Indiana Considering Counties for Pre-K Pilot Program

Jun 5, 2014

Eighteen counties, including Allen County,  are being considered for the state-funded pre-k pilot program. The state legislature approved  the program earlier this year and the Family and Social Services Administration announced the  finalists today. Just five of  those counties that will be chosen to participate in the pilot program.  

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce says school counselors are being hampered by a number of factors  from providing Hoosier students with the most complete college and career readiness opportunities.  A survey was conducted of more than four hundred school  counselors across the state.

The Indiana Chamber says the problem isn’t with counselors – it’s with counseling. Its survey of school  counselors found that 90 percent say they spend less than half of their time on college and career  readiness activities. 

The State Board of Education is convening Tuesday to discuss how it can hold on to its No Child Left Behind Waiver. The meeting comes after the U.S. Department of Education sent state superintendent Glenda Ritz a letter informing her the state’s waiver is at risk of being pulled.

During a formal review last summer, the U.S. Department of Education found Indiana was not meeting the requirements that exempt it from No Child Left Behind benchmarks.

FWCS Delays ISTEP+ Citing Ongoing Tech Issues

Apr 29, 2014

Fort Wayne Community Schools is delaying the high-stakes ISTEP+ exam after problems surfaced with the online version of the test.

School officials announced the decision Monday after several days of interruptions and technology issues related to test provider CTB-McGraw Hill’s servers.

Students will now take the exam the old-fashioned way: with paper and pencil.

State Board of Education Approves New Standards

Apr 29, 2014

The State Board of Education approved new academic standards Monday  to replace the Common Core in Indiana schools. Vocal opposition to the proposed standards  wasn’t enough to deter board members. 

The crowd cheered as State Board member Andrea Neal cast the lone no vote in opposition to proposed math and English language standards.

Indiana schools preparing for next week’s spring ISTEP test say they’re already having problem with the practice exam. Last spring, computer glitches interrupted more than 30,000 ISTEP testing sessions. 

To prepare students and teachers for the ISTEP testing that begins next week, many districts in  Indiana administered a practice test Tuesday. 

Fort Wayne Community Schools spokesperson Krista  Stockman says her district uses this practice test to find any problems with the school’s technology that  administers the test. 

Courtesy / Annie E. Casey Foundation

As we reported earlier this week, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has released its latest study examining how kids of different races fare when it comes to meeting developmental milestones on time.

The findings are striking, though not necessarily surprising.

Black, Latino, and Native American children are lagging behind – in some cases, far behind their white and Asian-American peers.

"Race for Results" / Annie E. Casey Foundation

A new study released Tuesday finds Indiana among the ten worst states for black children, highlighting the disparity in opportunity between African-American youth and their peers.

The policy report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, titled "Race for Results," measures 12 factors in an effort to chart child progression nationwide. Those include everything from reading proficiency to graduation rates to the number of children living near or below the federal poverty level.

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Governor Mike Pence signed legislation Thursday to create a preschool pilot program he says is the beginning of a new chapter of hope and opportunity for Indiana’s disadvantaged children.

The program will provide anywhere between two thousand and six thousand dollars per child so low-income Hoosier kids in five counties can attend a high quality preschool program.  Governor Pence signed the bill at DayStar Childcare Ministries in Indianapolis. 

Pence Signs Bill Pulling Indiana Out of Common Core

Mar 24, 2014

It’s official — Indiana is out of the Common Core.

Governor Pence signed a bill Monday reversing an earlier decision to share academic standards with 44 other states and the District of Columbia. Still, the state’s next set of standards will likely have substantial overlap with the Common Core.

Pence has said repeatedly Indiana will have academic standards written ‘by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers.’

After signing the bill withdrawing Indiana from the Common Core, he praised state education officials’ efforts.