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.
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 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.
State superintendent Glenda Ritz has raised the stakes of her showdown with Indiana’s top education panel, naming all ten members of the State Board of Education as defendants in a lawsuit she filed Tuesday in Marion County Circuit Court. Ritz thinks the board has violated the state’s Open Door law.
State lawmakers say the legislature could give Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne more autonomy and flexibility in funding and degree offerings.
A legislative study committee was tasked this year with investigating the governance structure of the state’s regional university campuses. And though its initial focus was broad, the committee has narrowed in on one location – IPFW, the state’s fifth largest college campus.
Enrollment in Indiana’s private school voucher program has more than doubled this school year. Indiana education officials confirmed Tuesday they’ve received more than 20,000 applications for voucher dollars.
That means the program has more than quadrupled its enrollment since it started two years ago.
School Choice Indiana president Betsy Wiley, a voucher program advocate, attributes the increase to House Bill 1003, which won state lawmakers’ approval last session.
The New Tech Network works with schools throughout the country to design academic programs that focus on project-based learning and student empowerment. One of only a handful of New Tech middle schools opened in Fort Wayne this year. Towles Middle School is one of many New Techs in Northeast Indiana. The region has one of the highest concentrations of the program in the country.
This classroom is larger than average, and each student has their own personal laptop to work on. Eighth-grader Malique Tai sits down to his in creative writing and media class.