education

A pilot program aimed at providing pre-kindergarten educational opportunities for low-income Hoosier  kids was stripped out of a bill in a Senate committee Wednesday. The program – a major initiative of Governor Mike Pence – was replaced with a  mandated study of the issue.

Proposed legislation passed overwhelmingly by the House created a framework for a preschool pilot  program. It would have served about a thousand four-year-olds in five counties, with funding to kick  in next year.

A panel of state lawmakers is considering a proposal that would bar Indiana from returning to the nationally-crafted Common Core at the end of a year-long review. Instead, the bill would require Indiana-specific standards.

This is the third year Indianapolis Republican Senator Scott Schneider has filed anti-Common Core legislation. Last year he got lawmakers to agree to a year-long review of the nationally-crafted standards Indiana adopted in 2010.

Now Schneider wants to make absolutely certain state education officials don’t return to the Common Core.

Number of Students Receiving Vouchers Jumps Again

Jan 27, 2014

Fewer students receiving vouchers are spending time in public school before making the switch to private school, according to a report released Monday by the Indiana Department of Education.

That’s because state lawmakers voted last year to make more students eligible for vouchers.

More than 19,000 Indiana students received vouchers to attend private school using state funds this year. That’s an increase from 9,100 last year and 3,900 two years ago.

University of Saint Francis

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry announced a proposal today to help renovate the University of Saint Francis’ downtown campus. The proposal would be paid for with the City’s Legacy Funds. 

Henry says Fort Wayne is a center of education, and the city should capitalize on that benefit. He says "a lot of people don't realize that we have truly a college town. We have over 30,000 college students in this city."

USF plans to further renovate the Scottish Rite Facility on Berry Street, which is now their Performing Arts Center.  

Indiana’s attorney general will work with the state’s congressional delegation in the new year to try to secure more federal funding for police officers in schools.  But some criminal justice advocates say hiring new school resource officers won’t necessarily make schools safer.

State Board Releases A-F Grades

Dec 20, 2013

The Indiana State Board of Education approved final A-F letter grades for Indiana schools Friday, even as one board member took a public stand against the rating system.

More than 800 Indiana public schools earned A’s this year, the most since the state started rating schools in 2005. Two-thirds of schools scored either an A or a B.

But State Board member Andrea Neal is convinced those grades have come at a cost. She says she’s worried schools aren’t offering arts and electives because they’re too focused on test scores.

State Superintendent Glenda Ritz says emails from Governor Pence’s new education agency reveal an attempt to oust her as State Board of Education Chair. But Pence administration officials say that attempt is going nowhere.

Members of Indiana’s Board of Education say they’re making progress on the state’s education goals despite ongoing tension between state superintendent Glenda Ritz and the 10 other board members. The board met Tuesday to outline some of those goals.

Superintendent Ritz walked out of a state board meeting three weeks ago. Today’s session was much calmer as members talked about the goals they want to take to education stakeholders for review next year.

Hoosier Lawmakers Expect Pre-K Debate in 2014

Nov 25, 2013

Indiana lawmakers say the issue of whether the state should expand publicly-funded preschool options will likely come up again in the upcoming session, but opponents remain concerned about how much a state-run pre-K program would cost.

Leaders of both political parties have expressed support for re-visiting the issue after a bid to create a $7 million preschool pilot program passed the Indiana House, but stalled in the Senate. 

Indiana Students Improve on National Exam

Nov 8, 2013

Indiana fourth graders made significant gains in their performance on national tests designed to compare their reading and math skills with students across the nation. Federal education officials released the results of the exams Thursday.

From 2011 to this year, Indiana fourth graders average score on both the reading and math tests went up 5 points.  On the 500-point National Assessment of Educational Progress, that might not sound like much. But that’s a bigger jump than all but a handful of states. 

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