Indiana

Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Betsy DeVos Signals Pullback On Campus Sex Misconduct Enforcement

On May 23, 2017, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visited Providence Cristo Rey High School in Indianapolis. (Peter Balonon-Rosen/IPB News)

On May 23, 2017, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos visited Providence Cristo Rey High School in Indianapolis. (Peter Balonon-Rosen/IPB News)

The Department of Education will change its approach to campus sexual misconduct and begin a public notice and comment process to issue new regulations, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced Thursday.

In a speech at George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School, DeVos decried “a system run amok,” “kangaroo courts” and repeatedly emphasized the plight of the accused.

“One rape is one too many … one person denied due process is one too many,” she said.

Outside, protesters yelled, “Stop protecting rapists!”

A bit of background.

Title IX, a federal law passed in 1972, prohibits sex discrimination in education. It has been best known for driving the expansion of girls’ and women’s sports.

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ISTEP Scores Stabilize But Nearly Half Of Students Still Fail

scantron test

David Hartman (Flickr)

Results from the 2017 ISTEP exam remain nearly unchanged compared to last year after an overhaul of the standardized test caused pass rates to plummet two years ago.

Only about half of Hoosier students in grades three through eight passed both parts of the required math and English assessment. The state Department of Education released results today.

For the Spring 2017 test, 51.5 percent of students passed both parts. That’s a fraction of a percent less from the previous year.

State Superintendent Jennifer McCormick described the results as flatlined.

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Indiana Lawmakers Could Roll Back Tuition Law For ‘Dreamers’

(Indiana General Assembly)

(Indiana General Assembly)

State lawmakers are discussing whether to a change a 2011 law that prohibits young people brought into the country illegally from accessing in-state tuition at public colleges.

Indiana is one of only three states in the country that specifically makes immigrant students who can not prove state residency or who don’t qualify for a federal program to pay the more expensive out-of-state tuition rate.

A legislative study committee began delving into the issue Wednesday. Only advocates for altering the law spoke at the two-hour meeting.

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IDOE Names 2018 Indiana Teacher Of The Year Finalists

(Alex McCall/WFIU News)

(Alex McCall/WFIU News)” credit=”

The Indiana Department of Education announced the top 10 finalists for the 2018 Teacher of the Year Thursday.

The teacher of the year is picked by a committee including, former recipients, department staff, educational and community leaders, and higher education representatives.

“This list of educators is comprised of the best of the best across Indiana, and I am grateful for the dedication and hard work they show each and every day,” Superintendent Jennifer McCormick said in a statement. “Our teachers deserve all the support and recognition they can receive and I am happy to honor them through our Teacher of the Year program.”

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McCormick Will Seek Legislation To Lower School Age

(Barnaby Wasson/Flickr)

(Barnaby Wasson/Flickr)

State superintendent Jennifer McCormick will push to make Hoosier children start attending school at a younger age in the upcoming General Assembly session.

She wants to lower the compulsory school age from 7- to 6-years-old.

It’s an effort that has stalled in the past even as Indiana is one of 16 states with a compulsory school age of 7 or older.

Indiana’s Republican majorities have not favored reducing the compulsory age or making kindergarten mandatory.

Legislative leaders say that’s in part because nearly all young children already attend some type of formal schooling before they turn 7.

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Indiana Law Could Ruin Solar’s Future At Schools

Students build racking for 950 solar panels at the Lake Prairie Elementary School array. (Credit: Tri-Creek School Corporation)

Students build racking for 950 solar panels at the Lake Prairie Elementary School array. (Credit: Tri-Creek School Corporation)

More groups – from utilities to businesses and even schools — are investing in solar energy. Its popularity continues to go up, while costs go down. But a law passed earlier this year by the Indiana General Assembly could spell trouble for the industry.

Take, for example, Tri-Creek School Corporation’s solar experiment.

As you drive down the county road toward Lowell Middle School, you might be surprised to see three or four football fields worth of solar panels hiding behind the corn fields.

“And, at the same time, it looks like the future,” Deb Howe, Tri-Creek School Corporation superintendent, says with laugh.

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McCormick: Increase Accountability For Charter, Voucher Schools

Indiana School Superintendent Jennifer McCormick drew support from an Indianapolis audience Saturday who mostly supported former school chief Glenda Ritz in the November election.

During the Indiana Coalition For Public Education’s annual meeting, the first-term Republican called for increased accountability of charter schools and private schools that receive taxpayer funded vouchers.

“It’s a taxpayer’s right to know. We talk about transparency. We talk about providing a quality experience for students,” she says. “How do we know that is actually happening? I think it is just the right thing to do.”


Article origination IPBS-RJC State Superintendent Jennifer McCormick called for more accountability on charter schools and private schools using taxpayer-funded vouchers during a forum Saturday. The first-term Republican schools chief says her department is “pushing back” against the state’s free-market style of school choice that lawmakers began approving in 2009.

Read more at: www.wfyi.org

Youth Survey Finds Vaping, Tobacco And Drug Use Down

(Pixabay)

(Pixabay)

An annual survey of Indiana teens finds the use of tobacco, vapor, alcohol and drug use on the decline.

This year the 27th Youth Survey from the Indiana University’s Indiana Prevention Resource Center analyzed answers from more than 126,000 Hoosier students – sixth to 12th grade – at 409 schools around the state. The questions cover issues ranging from use of various drugs to gambling and mental health.

The study first included the use of electronic vaping products two years ago and has found a steady decrease in the number of teen’s vaping every year.

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4-H Is Helping Kids Plant The Seeds For Healthy Relationships

In his experience working with young people across Maryland, he says he has come to understand that they see a myriad of relationships. His goal with the healthy relationships workshop is to create a space for teens to learn good habits and to ask those questions that can sometimes be embarrassing.

Chan uses games to help explain boundaries and warning signs. In one, he has the group circle around and play a game called “red flag, white flag” where he describes a romantic scenario to the kids and they hold up a red flag to signal an immediate breakup sign, or a white flag for situations that can be talked out.


“Remember, it’s Vegas rules, guys. What happens here, stays here,” says Alexander Chan to a room full of giggling high school teenagers as he goes over the ground rules for a workshop all about healthy relationships. Chan’s background is in marriage and family therapy.

Read more at: www.npr.org

Brown Co. Students No Longer Receive Alternate Lunches

Brown County students with lunch debt are no longer receiving alternate meals. The school board recently decided to change the district’s policy, which used to stipulate students with negative balances would receive a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in place of a regular lunch.

Like many districts in Indiana, Brown County decided to revisit its policy because of a U.S. Department of Agriculture mandate that lunch debt policies be put in writing. Under the district’s new policy, students will all get the same meal – regardless of their ability to pay.


Photo: Barbara Brosher Brown County students with lunch debt are no longer receiving alternate meals. The school board recently decided to change the district’s policy, which used to stipulate students with negative balances would receive a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in place of a regular lunch.

Read more at: indianapublicmedia.org

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