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.
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 →
“Obviously this is a short session, not a budget session,” says Indiana Department of Education spokesman Daniel Altman. “As far as what’s going to happen with this legislation, I think it’s up in the air.”
But Altman says the department, which supports lawmakers’ pre-K proposal, has a plan for developing the administrative and data systems necessary to support Indiana’s early learning programs, even if funding for a voucher program doesn’t materialize this year.
“We’re definitely talking about things that can be accomplished with little to no additional funding so we can make sure when the funding does come, we’re laying the groundwork right now,” he says. Continue Reading →
Head Start students at Eastview Elementary in Connersville play a card game that teaches memory and matching skills.
I’ll be co-hosting Noon Edition, WFIU’s weekly public affairs show, on Friday. Since we’ll be talking about the proposed pre-K pilot program that passed the House this week, I hope you’ll join us with your questions about early childhood education in Indiana.
Joining us will be:
Indiana University researcher Alice Cross, the co-author of a study that looked at the state’s rating system for childcare providers
Shannon Kiely-Heider, the director of State Government Relations at Cummins, which helped established a publicly funded pre-k program in Columbus.
State Rep. Shelli VanDenburgh, D-Crown Point, a member of the House Education Committee.
You can join us for a live chat at WFIU.ORG/NoonEdition, follow us on Twitter @noonedition or call into the program at 812-855-0811. If you can’t join us at 12:06 p.m. EST, you can leave your questions in the comments.
But as the bill left the House Thursday, Minority Leader Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, said that’s not a reason to reject the Republicans’ proposal.
“There’s a little continued concern about doubling down on the voucher methodology,” said Pelath as he lent his support to the bill. “But let us not stand in the way of fulfilling something our side of the aisle has talked about for many, many years, and that’s investment in early childhood education.” Continue Reading →
“We always adopt our own standards,” says state superintendent Glenda Ritz. “It just so happens that in 2010 the State Board of Education adopted the Common Core as its standards. We are reviewing those standards. I’m pretty confident there are going to be changes to those standards. And Indiana will be adopting a new set of standards.” Continue Reading →
No school district improved or fell more than two letter grades. All five corporations that slipped two rankings went from A’s to C’s. There were 13 districts that improved two letters — most of those saw their grades jump from C’s to A’s.
Gov. Mike Pence delivers a victory speech on Election Night 2012.
UPDATED, 10:42 p.m. EST: Indiana Gov. Mike Pence indicated he favors a step away from the nationally-crafted Common Core education standards in his State of the State address Tuesday night.
“When it comes to setting standards for schools, I can assure you, Indiana’s will be uncommonly high,” said Pence. “They will be written by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers and will be among the best in the nation.”
Indiana schools have been using the Common Core since 2010, when the State Board adopted the standards. But state lawmakers voted last spring to pause alignment of Indiana’s assessment to its standards pending further review.
Andrea Neal asks her eighth grade history students questions during a presentation. She says she's worried the Common Core is squeezing out non-tested subjects.
Three years ago the State Board of Education unanimously adopted new expectations for what Indiana students should know and learn at each grade level.
But pushback against the nationally-crafted Common Core triggered a legislative “pause” last year until the new academic standards could be studied further. Now the clock is ticking for state education officials to reaffirm their support for Common Core or select a new direction for Indiana schools.
And on the State Board, too, support for the standards has shifted. Though a majority of the panel likely still approves of the Common Core, at least one voice of dissent has emerged.
Most State Board members have voted for the Common Core in the past, and Kenley’s proposal wouldn’t prevent them from re-adopting the standards without amendment. The bill also says the board “may include elements of the Common Core” in whatever standards they write next.