Elle Moxley came to WFIU in 2012 from The Examiner, a community newspaper in suburban Kansas City. She previously worked for KBIA-FM in Columbia, Mo.; The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill.; and the Associated Press in London. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri, where she studied multimedia journalism and broadcasting.
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 is tracking implementation of the school's improvement plan.
States that have sought flexibility from the federal government in the form of waivers are using very different criteria to target underperforming schools for intervention than they did under No Child Left Behind.
That’s according to a recently released report from New America Foundation policy analyst Anne Hyslop, who compared accountability under NCLB to state-led efforts the next school year.
Hyslop writes that under the new system, the choices individual states made about how to design an accountability system mattered less than the fact the federal government dictated states intervene in 15 percent of Title I schools.
“So it was shifting from an absolute system of accountability to one that was all relative — essentially, we’re now grading schools on a curve,” Hyslop tells StateImpact.
Each of those items will have a significant fiscal impact and so far, Pence has been coy in talking about ways to pay for his plans. He says that’s for good reason.
“I want to give legislators the broadest possible range to develop how they think this might work best giving consideration to all of the interests involved,” Pence said.
Pence says he’s had good discussions with legislative leaders about options to enact parts of his agenda but doesn’t want to speculate publicly about those options. He says that will allow the broadest range of debate. Continue Reading →
Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Indianapolis, told StateImpact last month that everyone may be talking about pre-K, but he hasn’t seen a substantive plan for state-funded preschool.
“I think we’re kind of getting ahead of ourselves because it sounds like the right thing to do,” says Kenley, who chairs the appropriation committee. “Everyone talks about in very nebulous terms on a glowing basis. I don’t think we’ve done any work to figure out what we want to do on that.” Continue Reading →
“Are they going to put in that oversight if they’re giving vouchers? Is that oversight any good?” says Ann Rosen, co-director of the Family Connection, a non-profit that provides teacher assessments to pre-K providers in St. Joseph County.
State superintendent Glenda Ritz, right, talks to State Board of Education member B.J. Watts during a strategic planning session on Dec. 3.
State superintendent Glenda Ritz says she thinks Indiana education officials can wrap up their review of the Common Core in time to have academic standards in place for next school year.
“Keep in mind we’re working from the standards we are currently teaching,” Ritz says. “So there will be revisions to those standards. The plan is for— the timeline is hopefully the State Board of Education will have final approval in April, and we’ll get out any revisions to the staff here in the spring.”
But some State Board members aren’t sure if that’s enough time to do their job property.
Right now most Indiana teachers are teaching the nationally-crafted Common Core standards the state adopted back in 2010. They’re also teaching what Ritz calls “Indiana academic indicators” — expectations for what students need to know and learn at each grade level to pass the statewide ISTEP+ test.
It’s an interesting question, considering the week began with State Superintendent Glenda Ritz and the Center for Education and Career Innovation hashing it out over the details of the group’s regular December business meeting. CECI spokesman Lou Ann Baker told StateImpact in an email the two sides had been unable to reach an agreement on the agenda in time to post it 48 hours before the meeting.
So Wednesday’s meeting will be what Ritz is calling an “orientation session” with representatives from the National Association of State Boards of Education on hand to mediate ongoing tensions between the Department of Education and Governor Mike Pence’s new education agency. It will still be open to the public, but board members won’t be able to take any action.
The same assessments also predicted the increases seen at the elementary level, according to superintendent Greg Parsley.
“Our Acuity test, which is a predictor test published by McGraw-Hill, gave indicators that we were going to have good things to talk about with the elementary schools,” he said. “And the same thing was there with the middle school. We didn’t expect to see the same kind of jumps, but we were expecting to see a slight increase, at least a following along of the trends of other state schools.” Continue Reading →
Earlier this month Ritz walked out of a meeting when board members asked to involve their staff — separate from the Department of Education — in the review of state academic standards. At the time, Ritz said the blame rested not with individual board members but with Governor Mike Pence, who created a new education agency, the Center for Education and Career Innovation, over the summer.
Ritz and Pence met Tuesday and agreed to bring in the National Association of State Boards of Education to help defuse the situation.
“Since the last meeting of the State Board of Education, I have said that the governor and I needed to work together directly to address recent issues that have arisen,” Ritz said in the statement. “Yesterday’s meeting was a first step towards that goal. I believe the governor now has a clearer understanding of my concerns regarding the CECI, but much work remains to be done.” Continue Reading →
Until fall 2012, Rural Community Academy was the only rural charter school in Indiana. That changed when Canaan Community Academy opened in southern Indiana, using the Graysville model.
[Graysville school leader Susie] Pierce said the Canaan residents found themselves in the same place that the Graysville community was in more than a decade ago — a similar place to where the community of Dugger is now experiencing, with school closure pending.
“We asked what they were going to do to this building,” Pierce said of the Graysville closing, “and they said, ‘turn off the utilities, put plywood on the windows and abandon the building.’ That’s what Canaan was facing, too.” Continue Reading →
StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives. Learn More »