IDP Formally Requests Records Between Mike Pence and SBOE on ISTEP Review



Pence Administration has clear double-standard on approach to program evaluations

INDIANAPOLIS – A week after a report exposed Mike Pence and his administration’s blatant manipulation of an “independent” review of the ISTEP exam, the Indiana Democratic Party filed a formal records request asking for communication between Mike Pence and the School Board of Education to seek out the truth about the governor’s involvement.

This request follows the IDP’s call on Mike Pence to fire SBOE executive director John Snethen for this clear conflict of interest.

“Hoosiers deserve to know the extent of Governor Pence’s true involvement in this cover up. Did he know about it? Did he direct it? When did he first learn of it? Did he do anything to stop the manipulated report from being published and billed as ‘independent’? All Hoosiers, especially our teachers and parents, have a right to know how this cover up went down,” asked John Zody, Chairman. “It remains clear that Gov. Pence continues to put his out-of-touch ideology ahead of the best interests of this state. If we are going to strengthen our schools, Hoosiers need a leader who can work with Glenda Ritz – who foresaw and predicted this problem from the beginning – and help lead education into the future based on facts, not misleading reports. That person is clearly not Mike Pence.”

At the same time the Pence Administration refuses to admit wrong doing or take steps to correct the ISTEP cover-up, it’s calling for an independent study of another major policy area, a blatant double-standard in approaching evaluations.

SHOT: “Gov. Mike Pence has accused the Obama administration of hiring a biased contractor to evaluate Indiana’s HIP 2.0 program.” [Indy Star, 2.20.16]

“Pence has accused the administration of hiring an evaluator that is biased against Indiana’s approach.

“We have no confidence in any result that would be generated by that evaluation,” Pence said during an interview while attending the National Governors Association’s winter meeting in Washington, D.C.”

CHASER: “Indiana official had say in independent ISTEP report” [Associated Press, 2.16.16]

“A report summarizing what was billed as an independent investigation into Indiana’s new, unpopular standardized student exam includes edits and suggested changes by a state administrator hired by Gov. Mike Pence’s State Board of Education who altered language that reflected poorly on Republicans’ decision to substitute the exam for one based on national Common Core academic standards.

A Microsoft Word file obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request contains multiple edits and drafts of the report, including the final version, which was ultimately submitted by consultants hired by the state Board of Education but not yet released to the public.”

So when an evaluation is done with the help of his appointees – it’s A-OK. But when an evaluation is done by a third party, then there’s a problem? Not only is Mike Pence’s out-of-touch ideology getting in the way of common sense, but this sounds like Pence may be operating an underground “JustIN” agency.


Let’s elect more Hoosier Democrats
We can't sit this one out.