11:39 am
Wed July 30, 2014

Though Ritz Can't Sue The State Board Of Education, A Judge Says Hoosiers Can

Glenda Ritz alleged the state board violated open meetings statutes. A judge said she had no standing. But a court now says Hoosiers themselves do.
Credit Joe Gratz /

A Marion County judge is allowing a lawsuit involving a dispute between state superintendent Glenda Ritz and the State Board of Education to move forward.

The judge Tuesday denied the Attorney General’s request to dismiss the lawsuit filed by four residents against the State Board of Education.

The issue at the center of the lawsuit is whether State Board of Education members violated the state’s open meeting law when they decided via email to send a legislative leaders a letter, asking them to intervene in how school’s A-F grades were being calculated.

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3:23 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Lubbers Builds On Congressional Testimony With '15 To Finish' Program

Purdue University junior Sarah Correll spoke in favor of the program at its roll-out Monday.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education wants to help college students finish their degrees on time, unveiling Monday its ’15 to Finish’ campaign. 

Tthe initiative is a coordinated, statewide effort to inform students, parents, and advisors about the importance of taking 15 credit hours per semester.

Only 30-percent of Hoosiers complete a bachelor’s degree on time.  And an extra year of college costs an average of $50,000 . 

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11:13 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Counties That Missed Out On Pre-K Pilot Still Planning To Implement The Program

Preschool classrooms like this one could soon be filled with kids from five Indiana counties whose parents will get financial assistance to afford the schooling.
Credit Barnaby Wasson /

A preschool classroom can be overwhelming. Take one at Bloomington Montessori for example.

There’s a few dozen students scattered around the room, each doing a different activity. One child is painting on an easel, two boys are building and knocking down a tower of blocks, and a  girl is pouring water from one cup into another over a sink.

Teacher Eve Cusack attempts to stop all of this activity and corral the children to go outside.

Designing, finding, or affording a high quality preschool program is often just as confusing to navigate as the classroom itself.

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12:09 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Tippecanoe County Fails To Make Finals Of State's Pre-K Pilot

Tippecanoe County parents will have to wait until officials roll out the program statewide.
Credit Nicole Mays /

Parents in Allen, Jackson, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh Counties will soon be eligible to receive state funding to send their kids to preschool.

Indiana's Family and Social Services Administration Tuesday announced those five counties have been chosen from a pool of 18 semi-finalists to participate in Indiana’s pre-K pilot program. 

The FSSA selected the final counties based on their need for preschool programs and their ability to meet that need. Officials had also said cooperation between agencies in each county would be a major determining factor.

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9:33 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Kids Count Study Labels Indiana Middle Of The Pack On Education

Indiana is ranked 26th overall.
Credit Karen Demerly /

Indiana children are making strides in education, according to new data from the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual KIDS Count report.

Indiana ranks 26th nationally in education this year, ahead eight places from 2013.

The rankings are based on several components, such as high school graduation rates and the percentage of children in pre-kindergarten.

One of the major contributing factors to the increase is an 11-percent improvement in the number of students proficient in both 4th grade reading and 8th grade math.

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7:27 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Kokomo School Caters To Adults Who Want More Than A GED

Kokomo's Excel Center works to get adults high school diplomas, not GEDs.
Credit Claire McInerny / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Ninety-six percent. That’s the number of Indiana employers who expect their workforce could increase in the next couple of years.

In most cases, they’ll be looking for employees who have at least a high school diploma.  StateImpact Indiana’s Rachel Morello visited a new charter school in Kokomo that offers adults the opportunity to go back to school and earn a high school diploma, rather than a GED.

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5:53 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Infighting Leads To More Questions About Ritz's Authority

The Indiana Board of Education and Superintendent Glenda Ritz have had a turbulent relationship.
Credit courtesy photo

Kindergarten teacher Twyla Flint is worried.

"We’ve been hearing about the discourse, the difficulties that they’ve been having through, you know, television and news reports over the last several months," she says.

Flint could be describing Congress. But she’s actually talking about a more local group: Indiana’s State Board of Education.

The group has a lot of influence over what happens in her classroom so Flint went to watch the Board meeting last Wednesday like it was some kind of traveling sideshow.

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12:28 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

WGU Indiana Sees Growth, But State Still Lags In Number Of College Grads

At WGU, adults take classes online to earn degrees. But only about one of every five Hoosiers has completed a bachelor's degree or better, whether learning online or at a traditional university.
Credit Ed Yourdon /

The Indiana arm of Western Governors University has grown more than ten-fold in the past four years, according to numbers released by school administrators.

260 students were enrolled four years ago. Today, more than 3,600 take classes from the online, nonprofit state university.

Chancellor Allison Barber says a new scholarship program could grow that number further.

"In celebration of our fourth anniversary, WGU Indiana just launched [its] largest scholarship offering. And it's $400,000 in scholarship money," Barber says.

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7:42 am
Mon July 14, 2014

As Indiana Ponders A Pre-K Push, Doctors Say Even Earlier Learning Is Key

Tippecanoe County still hopes to be among the five counties chosen as part of the state's pre-k pilot effort.
Credit Nicole Mays /

The Family and Social Services Administration will announce this month the five counties selected to participate in the state’s new pre-k pilot program, Indiana’s first big move toward making preschool a priority. 

But many believe a child’s learning needs to be a priority from the beginning of his life, before he ever enters a classroom.

Amiri-Jayden Smith is three months old, and today his mother, Jazmin Smith, and her nurse home visitor Maire Flood are weighing and measuring him.

Smith's smile spreads across her face.

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4:42 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Tony Bennett To Pay $5,000 For Ethics Violations

His lawyer says Bennett was on vacation Thursday, so he couldn't appear to accept his penalty in person.
Credit House Committee on Education and Workforce /

The State Ethics Commission today approved a settlement regarding former state superintendent Tony Bennett’s unethical practice of using state resources during his 2012 re-election campaign.

When Bennett adjusted the A-F grading formula for 2012 grades, more than 160 schools received higher grades, including Christel House Academy, which is run by a Republican donor.

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