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma has pinned a letter to State Superintendent Jennifer McCormick, outlining a plan to implement a one-year “hold-harmless” policy for Indiana schools. 

Last spring, Indiana’s 3rd through 8th graders took the new ILEARN exam. The exam replacing the ISTEP exam is based on updated academic standards focusing on college and career readiness.

According to figures from the Indiana Department of Education, only 37.1 percent of 3rd-8th graders passed both the English and math portions of the test. 

In August, state leaders unanimously called for a one-year hold harmless policy regarding 2019 school accountability grades and Teacher Appreciation Grants (TAG’s).

Bosma and other state leaders are calling on the Department of Education to release guidance to schools informing them that they may use 2018 school accountability grades and/or 2018 assessment results in this year’s teacher evaluations, if any teachers they employ would not be eligible for a TAG solely because of the yet-to-be-released 2019 school accountability grades and/or 2019 assessment results.

“Directing schools to take advantage of this flexibility will ensure that TAG’s are received by teachers before the statutory deadline in December and will ensure that no teacher will lose eligibility for a TAG because of this year’s ILEARN results,” Bosma said. “The General Assembly will codify this policy through legislation when the 2020 session gets underway in January.”

Bosma added that legislation will be expedited in January to allow the State Board to implement the hold harmless policy.

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