Education news

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.

Applications Open For Half-Year In 10 Pre-K Expansion Counties

Sep 26, 2017

The state-funded preschool pilot program that began with five counties was expanded during the 2017 legislative session for 15 more counties. Now, parents in 10 of those counties can apply for half-year preschool.

But all low-income families applying will also have to comply with a new program requirement.

A state grant would pay for half or full day preschool for a 4-year-old child beginning next January.

Fewer than half of Indiana’s public school districts are participating in a free lead testing program, according to Jim McGoff, environmental programs director at the Indiana Finance Authority.

The IFA created the voluntary program after lead contamination in places such as Flint, Michigan, and East Chicago, Indiana, rose to national prominence.

Jim McGoff told a legislative study committee he has confidence the water supply itself is lead-free because of tests water utilities are required to perform.

Purdue University

Another round of flyers posted by a racist group at Purdue University has called free speech rights on campus into question.

Supporters of the white supremacist group placed posters at several universities as part of a higher education-targeted campaign, and Purdue officials are once again condemning the speech they say doesn’t uphold university values.

President Mitch Daniels says Purdue’s notoriety may have made the West Lafayette campus a target.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will visit schools across Indiana Friday as the last stop on a six-state back-to-school tour.

DeVos is highlighting schools that she says are offering innovative and groundbreaking curriculum and teaching methods.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

The Purdue University Senate is taking additional actions to scrutinize the school’s decision to purchase online educator Kaplan University.

At the Senate’s first meeting of the academic year Monday, members announced creation of a special committee to serve as a fact-finding body about the deal and Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning Frank Dooley took almost 20 minutes of questions about the agreement.

Purdue University

As Purdue University’s College of Liberal Arts prepares to become the second division of the campus to offer three-year degrees, there’s little data to suggest the idea warrants an expansion.

“Are they better off than they would’ve if they didn’t go into it? That’s the question we have to ask," says Sociology Department Head Linda Renzulli. "We don’t know. And I would love to study that.”