2013 Indiana General Assembly

Ritz seeks more funds for remedial classes

2013-03-21T19:00:00Z 2013-03-21T19:29:10Z Ritz seeks more funds for remedial classesBy Dan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com

INDIANAPOLIS | The state's schools leader asked the Indiana Senate's budget writers Thursday to provide more money for remedial instruction and reduce their focus on student testing.

Glenda Ritz, the Democratic state superintendent of public instruction, told the Senate Appropriations Committee the near-constant testing of Hoosier students implemented under former Superintendent Tony Bennett does little to boost student achievement.

"Educators assess all the time. When we sit down with a child to read we assess them — that's what we're trained to do," said Ritz, a former elementary school teacher. "We don't need to give a test every two weeks to know how they're doing."

She urged the panel to split up the $46.2 million "testing and remediation" budget line in House Bill 1001 into $38.2 million for testing, the amount required to satisfy existing testing contracts, and spending $11.6 million for remediation, a nearly 50 percent increase.

Ritz said that money would be used for summer school, additional tutoring and other remedial services intended to help students not achieving at grade level.

"If we have growth models and measures that tell us where our students are in reading, science and math, then we will know where to take them," she said.

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