Last week, state superintendent Glenda Ritz said after talking with the U.S. Department of Education regarding the state’s condition on its No Child Left Behind waiver, some sort of assessment that matches the new standards must be administered this spring.
To some, this was a surprise announcement. But looking at the issue as a whole, this has been a long time coming. Continue Reading →
Students read together in an all-male class at Riverview Middle School. Administrators started single-sex courses to address gender disparities on standardized tests.
The interest in public single-sex education has increased in recent years, as more pressure is placed on schools to graduate students, improve test scores and keep teaching methods fresh.
More than 200 public schools across the country offer single-sex classrooms, according to the National Association for Single Sex Public Education. Indiana even has a couple of schools that are specifically all-boys or all-girls.
But not everyone is a fan of this system. As our counterparts at StateImpact Florida have reported, the American Civil Liberties Union recently came out against single-sex schooling in parts of their state. Indiana is one of 15 states the ACLU has sought documentation from related to implementation of single-sex programs in the state.
In addition to requiring increased levels of education for principals and superintendents, the board approved the requirements around a new teacher certification called a career specialist (previously known as the adjunct permit).
The requirements to get a career specialist license are:
Bachelor’s degree in a related field
6,000 hours of professional experience in a related field
Pass a content test
Begin a teacher training program within first month of starting a teaching job
When lawmakers implemented property tax caps back in 2008, it cut down the amount of tax money that could be distributed to school districts and fundamentally changed the way public schools in Indiana are financed.
One of the referenda passed for Elkhart Community Schools will fund transportation costs to put more school buses on the road.
Shortfalls in revenue for some school corporations have led to an increase in the pursuit for funding through referenda. Just last week, voters in nine separate districts saw referenda on their primary election ballots – and all but one said “yes” to the proposed changes.
Nine out of 10 referenda passing in one election cycle is a better rate than the state has been seeing in recent years. Since November of 2008, Indiana has tried 102 school-related referenda and about half have passed.
“Well, we’re fortunate we have 30 minutes of professional development every day before school starts,” says Eastern Howard Superintendent Tracy Caddell. “So we’ll be able to adapt, but there will be quite a few schools out there who don’t have the luxury of daily professional development, so I think it’s gonna be a struggle to implement them for the next school year.” 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.
Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, sits on the Indiana Senate Education Committee and chairs the Appropriations Committee.
“This,” says Sen. Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, referring to a proposed preschool program, “is almost a potential budget buster.”
Gov. Mike Pence asked state lawmakers this year to approve a small-scale preschool pilot program for low-income 4-year-olds. But Kenley, who chairs the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, says he’s not ready to commit to state-funded pre-K.
Halfway between Louisville and Evansville on the Ohio River are two small cities: Tiny Tell City, Ind., and the even tinier Cannelton. Cannelton’s only three miles upstream from Tell City — but it can seem like it’s worlds apart.
“Here’s some old buildings, just sitting here, empty,” says Cannelton City Schools superintendent Al Sibbitt as he drives down Washington Street. Continue Reading →
Cannelton City Schools was in 'complete disarray' when Al Sibbitt took over two years ago. The 72-year-old part-time superintendent has had to implement steep cuts to keep the district going, but revenues are still drying up.
At 72, Al Sibbitt doesn’t need to be working. But his part-time job still keeps him up nights.
“Where can I cut a few dollars here?” the Cannelton City Schools superintendent will ask himself when he can’t sleep. “Where can I save a few dollars there?”