Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.
Education issues continue to dominate discussions at the statehouse and across Indiana, as Hoosiers debate a series of controversies relating to school funding, the role of the chair of the State Board of Education and the spring ISTEP+ test.
StateImpact’s Claire McInerny spoke with Indiana Newsdesk host Joe Hren about the week’s events.
Opposing Viewpoints and Rallies
Private, charter and public school leaders held a rally on Thursday to show why they think Indiana is heading in the right direction, pointing to increases in test scores and the fact that students can attend a better school with state financial support, even if it is outside of their district or is a private or charter school.
“I voted for Glenda Ritz to be my state superintendent of public instruction. I didn’t vote for Governor Pence,” Mary Plaia, a kindergarten teacher at Indianapolis Public Schools said. “He’s trying to take my vote away by ousting her from her power and that’s not acceptable in a democracy.”
A seventh grader works on a laptop owned by her school in the classroom.
The U.S. Department of Education released a report today showing Indiana is not in full compliance with the No Child Left Behind waiver requirements and is at risk of losing its waiver.
The Department of Education conducted a review of the state’s procedures last August.
“Based on the number of significant ‘next steps’ in the monitoring report, I am placing a condition on the approval of IDOE’s ESEA’s [Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which the No Child Left Behind Act replaced] flexibility request. In order to have this condition removed, IDOE most address all ‘next steps’ in the monitoring report and submit evidence that it has done so as part of its extension request,” U.S. Department of Education Assistant Secretary Deborah Delisle said in a letter to State Superintendent Glenda Ritz. Continue Reading →
Dugger Elementary is scheduled to close at the end of the school year.
The Indiana Charter School Board has denied an application to open a new charter school in Dugger.
Dugger Elementary and Union Junior/Senior High School are set to close at the end of this year because of budget constraints.
As we’ve reported, About 300 students are currently attending the two schools in Dugger, and parents have previously said their students would likely transfer from the district entirely rather than attend another school in the district.
They had hoped that opening a charter school would save them from having to choose between those two options. Continue Reading →
The Green School’s founders had applied for a charter with the Indiana Charter School Board in hopes of starting a school in 2015. But the charter board told them there were too many issues that still needed to be resolved—their budget was too small for example and they weren’t offering teachers enough money.
Green School education director Mary Goral says they haven’t decided whether to reapply.
“We’re tired. We’re tired and worn out from the process,” Goral says, adding that the people who have been working to form The Green School have been volunteering on the project for three years,
But she urges parents not to give up.
“I feel like if there’s ever going to be any kind of change, people need to organize and come together and really be willing to take a risk,” Goral says.
Margaret Katter participates in class at the Indiana School for the Deaf. Katter, who will graduate as the ISD's valedictorian this Spring, has an autoimmune disorder that adversely affects her hearing. She's not a candidate for cochlear implants, but Katter says she's glad she wasn't put in mainstream schools.
When she was less than two years old, the Katters decided to teach their daughter sign language and enroll her in classes at the Indiana School for the Deaf (ISD) in Indianapolis. Neither of Margaret Katter’s parents is deaf, but her mom is a speech language pathologist and her aunt is an audiologist.
“We’ve always said if God was going to bring a hard of hearing child into the world, there really wasn’t a better place than our family.” —Greg Katter, Margaret Katter’s Father
“All along we’ve always said if God was going to bring a hard of hearing child into the world, there really wasn’t a better place than our family,” Margaret’s dad, Greg, says. Continue Reading →
Grant Phllips interacts with his classmates in his literature class at Covenant Chrtstian High School. Phillips has had a cochlear implant since he was 16 months old, which allows him to hear.
If there were a poster child for cochlear implants, Grant Phillips would be it. When Phillips was born, he was completely deaf. After exploring several options, his parents heard about a new procedure that had been shown to restore hearing loss at a very successful rate.
The first surgeries and FDA studies for cochlear implants, a device that aid hearing by stimulating the cochlea in the inner ear, were taking place right in their hometown of Indianapolis at Riley Hospital. The problem was that the FDA had only approved the surgery for children more than two years old. After consulting with the lead doctor, Dr. Richard Miyamoto, the Philips and hospital agreed to perform surgery on Grant when he was just 16 months old. 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 »