May 14, 2014

 

The State Board of Education convened its regular business meeting today following yesterday's politically charged "emergency" meeting on the federal flexibility waiver status.

 

The major agenda item of contention today was the board's discussion of the adjunct permit language under REPA III, which has still not been voted upon due to procedural issues last year. The adjunct permit was first advocated by former Superintendent Tony Bennett and Governor Mitch Daniels in 2012. Indiana is currently operating under REPA I rules.

 

Teachers, school administrators and university officials overwhelmingly opposed the adjunct waiver in public forums on REPA III held by the board just months ago.

 

As the Northwest Indiana Times points out: “..the adjunct permit creates a different route to the classroom than the traditional "practitioner" license, which requires training in child development, child psychology and how to run a classroom — along with student teaching and additional in-school internship requirements.

 

Several motions were made on the adjunct language, including a motion by State Superintendent Ritz to strike the entire adjunct permit from consideration. However, the motion to maintain the adjunct permit carried by a vote of 6-5.

 

The board members who voted in support of the adjunct permit are: Daniel Elsener, Andrea Neal, Tony Walker, Gordon Hendry, David Freitas, and B.J. Watts.

 

ISTA opposes the adjunct permit as a step backwards in lowering standards to enter teaching. ISTA Vice President Keith Gambill provided fervent testimony in opposition to the adjunct permit, calling it "reckless experimentation". His full testimony can be found here.

 

The final proposed adjunct permit must be reviewed by the public and later approved by Attorney General Greg Zoeller and Governor Mike Pence. 

 

ISTA and other advocates for high quality practitioners will continue to address this matter with the state board members.