Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, sits on the Indiana Senate Education Committee and chairs the Appropriations Committee.
“This,” says Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, referring to a proposed preschool program, “is almost a potential budget buster.”
Gov. Mike Pence asked state lawmakers this year to approve a small-scale preschool pilot program for low-income 4-year-olds. But Kenley, who chairs the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, says he’s not ready to commit to state-funded pre-K.
Halfway between Louisville and Evansville on the Ohio River are two small cities: Tiny Tell City, Ind., and the even tinier Cannelton. Cannelton’s only three miles upstream from Tell City — but it can seem like it’s worlds apart.
“Here’s some old buildings, just sitting here, empty,” says Cannelton City Schools superintendent Al Sibbitt as he drives down Washington Street. Continue Reading →
K-12 educators and subject matter experts reviewed the state's academic standards and released a draft of new expectations last month.
The Indiana Chamber of Commerce wants to see more rigorous high school math standards and a recommended reading list added to the proposed expectations for schools the State Board will consider next month.
“The opponents of Common Core have talked a lot about the so-called ‘common algorithm’ in elementary math,” says Education and Workforce Development Vice President Derek Redelman. “That has been part of our old standards and we’ve suggested those ought to be part of it.”
State education officials released drafts of new academic standards to replace Common Core last month. The pro-Common Core Chamber commissioned its own review to compare the proposed standards to those in other states.
The review looked at standards in three states: Massachusetts, which has adopted the Common Core, and Virginia and Texas, which have not. Redelman says the point of the review was to make sure that there’s nothing missing in Indiana’s next set of student expectations. Continue Reading →
The House passed a bill earlier this session creating a pilot program that would provide vouchers for low-income Hoosier children to attend preschool. But the Senate eliminated the program, creating instead a comprehensive summer study on pre-K.
As House and Senate leaders negotiate over the pre-K bill’s final product, Long says a smaller version of the pilot could be in the works.
“There’s an argument that we need to have something out there to see what is or isn’t working, so you have an opportunity, then, to implement some evidence-based programs out there that we can look towards as we talk about implementing a much larger program in the state,” says Long. Continue Reading →
Today, a spokeswoman from Penn-Harris-Madison schools announced that administrators will use a similarly creative tactic to make up for the multitude of weather-related cancellations this winter.
An “eLearning” plan will be implemented in P-H-M schools from March 17 to May 12, Teresa Carroll said.
Teachers will provide students with a variety of online assignments to do outside the school day. And schools will make accommodations for students who don’t have a home computer or Internet access. Continue Reading →
The changes coming to the exam are extensive: The SAT’s rarefied vocabulary words will be replaced by words that are common in college courses, such as “empirical” and “synthesis.” The math questions, now scattered widely across many topics, will focus more narrowly on linear equations, functions and proportional thinking. The use of a calculator will no longer be allowed on some of the math sections. The new exam will be available on paper and computer, and the scoring will revert to the old 1600 scale, with a top score of 800 on math and what will now be called “Evidence-Based Reading and Writing.” The optional essay will have a separate score.
Once the pre-eminent college admissions exam, the SAT has recently lost ground to the ACT, which is based more directly on high school curriculums and is now taken by a slightly higher number of students. Continue Reading →
Publishers are marketing textbooks as aligned to Common Core, but new research suggests the material may not match up closely with the nationally-crafted expectations for what students should know and learn at each grade level.
Around this time last year, a reader asked if Indiana would still get Common Core-aligned textbooks if state lawmakers voted to exit the initiative.
Indiana and 44 other states agreed to use the common expectations in 2010. But as it’s now likely the state will become the first to withdraw from an agreement to share standards, we felt it was time to revisit the question.
According to a report from the Office of Management and Budget, a majority of Indiana school districts have already shelled out for new textbooks and curriculum. And while the proposed expectations state education officials will consider next month overlap with Common Core, they also include Indiana-specific content.
But whether Indiana will remain a large enough market to get its own textbooks is anyone’s guess. Last month, two researchers announced textbooks boasting alignment to the nationally-crafted Common Core standards may not conform to the new expectations after all. From Education Week:
But in a Feb. 21 presentation of his research at a seminar in Los Angeles hosted by the Education Writers Association, William Schmidt, a professor of statistics and education at Michigan State University in East Lansing, dismissed most purveyors of such claims as “snake oil salesmen” who have done little more than slap shiny new stickers on the same books they’ve been selling for years. Continue Reading →
“My initial reaction when I saw what we were going to be doing in the classroom with these fourth, fifth and sixth graders was, ‘I don’t think this going to work,’” says Brauch. “But spending two years doing this in the classroom, I really saw that many of the ideas in Common Core were working.” Continue Reading →
Rockville Elementary Principal Jeff Eslinger, right, watches as a sixth grade teacher helps a student with a math lesson. A turnaround specialist from the Indiana Department of Education was on-site to track implementation of the school improvement plan.
The School City of Hammond is removing principals at five schools that received failing grades as part of a state-directed turnaround effort.
The district already has notified five principals they will be removed. They are Hammond High School’s principal and principals at Hess, Harding, Edison and Irving Elementary schools.
Edison Principal Marsha Frey acknowledged the school dropped from a B in 2011 to an F in 2012 and 2013, and said there were too many children who showed low growth. She said the priority areas for improvement include focusing on English/language arts and third- and fourth-grade math students.
Parent Judy Flanagan said the principal and teachers are dedicated, and she’s witnessed teachers working with struggling students. Continue Reading →
[Muncie Superintendent Tim] Heller said that in response to the many community members who voiced concern that if that amount was needed to open this fall, why didn’t they just use Southside as the main high school?
“The Southside building is not big enough to put the two student bodies in,” he said. “And we only need some of those things on the list to be able to open in August and that’s the (wall) dividers, lockers, some painting and the water fountains.” Continue Reading →
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