How did former state superintendent Tony Bennett lift not only Christel House Academy’s state A-F grade, but more than 160 Indiana schools’ performance ratings as well? We explain the ‘subscore ceiling,’ and how lifting that ceiling impacted many schools’ grades.
UPDATED, September 6: Below, we’ve added audio from a companion radio piece we sent statewide this week. More on the developments in the story here.
Former Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett has stepped down as Florida Education Commissioner after the Associated Press released emails indicated his staff changed the letter grades of more than a dozen schools.
The announcement came the day after former state superintendent Tony Bennett resigned his post as Florida Education Commissioner following the release of emails showing his staff changed the letter grades for more than a dozen charter schools during his time in Indiana.
In fact, Wyoming’s test scores went up across the board that year — despite the fears of state education officials, who asked the federal government months before getting the results to throw out the 2010 data.
East Allen County Schools technology director Bill Diehl demonstrates how to use iTunes U on his iPad. Teachers in the district are building their own courses using Apple's electronic textbook distribution platform.
Last summer, East Allen County Schools made a push to put an iPad in the hands of every student, doubling the number of digital devices in the district.
The district didn’t add any technology staff, just miles of cable and a wireless access point in every classroom.
Right before school started, the technology department passed out 7,000 iPads to every sixth through twelfth grader in the district.
Then they waited.
“We had dire predictions at the end of the school year that people were going to walk off with them, that we were gonna have a mess,” says technology director William Diehl. “But I have to say, to the goodness of the hearts of our parents and students, we got them back.”
Schools across the country are launching one-to-one programs that put an iPad, laptop or other device in the hands of every student. But when it comes to technology, accidents happen: Screens crack, keyboards break, components fail.
The new guidelines make it easier for certain students — including those with special needs — to receive a voucher, prompting voucher advocates to predict the program’s participation (currently at more than 9,100 students) will only grow.
“Indiana was the fastest-growing first-year voucher program ever, and now the fastest-growing second-year voucher program ever,” says Bob Enlow, president and CEO of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice. “Actually, I believe it will also become the fastest-growing third-year voucher program.” Continue Reading →
Bloomington fifth grader Georgie Stevens plays a computer game. On Monday, April 29, Georgie's class was likely among the first in Indiana to feel the impacts of the computer problems that ground testing to a halt across the state.
Almost as quickly as Georgie Stevens signed into her online ISTEP+ exam, the testing website kicked her out.
“It said, ‘Get off and get back on,’ there’s something wrong with it,” the Bloomington fifth grader remembers. “So I did.”
Then the site booted her out again. And again.
She asked for help, wondering at first whether her teacher still wanted her to finish the exam — but Georgie realized all of her classmates’ hands had shot up in the air too.
The eight students in Ben Davis High School’s AP Statistics class didn’t have time for senioritis. On Tuesday, their last day of high school ever, the eight college-bound seniors dressed up for a final presentation.
For the next step of their assignment — making formal recommendations for how to re-write the A-F model — Butts invited three state lawmakers, including House Education Committee Chair Bob Behning, R-Indianapolis, and a representative for state superintendent Glenda Ritz to the Indianapolis high school to hear their proposals.
Cathedral High School English teacher Melinda Bundy used to teach a research paper unit on the legends of King Arthur, but she's now using President John F. Kennedy's inauguration speech. Bundy made the switch because the Common Core State Standards require 70 percent of the texts high school students read come from nonfiction.
One of their concerns is the standard’s requirement that 70 percent of what high school students read come from nonfiction. But it’s unlikely the nonfiction requirement will go away because state law dictates whatever standards Indiana ends up with be modeled after the Common Core.
The idea is students should be reading more nonfiction in all classes, not just language arts. Yet some English teachers are skeptical their colleagues who teach subjects in which students don’t take statewide tests will take up the challenge. But Jeffrey Franklin, a social studies teacher at Mooresville High School, is already working to incorporate the Common Core in his classroom.
“Students need to read more complex texts that are going to be reflective of what they’re going to do outside of high school,” says Franklin. “That’s really the emphasis of the college- and career-readiness.” Continue Reading →