Indiana

Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

What Kenley’s Retirement May Mean For Education Funding

Sen. Kenley, R-Noblesville,  will retire in September. He was a leader in crafting budgets.

Sen. Kenley, R-Noblesville, will retire in September. He was a leader in crafting budgets. (photo credit: Bill Shaw/Indiana Public Broadcasting)

The future of education legislation at the Statehouse could change with Senate budget architect Luke Kenley retiring this fall.

As one of the people in charge of crafting the state budget, Kenley is known for being frugal and a moderate voice when it comes to financial choices in a Republican super majority.

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How Indiana Gives School A-F Grades Is Changing

English learner proficiency and chronic absenteeism will now be included in school A-F calculations. (photo credit: Claire McInerny/ Indiana Public Broadcasting)

English learner proficiency and chronic absenteeism will now be included in school A-F calculations. (photo credit: Claire McInerny/ Indiana Public Broadcasting)

The state will now consider chronic absenteeism and how non-native speakers are learning English when calculating school A-F grades.

These two changes come as part of the Department of Education’s draft plan for how the state will comply with the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaces the old No Child Left Behind law.

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High School Job Training Takes On New Life In Indiana

Indiana's career and technical education programs are growing rapidly. Students from around the nation compete each year in job skills contests at the SkillsUSA national competition, pictured here. (Peter Balonon-Rosen/Indiana Public Broadcasting)

Indiana’s career and technical education programs are growing rapidly. Students from around the nation compete each year in job skills contests at the SkillsUSA national competition, pictured here. (Peter Balonon-Rosen/Indiana Public Broadcasting)

What’s the point of high school? To get students ready for college or the workforce?

For years, Indiana officials have gone back and forth.

“Indiana has tended to shift one way and say ‘everyone needs a four year degree’ and then we shift the other way and say ‘we just need technical certifications,’” says Molly Deuberry, Indiana Department of Education spokesperson. “Really, the truth is in the middle, we need a great mix of all of those things.”

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Study of Indiana Voucher Program Empowers Advocates, Opponents

Rep. Bob Behning, R-Indianapolis, has been chair of the House Education Committee since 2011 when the General Assembly passed the law to create the private school voucher system. (Credit: General Assembly)

Rep. Bob Behning, R-Indianapolis, has been chair of the House Education Committee since 2011 when the General Assembly passed the law to create the private school voucher system. (Credit: General Assembly)

Results from the first-ever study of Indiana’s school voucher system found negative academic effects among low-income students in math, but also showed the same students could match or outperform public school peers in English – if they remained in the private school long enough.

The data set off a wave of response in the state and nation. Critics and champions of the controversial program used the results to back their notions of whether private school vouchers benefit students who leave public schools.

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School Vouchers Get A New Report Card

(photo credit: Shout for NPR)

(photo credit: Shout for NPR)

It is the education debate of the Trump era. With the president and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos using policy and the bully pulpit to champion private school vouchers, supporters and critics have tangled over the question:

Do low-income, public school students perform better when they’re given a voucher to attend a private school?

For years, the answer from researchers has been a muddle, while a handful of recent studies have clearly shown voucher students backsliding academically. But no one has studied the largest, single statewide program in the nation …

Until now.

More than 34,000 students are enrolled in Indiana’s Choice Scholarship Program. That’s 3 percent of students statewide. In a recent investigation of the program, NPR found some private schools turning away children with disabilities and LGBTQ students, but it was impossible to say, at the time, whether those students who are using vouchers are any better off academically.

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Mitch Daniels: Universities Should Be Responsible For Student Debt

Purdue University President and former governor Mitch Daniels wants public universities to be proactive in helping students pay off student debt. (photo credit: Kyle Stokes/StateImpact Indiana)

Purdue University president and former governor Mitch Daniels wants public universities to be proactive in helping students pay off student debt. (photo credit: Kyle Stokes/StateImpact Indiana)

Purdue University president and former governor Mitch Daniels wants universities to share the burden of student loans.

More than half of college students in Indiana pay for their education using students loans, which on average means students graduate with a degree and almost $30,000 in debt, according to the Institute for College Access and Success.

During a panel at the Bipartisan Policy Center this week, Daniels said paying this debt should also be a university’s responsibility. The Indy Star reported on this speech and how Daniels is spearheading an effort at Purdue to help students pay off this debt:

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Ind. Department of Ed Investigating Testing Errors In Rochester

Students' results in the assessment have be invalidated and will be listed as "undetermined" in score reports. (photo credit: Alberto G/flickr.com)

Students\’ results in the assessment have be invalidated and will be listed as \”undetermined\” in score reports. (photo credit: Alberto G/flickr.com)

The State Department of Education is investigating a testing administration error at the Rochester School Corporation. Approximately 700 students used calculators on a portion of this year’s mathematics ISTEP+ exam where calculators were not permitted.

The DOE blames the error on incorrect instructions from the testing vendor.

DOE Communications Director Molly Deuberry says the corporation contacted the Department of Education when officials discovered the problem.

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Indiana Could See Millions Cut From Federal Teacher Training Funds

The future of a federal program dedicated to teacher training and professional remains unclear. (Peter Balonon-Rosen/StateImpact)

The future of a federal program dedicated to teacher training and professional remains unclear. (Peter Balonon-Rosen/Indiana Public Broadcasting)

Schools across Indiana will likely soon lose millions of dollars dedicated to teacher training and professional development.

“It’s a huge deal,” says Sandi Cole, director of the Center on Education and Lifelong Learning at Indiana University. “It goes totally against the desire to improve student learning because you can’t improve student learning without improving teachers’ craft.”

In 2016, Indiana schools received about $36 million in Title II, Part A funds known as the Supporting Effective Instruction grant program. That grant program is the third-largest federal K-12 program in the country.

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Muncie Schools Facing Loss of Teachers And Retainment Issues

Teachers, students, and the community rallied for the school in February. (photo credit: Indiana Public Radio)

Teachers, students, and the community rallied for the school in February. (photo credit: Indiana Public Radio)

A unanimous decision by the Indiana Education Employment Relations Board, or IEERB, ended any hope of Muncie teachers working under the school board’s version of a new teachers contract. IEERB voted last week to uphold the state fact finder’s decision, meaning the teachers will work under a contract written by the Muncie Teachers Association.

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