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.
“There are pieces of our standards that are just going to be there,” says state superintendent Glenda Ritz. “We did a very extensive crosswalk [comparison] in 2010 between the Indiana academic standards and the Common Core. And keep in mind, there was huge overlap.”
Department of Education staff presented an overview of the standards revision process at the State Board meeting Thursday. Teams of educators and subject-matter experts are currently looking at several sets of expectations for students and comparing each to the state’s definition of “college- and career-ready.” Continue Reading →
In each case, the new name is designed to impart a local flavor to the standards. One of the main criticisms of the Common Core is that national standards are replacing homegrown benchmarks. Continue Reading →
“Why Hums?” Melissa Buraczewski, a parent there, said. “Our teaching staff is great. We’re consistently an A (rated) school. … Our parents are willing to give time and money to the school.”
The answer to that question, Superintendent Terry Barker said, is the cost of the essential work that needs to be done to the school. It far outweighs that of the district’s other elementary schools. Continue Reading →
Sen. Scott Schneider, R-Indianapolis, attempted to convince members of the Senate Education Committee that loosening rules for these schools would truly give parents an option in deciding where to enroll their children and use vouchers to help pay for tuition.
The bill was written to let schools eligible for the Choice Scholarship program decide whether to administer the ISTEP exam to assess student learning. Instead, these schools could use another standardized test approved by the State Board of Education.
“To me the essence of choice is that money follows the child to the institution of the parents choice,” Schneider said. “And that really is the true essence of choice. And if we are going to have a voucher program, we need to maintain some sort of autonomy for these schools.” Continue Reading →
Common Core opponents rally at the statehouse in January 2013.
A panel of state lawmakers is considering a proposal that would bar Indiana from returning to the nationally-crafted academic standards known as the Common Core at the end of a year-long review.
This is the third year Sen. Scott Schneider, R-Indianapolis, 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.
“They will listen to the message this body is sending, that we are writing our own standards, that we are voiding prior standards, which is Common Core,” says Schneider. Continue Reading →
But proponents of school choice say the new limits — $4,700 this year and $4,800 next year for students in grades K-8 — are still too low to pay tuition at many private schools.
“We don’t give kids the amount of money they deserve,” says Robert Enlow, president of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. ”The voucher is only $4,800 in elementary school. You can’t grow a program and help kids and more kids if you’re not going to give them an amount of money that can allow that to happen.”
About half of Indiana students come from families with incomes low enough to receive free or reduced-price meals at school. Enlow says according to the report the Indiana Department of Education released Monday, 75 percent of voucher-recipient students come from low-income families, or about $43,500 for a family of four.
“I’d say this program is still serving serving far more low-income children than the rest of the state,” says Enlow. Continue Reading →
The state board and state Superintendent Glenda Ritz have responded by embarking on a process to set new standards. Ritz said earlier this month she did not expect Common Core standards to emerge from the process as the state’s sole standards, but instead new standards may incorporate Common Core elements along with locally-created standards.
A 'Holy Hall Monitor' near the front entrance of Our Lady of Hungary Catholic school in South Bend.
The majority of Indiana students using state-funded tuition vouchers are using them at private schools that received an A or a B in Indiana’s school ratings system for 2012-13.
But D or F rated private schools had, on average, twice as many voucher-recipient students as the A schools. And the private school with the most voucher students — Ambassador Christian Academy in Lake County — received an F from the state.
Private schools with A ratings enrolled an average of 57 voucher recipients. Private schools with D or F ratings enrolled more than 100 voucher recipients on average, according to a StateImpact analysis of the data. Continue Reading →
The number of students attending Cathedral High School in Indiana on state-funded tuition vouchers has increased from 18 in 2011-12 to 126 this year. Overall, 19,809 Indiana students received Choice Scholarships in 2013-14.
That’s according to a report released Monday by the Indiana Department of Education on third-year enrollment in the state’s Choice Scholarship Program. The state awarded 19,809 vouchers for the 2013-14 school year, up from 9,139 last year and 3,911 two years ago.
Click here to see how many students enrolled in participating Indiana private schools using vouchers. Click here to find out how many students who reside in your district are attending private schools.
During the program’s first two years, income-eligible students had to have spent two semesters in public school or been awarded a scholarship by a state-approved granting organization to receive a voucher. As a result, about 90 percent of first-year voucher participants had spent time in a public school.
Two years later, the number of voucher students who previously attended public school has dropped to about 60 percent. Continue Reading →
Under the bill, IPS can collaborate with an outside group in two ways. A charter school can operate independently within an IPS school building. Or IPS can hire an outside group to run an IPS school, creating what the bill calls an “innovation school” and giving it greater freedoms than other district schools.
Superintendent Lewis Ferebee said he needed the flexibility offered by the bill to execute strategies to improve some schools.
But the bill, which applies only to IPS, contains a provision that brought intense opposition from Indiana’s two statewide teachers unions — an outright prohibition of union bargaining for employees who work at “innovation schools” run under contract with the district. That provision was the main focus of those who spoke against the bill at today’s House Education Committee meeting. Continue Reading →
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