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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4:53 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

State Struggles To Find Tests Assessing Both College, Career Readiness

The state needs tests that gauge both a student's vocational aptitude and potential to be successful in college.
Credit Ryan M. /

As the Department of Education works to rewrite the A-through-F rating standards for Indiana schools, it‘s grappling with how to measure not just academic performance but career readiness.

ISTEP scores are a big part of the old accountability formula and will be a major part of the new one. But as Indiana puts more emphasis on vocational education instead of steering all students toward college, the state is looking for test scores to reflect those skills:

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6:00 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Monthly Conversation With Mitch Daniels: Tuition Freeze; The Role Of The NCAA

Mitch Daniels says Purdue is also watching a summer enrollment plan at Indiana University to see how it fares.
Credit courtesy Purdue President's Office

When he announced it last month, Mitch Daniels said Purdue's tuition freeze couldn't be permanent. Given factors such as rising personnel costs and inflation, he's right. So just how long is the program sustainable?

Also, after he weighed in on the role of the NCAA in college athletics, how does Purdue's president believe the West Lafayette campus should change how it treats its athletes, if at all?

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9:32 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Resource Guides Designed To Help Indiana Teachers Incorporate New Standards

Credit Judy Baxter /

The state Board of Education is providing resource guides for Indiana’s teachers to help them develop curricula around the state’s new academic standards, which go into effect this fall.

At a state board meeting Monday deputy state superintendent Danielle Shockey presented the resources which include sample math problems and an optional reading list that meets English/Language Arts standards.

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4:47 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Pence To Seek More Vocational Ed. Money

Governor Pence says college is the best route, but he wants lawmakers to earmark more for technical training.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Governor Mike Pence says he'll seek money in next year‘s budget to back up his push for more vocational education in Indiana schools.

Last year, legislators unanimously enacted Pence‘s call for a state career council to coordinate school curricula with the job market, and added regional councils to tailor lesson plans to local needs.

Pence told an Indiana Youth Institute conference of guidance counselors the next step is to make sure those industrial arts and technical education programs are available in Indiana schools.

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4:53 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Indiana Court Of Appeals Strikes Down Bus Payments

Lawmakers had already invalidated the practice, but the Indiana Court of Appeals now agrees paying to bus kids to public school must be free.
Credit Warsaw Community Schools /

It had already been made illegal by the legislature, but the state‘s Court Of Appeals says charging parents for busing their students to public schools violates the Indiana Constitution.

The appeals court overturned a lower court ruling when it found Indianapolis’ Franklin Township Schools violated the Constitution when it contracted a private company for bus service during the 2011-2012 school year.

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