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October 1, 2014
State panel recommends changes on A to F grades for schools
A panel of educators, policymakers and business leaders recommended Wednesday that Indiana change how it evaluates school test score growth in a way that might…
September 18, 2014
Study says relying on sales tax could hurt Indiana schools
Indiana’s reliance on sales tax as a critical part of its tax revenue isn’t doing any favors for education funding. A report released by Standard and Poor’s says the rising gap in wealth has led to slower economic growth and could result in a decrease in the money Indiana uses to fund education.
March 19, 2014
How Indiana jumped from Common Core but got on board with preschool
Simultaneously Hoosiers dropped out of of a group of 45 states that have agreed to share standards while also joining in on another education front by becoming the 42nd state to offer financial aid for preschool. Driving the state in these different directions were politics, timing and changing attitudes.
March 19, 2014
Common Core: Without a champion, support waned
So how did Indiana become the first state to formally withdraw from Common Core? Opponents of the standards were able to connect with the natural sympathy of several key Republican players, who share with Common Core critics grave concerns about the influence of the federal government.
March 19, 2014
Preschool: Support reached the tipping point
Why was this time different for preschool at the statehouse? Two big factors: strong and growing support for early childhood education from business leaders and Pence’s evolving embrace of the idea of state aid for poor preschoolers over the past year.
February 4, 2014
Momentum builds for career and technical diploma
A bill to create a new career and technical diploma won unanimous support in the Indiana House yesterday, despite concerns from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce that the state does not need a fifth diploma type. Rep. Wendy McNamara, R-Mount Vernon, argued that the state’s primary diploma, known as the Core 40, has discouraged students from participating in career and technical programs and caused schools to offer fewer of those options.
January 30, 2014
Senate panel votes to void Common Core
A bill that would dump Common Core standards in Indiana has passed a legislative committee and is headed to the Senate floor for a vote later this week. Senate Bill 91's passage means the state will no longer follow Common Core standards as of July 1, author Scott Schneider said, ending months of sometimes intense debate.
January 29, 2014
Senate bill aims to kill Common Core in Indiana
Lawmakers could move to dump Common Core as Indiana’s official state standards under a bill the Senate Education Committee will consider Wednesday. A provision in Senate Bill 91, written by Sen. Scott Scott Schneider, R-Indianapolis, is focused squarely at killing Common Core in Indiana.
January 27, 2014
Data security efforts raise concerns from Ritz allies
Quietly, three major education data bills are likely to make it though the House or Senate this week and should return in the second half of the legislative session starting next week. The proposals have unnerved teachers unions and testing critics, who fear the new processes they create could paradoxically result in new security concerns or even be used to undermine Ritz, the only Democrat holding a statewide office.
January 24, 2014
Flexibility for charters could change enrollment rules
Since the 2002 advent of charter schools in Indiana, deciding who can enroll when there weren’t enough seats has been done by a random lottery.
January 15, 2014
Indiana's move away from Common Core becomes clear
Indiana appears to be on the verge of a final turn away from Common Core standards. Gov. Mike Pence made clear in his strongest words…
November 7, 2013
In surprise move, Indiana's charter school association could close
The Indiana Association of Public Charter Schools recently praised a $2 million donation to Herron, an Indianapolis charter high school. In a move that has stunned charter school advocates, the Indiana Association of Public Charter Schools will shut down at the end of the year unless emergency funds can be found to save it, one of it's board members confirmed today. The organization, the state chapter of a national group, advocates for charter schools in the legislature and provides other services to member schools. If the organization shuts down it could leave charter schools without a direct lobbying voice or a resource for schools who need start up assistance or other basic services. Six of the organization's nine board members have resigned and the staff has been reduced from four to one. One of the remaining board members, Carey Dahncke, said he is hopeful the group can be reborn. "The association has failed to hit some of its targets," said Dahncke, who is executive director of Christel House Academy charter schools. "There is great concern about the ability to meet its debts." The news came as a shock to Derek Redelman, vice president of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and a longtime charter school supporter. "It's disappointing," he said. "I would certainly encourage the schools to get together, at least on an informal basis, to see how they can remain in touch with each other and represent their interests."
October 28, 2013
Panel's A to F proposal would add new state tests
State Superintendent Glenda Ritz (center) and committee member Steve Baker (foreground) shared ideas at Monday's A to F accountability panel. State testing would be expanded with new exams in grades 1, 2, 9 and 11 in Indiana under a new school accountability proposal. Other proposed changes include a new method for measuring student test score gains, and giving extra credit to schools when student scores go up, and changing the grading scale for schools from 1 to 4 to 1 through 100. The recommendations come from a 17-member committee appointed by State Superintendent Glenda Ritz, Gov. Mike Pence and legislative leaders. The group's plan will be considered by the Indiana State Board of Education, which could accept, reject or revise it, next week. Then education department staff will do statistical analysis to verify the model works as anticipated. "This is the first phase of what we need to accomplish," Ritz said.
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