The widespread disruptions to Indiana’s online standardized tests last April, on average, did not hurt students’ final ISTEP+ scores. That’s the conclusion a New Hampshire-based testing expert reported to lawmakers Monday.
State education officials hired the Center for Assessment’s Richard Hill six weeks ago to comb through the data of more than 495,000 ISTEP+ exams.
“If the interruptions had had a marked impact on student achievement, we would not have seen scores going up this year from last year,” Hill said.
State legislative leaders say they’re looking for answers behind recent problems with ISTEP testing that disrupted the exams of thousands of Hoosier students, and they’re forming a study committee to investigate.
The Indiana House Monday passed a school safety bill minus a controversial provision that could have required schools to arm teachers and principals.
The school safety bill creates a $10 million grant fund Indiana schools can use to evaluate existing school safety measures, purchase safety equipment or hire school resource officers –law enforcement with extra training for work in the school environment.
The White House has said as many as 1,000 Indiana children will lose access to early education services because of automatic federal spending cuts. But Head Start won’t start cutting slots right away, and program directors have been told to look for money elsewhere.
It’s not as bad as it could have been — late last year Head Start programs across the state braced for an across-the-board 10% spending cut before a last-minute budget deal kicked the deadline to March 1. Now the number Indiana Head Start Association Executive Director Cheryl Miller is seeing is closer to 5.5%.
Indiana’s highest-performing high school and college students could get some of their student loans paid back by the government if they teach in some of the state’s neediest subjects and areas.
Under legislation proposed by Indianapolis Democratic Representative Justin Moed, the state would pay back nine thousand dollars in student loans after a graduate of an Indiana college teaches three years in a Hoosier school.
State lawmakers are pushing legislation that would create a financial literacy curriculum for the state, encouraging schools to teach skills such as investing, balancing a checkbook, and applying for loans.
Supporters of the legislation say students are graduating high school without basic financial skills.
Greenwood Republican Senator Brent Waltz says that’s not a new problem.
A state panel has voted to make it easier for non-education majors who earn Bachelor’s degrees to get teaching jobs. That’s one part of a broad package of changes to Indiana’s rules for teacher licensing the State Board of Education approved Wednesday. But opponents fear the new standards sets the bar too low.
The State Board’s final 9-2 vote ends months of debate on the proposal known as “REPA II.” State education officials say the new guidelines give schools more flexibility in the teacher hiring process.
The Indiana Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging the state’s school voucher program Wednesday, but at least one analyst says the challenge is facing an uphill battle.
Earlier this year, Marion Superior Court Judge Michael Keele denied a school voucher challenge that was brought by teachers and parents and backed by the Indiana State Teachers Association. The Supreme Court decided to take the case on appeal directly, rather than allowing the state Court of Appeals to hear it first.
State education officials announced Wednesday morning fewer Indiana schools received the state’s highest letter grade rating in 2012. But three out of five schools still received an A or a B. State superintendent Tony Bennett unveiled the letter grades and said the grades are “positive news” overall for Indiana schools.
This year is the first time state officials have calculating A-to-F school ratings using their new growth model. The model places greater weight on individual students’ test score performance, rather than a school’s overall passing rate on statewide tests.