Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz says the final gathering of a Blue Ribbon panel on teacher retention and attraction included finalizing several strategic proposals. The concepts suggested by the panel, which was convened by Ritz and co-chaired by Purdue University College of Education Dean Maryann Santos de Barona, include a new teacher mentoring program, more local control of teacher evaluation and compensation and additional professional development opportunities.
Ritz said "great teaching and great learning go hand in hand. That is why I established the Blue Ribbon Commission on the Recruitment and Retention of Excellent Educators to develop strategies to ensure that all students have high-quality educators in their classrooms. I look forward to continuing the work of the Commission and to the support of the Indiana General Assembly and the State Board of Education for these strategies developed by educators to address Indiana’s teacher shortage."
The 49-member commission has met several times since September. The Indiana Department of Education says the state has experienced a more than 30 percent decrease in the number of teaching licenses each year.
The panel also called for the recruitment and and retention of a more diverse teaching work force. Ritz says she plans to work with legislators, the State Board of Education and other stakeholders on legislation, updates to state board rules and changes to departmental policies.