Education

Education news

A report from the Indiana Department of Education shows the majority of teachers surveyed support mandatory cursive writing in elementary school.

The survey went out to teachers, superintendents, principals and governing board members.

It was prompted by legislation from State Senator Jean Leising (R-Oldenburg). The survey asked if the person supports or opposes the mandatory instruction of cursive writing.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue stressed the importance of agricultural education and the need for more young people to get involved in agriculture policy.

“These young people are the ones I will exhort and implore to communicate and be aggressive advocates for truth,” he said.

FFA member Tess Seibel, from Virginia, agreed with Perdue. She says misconceptions around the food production process is one of the biggest challenges facing farmers today.

A national nonprofit is partnering with Indiana to improve high-speed internet access for schools across Indiana during the next two years.

The focus will be on 30 schools that lack high-speed fiber connections. There will also be assistance for school districts to apply for federal grants to improve broadband infrastructure or increase classroom Wi-Fi access.

The organization EducationSuperHighway, a San Francisco-based nonprofit working to bring internet access to U.S. classrooms, will also help local schools negotiate lower rates with internet providers.

Courtesy IU Communications

Purdue University and Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law are partnering up to form an agricultural law program. Those tasked with designing it will have to adapt to a changing field of study.

Ag lawyer Amy Cornell has been appointed as the consultant for the venture, which would train budding lawyers in agricultural issues. She’ll oversee a committee that will determine the needs of the ag market, as well as students and employers.

Cornell says ag law is broad, but holds unique opportunities because of its depth.

Members of a State Board of Education committee tasked with proposing new ways for students to qualify for graduation began sketching their plan Tuesday.

There’s still a lot for the dozen-plus members to sort out before their last meeting next month.

But a list of nine alternative ways students could become eligible for a diploma has begun to take shape. It includes: earning industry-recognized credentials; passing the military entrance exam plus enlisting; and work-based learning with job experience.

Barbara Brosher / IPBS

 

The Trump administration’s new rules on birth control coverage open the door for the University of Notre Dame and other employers to stop covering contraceptives as part of their health plans. A legal battle over the changes is already brewing.

University of Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins is applauding the policy change, saying in a statement it reinforces religious freedom.

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Purdue University’s enrollment of women in computer science has risen 260-percent in the last five years. Still, the program’s current freshman class is comprised of 22-percent women, which is about on par with the national rate of women in the computing field.

Legislative Services Agency

State lawmakers want to figure out how to identify and help school corporations before they fall into financial distress.

Monday a study committee heard about possible ways to evaluate a district’s income and debt.

The state’s Legislative Services Agency, a bipartisan legal analysis group, offered different indicators and methods to analyze those indicators, such as outstanding bond debt and income, to figure out if a district is fiscally sound or trending into trouble.

The state awarded a three-year, $43.4 million contract to a nonprofit assessment and research company Monday to design the replacement of the ISTEP exam.

The Indiana Department of Education announced the Washington, D.C.-based company was chosen among proposals from five vendors.

The company will create the new I-LEARN exam for students in grades three through eight and a new version of the third-grade reading test called I-Read.

The new tests will be given during the 2018-2019 school year.

The board of the chronically failing Hoosier Academies Virtual School voted Tuesday not to seek renewal of their charter, a decision that will cause the school of 2,000 students to close in June.

John Marske, Hoosier Academies board president, told WFYI News in an email Wednesday that the school had until Oct. 1 to submit a renewal application.

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