Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana
A teleprompter aids state superintendent Tony Bennett as he delivers a televised address in September 2011.
Buoyed by a rising political stock and several big-ticket national contributions, Republican State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett has already raised more than twice the amount of campaign cash he did in his initial bid for office in 2008.
Bennett has brought in $1.3 million in campaign contributions since his election four years ago — more than $812,000 in 2012 alone — with the thick of the political fundraising season still to come. By contrast, Democratic challenger Glenda Ritz has raised $112,000 to date, largely from the political arms of the state’s teachers unions.
A majority of Bennett’s campaign funds come from contributors in Indiana. But roughly 40 percent of his campaign cash has come from out-of-state givers, including from a company tapped to lead a school takeover and from the mayor of New York City.
We’ve put together a map of contributions to the Bennett campaign and a sortable database along with it. We’ve also compiled a list of the contributions to Ritz’s campaign, which you can view here.
Click here for our interactive map of 2012 ISTEP+ results.
71 percent of Indiana students passed both the math and English portions of this year’s ISTEP+ exam, the state’s benchmark standardized test for children in Grades 3-8, according to figures released Tuesday.
The result reflects a modest increase in the passing rate — about 1 percent over last year.
Overall ISTEP+ scores are higher than they’ve ever been, but stubborn socio-economic achievement gaps remain. While low-income and minority students’ scores have increased slightly faster than the population as a whole, they still lag behind.
“In general, I think [Tuesday's results] are very good news,” Jonathan Plucker, director of Indiana University’s Center for Evaluation and Education Policy, told StateImpact. “But clearly we have a lot of work to do.” Continue Reading
Election season is upon us, and aside from the usual blustering politicians and hopefuls, there’s another question appearing on ballots across the state: Will voters raise their own taxes to support local school districts? Political predictions are notoriously difficult to make, but the past can be a guide. We took a look back at the history of referendums in Indiana. Continue Reading
Kyle Stokes/StateImpact Indiana
Purdue University, where an average of 40 percent of all grades given out are A's.
Looking to graduate college with lots of A’s on your transcript? Major in Aerospace Studies at Indiana University, or take a lot of band classes at Purdue.
Amid the debate over grade inflation across the country — a national study found three out of every four students at public flagship universities earn either an ‘A’ or a ‘B’ in their classes — we took a closer look at grades data at Indiana’s flagship universities, IU and Purdue.
Both schools give out more A’s on average than any other grade. A’s make up 42.3 percent of all grades given out at IU and 40.5 percent of all grades at Purdue. The national average is 43 percent.
But data from the Spring 2011 semester also show individual schools and academic departments within IU and Purdue vary widely in how many A’s they give out — check out the chart after the jump:
Kyle Stokes/StateImpact Indiana
Second graders at Christel House Academy, a charter school in Indianapolis, play fraction games. An accelerated curriculum is a key part of the school's model.
Indiana lawmakers who supported last session’s education overhaul have billed charter schools as a better alternative than the state’s public schools for teaching low-income students. But state test scores from spring 2011, used as a measure of student performance, show the opposite: Public school students have outperformed their charter school counterparts.
Charter schools tend to serve higher percentages of low-income students. About 60 percent of charter students receive free and reduced-price lunches, for example, compared to just less than 50 percent at public schools.
Yet a StateImpact Indiana analysis of results from the state’s standardized test released Tuesday also show passage rates among charter schools with high percentages of low-income students are slightly worse than passage rates in public schools, as the graph after the jump shows.
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