Indiana

Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Department of Education Outlines 2018 Priorities

Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jennifer McCormick, speaks with members of the press after unveiling her priorities for 2018. (Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News)

Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jennifer McCormick, speaks with members of the press after unveiling her priorities for 2018. (Jeanie Lindsay/IPB News)

State superintendent Jennifer McCormick released her priorities for 2018, and those strategies target three areas: student learning, operational effectiveness and school improvement. In this last category, she says she wants to make it easier for teachers licensed in one content area to teach an additional subject if they have the experience.

“Because we’ve had a lot of superintendents call saying ‘I have a great teacher who I know could teach algebra but because of their license they are restricted,” she says. “They’re tutoring our algebra kids. They’re doing a good job. They fill in when our algebra teacher is out.”

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Muncie Schools: Where We Are Before A State Decision

Muncie Central High Schoo. (Kyle Stokes/StateImpact Indiana)

Muncie Central High School. (Kyle Stokes/StateImpact Indiana)

Their Nov. 14 school board meeting may have been Muncie Community School’s last before a state board decides if the state will fully take over the district. The state says it wants to see progress.

Emergency management team Administrator Assistance has been overseeing the Muncie Community School’s finances since July.

In that time, the district has established where they stand financially, something that previous financial officers were not able to find. It also has approved a line-item budget to prevent it from over-spending and rearranged its bonds to pay what it owes in 2017.

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Purdue Grant Aims To Cover Tuition Gap Left By Financial Aid

Purdue President Mitch Daniels discussed the new Boiler Affordability Grant at a press conference in Indianapolis on Tuesday. Nov. 21, 2017. (Eric Weddle/WFYI News)

Purdue President Mitch Daniels discussed the new Boiler Affordability Grant at a press conference in Indianapolis on Tuesday. Nov. 21. (Eric Weddle/WFYI News)

Low and middle income families can struggle to cover college tuition even after state and federal aid.

A new Purdue University grant aims to cover that gap for in-state students earning a first bachelor’s degree.

The Boiler Affordability Grant will cover tuition, fees and book expenses for undergraduates at the West Lafayette campus. Room and board would not be covered.

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Lawmakers Focus On STEM Education For 2018

The Indiana Statehouse. (Peter Balonon-Rosen/Indiana Public Broadcasting)

The Indiana Statehouse. (Peter Balonon-Rosen/IPB News)

Science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, has received a lot of attention at the statehouse lately, and that means the 2018 legislative session could bring major shifts for STEM education throughout the state.

House Education Committee chair Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) says he plans to push for more math and science professionals teaching at the elementary school level.

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IDOE Asks Public To Comment On Federal Waiver Request

(Alisha Referda/Flickr)

(Alisha Referda/Flickr)

Graduation rates at some Indiana high schools could plummet due to a new federal definition of regular diplomas. It would prohibit schools from including students who earn the general diploma in calculated graduation rates. Instead, federal guidelines would only count students who earn the Core 40 diploma or above.

General diplomas require fewer math, social studies and science credits – and less testing.

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IPS Superintendent Ferebee Gets $28K Bonus, Salary Increase

UPDATE:

Indianapolis Public Schools Board approved a $28,000 performance-based bonus for Superintendent Lewis Ferebee at Thursday’s board meeting.

The additional pay is based on an annual review of Ferebee’s performance by the IPS Board. The school commissioners unanimously approved giving Ferebee 80 percent of a possible $35,000 of performance-based pay for meeting 11 predetermined goals in 2016-2017 school year.


Indianapolis Public Schools Board is proposing a $28,000 bonus for Superintendent Lewis Ferebee. The board will vote on the payout at Thursday’s school board meeting. The bonus is based on an annual review of Ferebee’s performance by the IPS Board.

Read more at: www.wfyi.org

South Bend Community Schools Propose School Closures, Repurposing

(Photo courtesy of South Bend Community Schools)

(Photo courtesy of South Bend Community Schools)

There aren’t enough kids to fill South Bend Community Schools to their full capacity, so officials unveiled a proposal this week to close or repurpose six elementary and middle schools. If the proposal – called Focus 2018 – receives approval, it would also help the corporation meet federal racial requirements mandated for the district.

Superintendent Ken Spells says consolidating building costs will allow the district to improve, by providing funding for more student programs instead of keeping open multiple buildings they don’t really need.

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Ball State Buys Muncie Middle School

But that doesn’t mean Northside will close immediately – or even next school year – as an active Muncie Community Schools middle school. According to the agreement, MCS is allowed to lease the property back from Ball State for one dollar per year for the next five years.

The plan matches one passed by the MCS school board in April. While voting to close school buildings to combat the district’s multi-million dollar deficit, board member Robert Warrner proposed to keep Northside open in its current location, until a new building could be built on the site of the now-closed Storer Elementary School.


Ball State University officials say the school will buy Northside Middle School from Muncie Community Schools. IPR’s Stephanie Wiechmann reports. Ball State University spokeswoman Kathy Wolfe says the university will pay $1.27 million for the building, which first opened as a high school in

Read more at: indianapublicradio.org

Goodbye ECA? Panel OKs Graduation Overhaul But Uncertainty Remains

A "graphic recording" of the Graduation Pathways Committee's discussion on Sept. 19, 2017, as illustrated by Mike Fleisch. (Courtesy State Board of Education)

A “graphic recording” of the Graduation Pathways Committee’s discussion on Sept. 19, 2017, as illustrated by Mike Fleisch. (Courtesy State Board of Education)

A state committee recommended sweeping changes to high school graduation requirements Tuesday even as many of the details remain unknown.

If approved by the State Board of Education students, starting with the class of 2023, would choose from multiple academic tracts to satisfy three graduation requirements that are designed to better prepare them for college or career.

Reducing college remediation and filling a skills-gap saddling Indiana industries is a major focus of commerce, government and education leaders.

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