Education

Education news

Eric Castro / https://www.flickr.com/photos/ecastro/8707389519

Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Lewis Ferebee and two other administrators are at the White House today for a conversation on school discipline. Reducing suspension and expulsions rates is a priority of the Obama administration.

In the past year at IPS, student suspensions, expulsions and arrests have been dramatically cut.

The reason? The district is focusing more on helping students understand and control why they act out instead of kicking them out of school.

Phil Jern / https://www.flickr.com/photos/pjern/2150874047

Indiana’s new A-to-F school letter grade model was given final approval Friday when Attorney General Greg Zoeller and others signed off on its use during the 2015-16 school year.

For the past two years Governor Mike Pence, Superintendent Glenda Ritz and others debated how to change the formula that calculates whether a school earns an A-to-F grade for student academics.

Current grades are based mostly on ISTEP pass rates. Now student performance and student test score improvement will be weighed equally in calculating a school’s grade.

Rachel Morello / http://www.ipbs.org/

State Superintendent Glenda Ritz says her gubernatorial campaign did not accept any financial contributions during the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly. 

Campaign finance laws state that the legislative session constitutes a “blackout” period, during which a candidate is not allowed to solicit donations.

Documents submitted on behalf of Ritz’s campaign showed 28 donations received between January 6 and February 23. The superintendent says this was a clerical error and that her team is working to correct it and submit an amended form.

Purdue University’s Board of Trustees is considering changing promotion and tenure criteria for the first time in forty years.

Provost Deba Dutta says the changes will incorporate the results of the Gallup-Purdue Index, which found that Purdue alumni were less likely than other graduates to have felt mentored or cared for by faculty while in school.

Dutta told the Board Thursday the proposed promotion and tenure modifications would emphasize mentoring at-risk students, innovating teaching, and engaging undergraduates in research.

Flickr Creative Commons / https://www.flickr.com/photos/underneath/3863614064

Earlier this month, Arlington Community High School officially became the first school under state takeover to return to its home district, Indianapolis Public Schools.

It’s been three years since the State Board of Education took control of the school and hired a charter school company to run it.

The company, Tindley Accelerated Schools, has faced criticism for its hard discipline and high dropout rates -- but changed the school’s culture.

Indiana Schools Running Low On Teachers

Jul 14, 2015
Bob Cotter / https://www.flickr.com/photos/gibsonsgolfer/

According to the most recent data available from the Indiana Department of Education, the state issued licenses to about 4,500 teachers during the 2013-14 school year. In 2010, that number was 5,500.

Teachers also need separate licenses to teach individual subjects, so the number of total licenses teachers are receiving has dropped more dramatically. The state granted more than 6,000 licenses to first-time teachers in 2013, as opposed to about 16,000 four years earlier.

Jackson County Moving Deliberately Toward Pre-K Pilot

Jul 13, 2015
Jeanne Christine / https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeannechristine/4677059470

The final county selected for the state’s pre-k pilot program will launch its efforts in just a few weeks.

Programs in four of the five areas started in January, but in Jackson County, officials wanted to wait so they could make room for more kids, find extra funding and get pre-k providers up to speed.

StateImpact Indiana’s Rachel Morello visited with a few of those providers to see how they’re getting ready for the fall launch.

Kyle Stokes / http://indianapublicmedia.org/stateimpact/

Six weeks after a reboot of the State Board of Education, a detente between board members and state school superintendent Glenda Ritz appears to be holding.

Five of the board‘s 10 appointed members started last month, under a law transferring two board appointments to legislative leaders, and allowing Governor Pence to decide whether to keep or jettison the rest.

The first two meetings with the new lineup have had none of the acrimony of the preceding two years.   Ritz says she expects the good feeling to continue.

NYC Department of Education / http://schools.nyc.gov/default.htm

Private schools are experiencing a surge in enrollment, in large part due to the state’s expanding voucher program. 

When the program first passed in 2011, supporters said funding private school tuition would give poor kids in failing schools options to get a better education.

But as StateImpact’s Indiana’s Claire McInerny explains, a new report shows that as the program enters its fifth year, the costs to taxpayers and students have dramatically changed. 

Rachel Morello / indianapublicmedia.org/stateimpact

The Indiana Department of Education released a list of options for calculating school accountability grades for the 2014-15 school year. 

This was a year of big change for Indiana schools. The state rolled out an entirely new set of academic standards and an updated ISTEP+ test to match. Student scores are often low the first year an exam is introduced – which has many Hoosier leaders concerned over how schools would be held accountable.

Dave Herholz / https://www.flickr.com/photos/dherholz/

There’s been a lot of emphasis in recent years about making sure Indiana high school students are “college and career ready” upon graduation.

But is it possible to accomplish both? Or would a more accurate goal be for students to be college or career ready?

The Indiana Career Council is in the process of redesigning the high school diploma requirements for the state’s public schools beginning with the class of 2022.

The goal is to make sure whatever path students choose, they are getting as high a level of academic challenge as possible.

Rachel Morello / StateImpact Indiana

As baby boomers retire, they’re creating a gap in the workforce…and the education field is no exception.

Principals, assistant principals and superintendents are leaving their positions…but instead of waiting for those positions to open up and going through the routing hiring process, some school districts are trying to get a head start by training teachers from the bottom up.

velkr0 / https://www.flickr.com/photos/velkr0/

The Indiana Youth Institute wants to help school counselors focus more on non-traditional postsecondary routes – essentially, options beyond a four-year college. That’s one of the goals of the Institute’s counseling conference being held this week.

Indiana Youth Institute Program Director Kate Coffman says universities don’t need much help pitching the traditional four-year route…and that’s why she says the Institute wants to help counselors promote alternatives, such as apprenticeships, the military, and industry certifications.

Casey Kuhn / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The emotions of a teenager are not simple to understand. As they move away from childhood and morph into an adult, the confusion invades many aspects of their lives, including in their classrooms.

For students recognizing their sexual orientation or gender identity, this confusion is intensified. As the students struggle to embrace this part of their life, teachers also struggle to understand the challenges LGBTQ students face.

Mark Simons/Purdue University

Purdue University plans to open a charter school in downtown Indianapolis that will focus on the STEM fields -- that’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The concept could eventually spread across the state. Graduates will be guaranteed a spot on the West Lafayette campus.

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels says the current education system in Indiana is not producing enough low-income, first-generation and minority students who are qualified for Purdue.

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