The five counties in Indiana’s preschool pilot program met face-to-face with state officials for the first time Wednesday as they prepare to begin implementation.  Governor Mike Pence says four of the five are prepared to start their programs in January.

Indiana education officials are trying to decide whether they should incorporate student test scores into teacher evaluations this year.

The U.S. Department of Education is allowing states to decide how test scores play into teacher performance ratings and many are opting to wait another year before making any final decisions.

In fact, many states are in a transition period when it comes to academic standards.

The U.S. Department of Education is awarding Fort Wayne Community schools more  than $400,000 Thursday as part of a grant to improve school counseling programs. The district plans to use it to help its  youngest learners. 

The grant was given to 40 school districts across the country, and Fort Wayne was the only Indiana  school district to receive one.  Fort Wayne Community Schools spokesperson Krista Stockman says the district will use the money to  hire three new counselors that will serve at elementary schools in the district.

Courtesy / Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership

A new study from the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership is recommending significant changes for IPFW, including switching the university's governing body.

The IPFW Roles and Governance Study used focus groups, interviews with business leaders, and historical data to come up with five recommendations for change.

They include streamlining degree programs; strengthening ties to the business community; and transferring all governance of IPFW to Indiana University.

Brandon Smith

The Indiana Commission for Higher Education wants to help college students finish their degrees on  time, unveiling Monday its ’15 to Finish’ campaign. The initiative is a coordinated, statewide effort to inform students, parents, and advisors about  the importance of taking 15 credit hours per semester.

Only 30 percent of Hoosiers complete a bachelor’s degree on time. And an extra year of college costs an average of $50,000.

Allen County Selected for Pre-K Pilot Program

Jul 23, 2014

Allen County is among the five counties picked to participate in Indiana's pre-K pilot program.

The program provides up to ten million dollars – along with local matching funds – to help low-income four-year-olds attend pre-kindergarten classes. Vouchers would go to families with incomes below 127 percent of the poverty line.

United Way of Allen County was selected to lead the campaign to bring the pilot here, and UWAC Director of Community Impact Jeanne Zehr says the program could serve more than 1,400 children when it’s up and running.

An ethics committee investigating charges against former state superintendent Tony Bennett is considering a settlement.  The inspector general filed an ethics complaint against Bennett in November alleging he used government resources during his re-election campaign in 2012.

The accusations against Bennett allege he kept databases of campaign donors and used government resources during his 2012 re-election campaign against current state superintendent Glenda Ritz.

StateImpact: When Education Starts Early, Kids Benefit

Jul 3, 2014

This month, the Family and Social Services Administration will announce 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 life, well before they ever enter a classroom.

In our weekly education feature, StateImpact Indiana’s Claire McInerny has more on brain development from birth to age four.

Educators Concerned About Quick Turnaround for New Test

Jun 12, 2014

Indiana’s students will take a new standardized test this spring – a year earlier than anticipated.

The test isn’t designed yet but it has to match the standards the state adopted to replace the Common Core.

Education officials and school leaders are worried about the short turnaround.

StateImpact Indiana’s Rachel Morello and Claire McInerny discuss the sudden change in testing plans.

Guidance counselors are supposed to spend a lot of time with students. They help kids decide which classes to take, fill out college scholarship applications and advise them on the path they should choose after they graduate high school.