Education news

One part of Indiana’s education plan under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, aims to reduce gaps in teacher effectiveness for low-income and minority students.

But a national research group has criticized the state’s final targets. The National Council of Teacher Quality says the state leaves minority students 4.3 percent more likely to be taught by ineffective teachers. Instead, it says, the state should update the plan to reflect the ultimate objective: elimination of those gaps.

A state committee recommended sweeping changes to high school graduation requirements Tuesday even as many of the details remain unknown.

If approved by the State Board of Education students, starting with the class of 2023, would choose from multiple academic tracts to satisfy three graduation requirements that are designed to better prepare them for college or career.

The State Board of Education approved school corporation A-F letter grades Wednesday for the 2016-2017 school year.

Of the state 289 school corporations 48 earned an A on for 2017. That’s more than double the number of districts that earned the top grade last year – 23 corporations.

Of the districts assigned 2017 grades: 149 assigned B; 63 assigned C; Six assigned; One assigned F.

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.