Indiana

Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Eric Weddle, WFYI

Indiana Federal Lawmakers Ask DeVos To Delay Grad Rate Change

U.S. Congressman Jim Banks, a Republican Representative for Indiana’s 3rd District, is asking U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to delay changes to the high school diploma in Indiana. (C-SPAN)

U.S. Congressman Jim Banks, a Republican Representative for Indiana’s 3rd District, is asking U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to delay changes to the high school diploma in Indiana. (C-SPAN)

Under a new federal education law thousands of Indiana diplomas known as general diplomas would no longer count for a school’s graduation rate.

As a result, Indiana could see its statewide graduation rate drop from 89 percent to 76 percent, based on 2016 data.

Now Indiana’s Congressional delegation wants the federal education department to give the state more time to prepare before that change takes effect.

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Indianapolis School Board OKs Closure Of 3 High Schools

Protestors against the Indianapolis Public Schools administration's proposal to close multiple high schools rally outside the John Morton Finney Center before the final school board vote on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. (Eric Weddle/WFYI News)

Protestors against the Indianapolis Public Schools administration\’s proposal to close multiple high schools rally outside the John Morton Finney Center before the final school board vote on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. (Eric Weddle/WFYI News)

Three Indianapolis high schools and a middle school will close next year as part of a far-reaching academic overhaul approved Monday by the city school board in the face of declining enrollment.

For nearly six months the Indianapolis Public Schools Board of Commissioners held contentious public meetings to gather input on school closures. At times community members accused school administrators and the board of ignoring their concerns and the negative impact closures would have on poor, mostly black students.

The frustration continued during the board meeting. Some in attendance laughed as commissioners read statements about their votes. When Kelly Bentley explained why she was in favor of closing her alma mater Broad Ripple High School, parent Star Adita stood up and shouted: “I’m blaming you.”

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DeVos Visits Charter Schools, Hog Roast On Indiana Tour

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and husband Dick eat at the Eastern Hancock High School cafeteria for the annual FFA hog roast fundraiser on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 during the last stop on the “Rethink School” tour. (Eric Weddle/WFYI News)

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and husband Dick eat at the Eastern Hancock High School cafeteria for the annual FFA hog roast fundraiser on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 during the last stop on the “Rethink School” tour. (Eric Weddle/WFYI News)

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos found supporters and skeptics during a half-day trip to urban and rural Indiana schools Friday for the final day of her national back to school tour.

DeVos sought to draw attention to innovative curriculum and teaching methods at stops at charter school classrooms in Gary and Indianapolis before attended a high school football game here in rural Hancock County east of Indianapolis.

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U.S. Ed Secretary Betsy DeVos To Visit Indiana Schools Friday

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos talks with students at St. Stephens Indian School on the Wind River Reservation in Stephens, Wyoming, on September 12. (Photo courtesy: USED)

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos talks with students at St. Stephens Indian School on the Wind River Reservation in Stephens, Wyoming, on September 12. (Photo courtesy: USED)

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will visit schools across Indiana Friday as the last stop on a six-state back-to-school tour.

DeVos is highlighting schools that she says are offering innovative and groundbreaking curriculum and teaching methods.

“There are so many new and exciting ways state-based education leaders and advocates are truly rethinking education,” DeVos said in a statement. “It is our goal with this tour to highlight what’s working. We want to encourage local education leaders to continue to be creative, to empower parents with options and to expand student-centered education opportunities.”

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See How Indiana Schools Ranked In US News’ ‘Best Colleges’ List

The University of Notre Dame ranked No. 18 in  U.S. News and World Report's 2018 "Best Colleges" list released Tuesday. Here the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and Golden Dome at sunset in 2013. (Barbara Johnston/University of Notre Dame)

The University of Notre Dame ranked No. 18 in U.S. News and World Report\’s 2018 “Best Colleges” list released Tuesday. Here the Basilica of the Sacred Heart and Golden Dome at sunset in 2013. (Barbara Johnston/University of Notre Dame)

Three Indiana universities made the top 100 in U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 “best” rankings for higher education institutions, released Tuesday.

The University of Notre Dame came in at No. 18 among all universities in the country.

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ISTEP Scores Stabilize But Nearly Half Of Students Still Fail

scantron test

David Hartman (Flickr)

Results from the 2017 ISTEP exam remain nearly unchanged compared to last year after an overhaul of the standardized test caused pass rates to plummet two years ago.

Only about half of Hoosier students in grades three through eight passed both parts of the required math and English assessment. The state Department of Education released results today.

For the Spring 2017 test, 51.5 percent of students passed both parts. That’s a fraction of a percent less from the previous year.

State Superintendent Jennifer McCormick described the results as flatlined.

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Indiana Lawmakers Could Roll Back Tuition Law For ‘Dreamers’

(Indiana General Assembly)

(Indiana General Assembly)

State lawmakers are discussing whether to a change a 2011 law that prohibits young people brought into the country illegally from accessing in-state tuition at public colleges.

Indiana is one of only three states in the country that specifically makes immigrant students who can not prove state residency or who don’t qualify for a federal program to pay the more expensive out-of-state tuition rate.

A legislative study committee began delving into the issue Wednesday. Only advocates for altering the law spoke at the two-hour meeting.

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IDOE Names 2018 Indiana Teacher Of The Year Finalists

(Alex McCall/WFIU News)

(Alex McCall/WFIU News)” credit=”

The Indiana Department of Education announced the top 10 finalists for the 2018 Teacher of the Year Thursday.

The teacher of the year is picked by a committee including, former recipients, department staff, educational and community leaders, and higher education representatives.

“This list of educators is comprised of the best of the best across Indiana, and I am grateful for the dedication and hard work they show each and every day,” Superintendent Jennifer McCormick said in a statement. “Our teachers deserve all the support and recognition they can receive and I am happy to honor them through our Teacher of the Year program.”

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McCormick Will Seek Legislation To Lower School Age

(Barnaby Wasson/Flickr)

(Barnaby Wasson/Flickr)

State superintendent Jennifer McCormick will push to make Hoosier children start attending school at a younger age in the upcoming General Assembly session.

She wants to lower the compulsory school age from 7- to 6-years-old.

It’s an effort that has stalled in the past even as Indiana is one of 16 states with a compulsory school age of 7 or older.

Indiana’s Republican majorities have not favored reducing the compulsory age or making kindergarten mandatory.

Legislative leaders say that’s in part because nearly all young children already attend some type of formal schooling before they turn 7.

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McCormick: Increase Accountability For Charter, Voucher Schools

Indiana School Superintendent Jennifer McCormick drew support from an Indianapolis audience Saturday who mostly supported former school chief Glenda Ritz in the November election.

During the Indiana Coalition For Public Education’s annual meeting, the first-term Republican called for increased accountability of charter schools and private schools that receive taxpayer funded vouchers.

“It’s a taxpayer’s right to know. We talk about transparency. We talk about providing a quality experience for students,” she says. “How do we know that is actually happening? I think it is just the right thing to do.”


Article origination IPBS-RJC State Superintendent Jennifer McCormick called for more accountability on charter schools and private schools using taxpayer-funded vouchers during a forum Saturday. The first-term Republican schools chief says her department is “pushing back” against the state’s free-market style of school choice that lawmakers began approving in 2009.

Read more at: www.wfyi.org

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