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.
Indiana schools reported evaluating more than 55,000 teachers, counselors and administrators during the 2012-13 academic year, according to figures released Monday by the Department of Education. Of those licensed educators who were rated, more than 97 percent received the top two scores.
“This is not designed to compare one school corporation to another,” says Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn. “This is designed for a principal to do a vigorous evaluation of their teachers in their building.” Continue Reading →
Indiana schools have to seek voter approval for large construction projects and levy increases outside the property tax cap.
What are the odds your school corporation’s referendum will pass? It’s a coin toss — since 2008, half of the 92 districts who’ve tried to convince voters to raise their own property taxes have been successful.
Nine Indiana school districts will ask for 10 tax levy increases on the May ballot. Elkhart Community Schools is asking voters to approve two questions. And two school corporations — the Metropolitan School District of Boone Township and Mount Vernon Community Schools — are returning to the polls for the second and third time, respectively.
We’ve compiled a list of referenda after the jump. Or, check out our referenda scorecard to see how voters in other districts have weighed in on similar questions since 2008. Continue Reading →
I merged Department of Education spreadsheets with data on free and reduced-price lunch counts and ISTEP-Plus passing rates. Then I sorted by free-and-reduced-lunch rates and focused on schools where 80 percent or more students qualified for lunch assistance. Results include:
For charter schools: Average passing rate for both E/LA and math, 48 percent; passing rate for E/LA, 62.3 percent; passing rate for math, 62.5 percent.
For conventional public schools: Average passing rate for both E/LA and math, 57.2 percent; passing rate for E/LA, 64.1 percent; passing rate for math, 68.1 percent.
The data set includes only schools that enroll students in grades 3-8, who take ISTEP exams; it excludes high schools and many primary-grade schools. I also tried to screen out nonstandard schools such as juvenile detention centers and dropout recovery schools.Continue Reading →
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, told journalists last week that new Hoosier educational standards still are almost mirroring exactly the national standards that Pence eschewed.
As Herbert talked about Utah controlling its decisions over academic standards, he was asked whether the state would legislate a split from Common Core, as Indiana did.
“I’ve talked to Gov.Pence about what they’re doing there,” Herbert said. “In essence, they’re saying they’re creating what’s called the Indiana Core. It’s not the Common Core … but their standards are almost mirroring exactly what is commonly referred to as the Common Core standards.” Continue Reading →
What questions do you have about Indiana's Common Core exit?
This week Indiana became the first state to officially exit the Common Core initiative, an agreement 45 states and the District of Columbia made in 2010 to share academic standards.
The move comes as no surprise to policy-watchers here: For months, Indiana education officials have been reviewing academic standards and writing expectations to replace the Common Core. But that work won’t be complete until the State Board formally adopts the state’s next standards next month.
We hope you’ll tune into WFIU today at 12:06 p.m. EST for Noon Edition, our weekly public affairs program. I’ll be on discussing the Common Core’s rise and fall in Indiana, as well as what’s next for schools. Other guests include:
State Senator Jim Banks
Amy Marsh of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce
Indiana Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction Danielle Shockey
You can listen live on 103.7 FM in south central Indiana, or tune into wfiu.org for the live stream.
If you can’t listen live, send us your questions: Tweet @ellemoxley or @StateImpactIN, and we’ll try to get to as many as possible on air.
Danielle Shockey told local educators dozens of educators from across the state, including Hammond teacher Lori Jones, have put in thousands of hours working on the standards that will prepare students for college and careers. Shockey said there have been many levels of evaluation to ensure the standards are the best they can be.
Shockey was the guest speaker at the Northwest Indiana Writing Project breakfast Thursday at Purdue University Calumet. She filled in for Superintendent Glenda Ritz, who was scheduled to speak but had a family emergency and did not attend.
Shockey focused on the standards, new assessments and accountability. She said on some of the standards, there were more than 1,000 comments submitted and on other standards, several hundred comments. Continue Reading →
“I’ve pledged consistently that we’re going to write standards in Indiana that are written by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers, and are uncommonly high,” says Pence. “And we are deep into a completely transparent process and public process to do that.”
“Children that are a finishing this year will finish under the existing Indiana standards, so teachers and students as well as, obviously, their families should not anticipate any changes moving towards the end of this calendar year,” says Lou Ann Baker, spokesman for Pence’s Center for Education and Career Innovation.
Sandra Stotsky, a retired University of Arkansas professor and well-known Common Core opponent, has told Pence she won’t take part in the state’s drafting process unless a new version of the standards relies little on Common Core.
State education officials overseeing the process say revisions are ongoing and the final proposal will be unique and rigorous.
The opinion of Stotsky, who helped review Indiana’s earlier academic standards, has been considered essential by some lawmakers and others to ensure Indiana’s new math and English standards are high-quality and considerably different from Common Core. Continue Reading →