Indiana

Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Education Roundtable Recommends Major Changes To Future Testing

Governor Mike Pence and state superintendent Glenda Ritz co-chaired the Education Roundtable meeting Monday, presenting the new assessment plan.

Claire McInerny / StateImpact Indiana

Governor Mike Pence and state superintendent Glenda Ritz co-chair the Education Roundtable meeting Monday. CECI presented the new assessment plan to the roundtable at the meeting.

The Education Roundtable on Monday recommended major changes to next year’s ISTEP+ exam as part of a plan to maintain the state’s No Child Left Behind waiver, as well as major changes to a brand new test starting in 2015-2016.

Before the federal government can renew the waiver flexibility, the Indiana Department of Education needs to provide an assessment plan proving the state will test students around the state’s newly adopted academic standards.

The IDOE has until June 30 to submit those plans.

The IDOE is already soliciting vendors for a brand new test beginning the 2015-2016 school year, but the state still has to provide a test aligned with the new academic standards to students this coming spring.

So an updated version of the ISTEP+ will serve that purpose, and the Roundtable’s recommendation allows the state’s current vendor CTB/McGraw-Hill to make necessary changes to the test.  Continue Reading

NCLB Waiver And Assessments Center Of Special State Board Meeting

State Board of Education members Gordon Hendry, left, Brad Oliver, David Freitas and Andrea Neal listen during a previous meeting.

Elle Moxley / StateImpact Indiana

State Board of Education members Gordon Hendry, left, Brad Oliver, David Freitas and Andrea Neal listen during a previous meeting.

The State Board of Education will meet this afternoon for a special meeting to hear from the Indiana Department of Education plans for meeting the June 30 deadline to keep the state’s No Child Left Behind waiver.

The State Board of Education will convene at 4:30 p.m. to hear the waiver plan, discuss an assessment for this spring that matches the state’s new standards and a new one starting the 2015-2016 school year, and resources for teachers to adjust to these changes.

The Education Roundtable, chaired by Governor Mike Pence, will meet prior at 3 p.m., to make recommendations for the content and form of this spring’s assessment. As we’ve reported, this assessment will only function for the 2014-2015 school year, so the state can meet the requirements to keep its No Child Left Behind waiver.

The Department of Education is in the process of choosing a vendor for a more permanent assessment tailored to the state’s new academic standards.

IU Program Makes Real World Experience Valuable In The Classroom

The Transition to Teaching program at IU spends a year teaching career changers how to be successful teachers

jpellgen (flickr)

The Transition to Teaching program at IU spends a year teaching career changers how to be successful teachers

Those who can’t do, teach.

It’s a phrase that seems to insult teachers and downplay the importance of the profession. But after the state board of education lessened requirements to get a certain type of teaching license last month, those who leave the world of “doing” to enter the world of “teaching” is getting a closer look from the education community.

The controversy around REPA III stems from the amount of experience a career specialist brings to the classroom. Opponents argue there is too much emphasis on content knowledge and not enough emphasis on effective teaching strategies.

But the Transition to Teaching program at Indiana University strives to find a middle ground between a four-year bachelor’s degree in education and starting someone in a classroom with no pedagogy training.

Those who complete the Transition to Teaching program don’t leave with a degree of any kind, but spend one year learning teaching theories, taking courses related to their content area and completing student teaching.  Continue Reading

IDOE Report Shows Voucher System Costs State $16 Million

desks

evmaiden (flickr)

Indiana's private school voucher program is expanding, costing the state millions of dollars.

The private school voucher system is costing the state around $16 million, according to a report the Department of Education released this week that detailed the financial impact of the voucher system.

The AP reports that the report indicates the voucher system saved the state more than $4 million in both the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years.

The AP writes that a change during the last school year broke the saving streak:

But changes that allowed some students already attending private schools to begin receiving state aid ended up costing the state $15.8 million for the school year that just ended.

Daniel Altman, a Department of Education spokesman, delivered a limited explanation for the sudden change between school years.

“The Department is committed to a transparent accounting of how taxpayer dollars are spent. The update (in) today’s report reflects recent growth in the Choice program,” Altman said in an emailed statement.

Continue Reading

IDOE Releases Proposal To Keep NCLB Waiver For Comment

State superintendent Glenda Ritz and the rest of the DOE are accepting public comment on their draft proposal to the keep the state's No Child Left Behind waiver.

Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana

State superintendent Glenda Ritz and the rest of the DOE are accepting public comment on their draft proposal to the keep the state's No Child Left Behind waiver.

The Indiana Department of Education released the draft of its proposal to keep the state’s No Child Left Behind waiver Monday and will accept public comment on it through June 24.

To recap, the U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to state superintendent Glenda Ritz on May 1, informing her Indiana was at risk of losing its No Child Left Behind waiver. The federal government gave Indiana a June 30 deadline to submit proof it is meeting the feds’ expectations to keep the waiver.

The waiver exempts Indiana from meeting No Child Left Behind standards, such as a 100 percent proficiency in math and language arts by this year and other parameters regarding teacher evaluations and school performance.

The areas where Indiana wasn’t meeting the federal government’s expectations were:

The proposal outlines how they will meet those standards going forward. Here are the main takeaways from each area’s plan. Continue Reading

Indianapolis Charter Carpe Diem Will Expand To Three Schools

Roughly half of a Carpe Diem student's day is spent in the "learning center" working online. School leaders say teachers review data about student progress and use it to shape the in-classroom lessons that occupy the other half of a student's day.

Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana

Roughly half of a Carpe Diem student's day is spent in the "learning center" working online. School leaders say teachers review data about student progress and use it to shape the in-classroom lessons that occupy the other half of a student's day.

The Indiana Charter School Board approved Monday an expansion plan for the Indianapolis charter school Carpe Diem.

Carpe Diem, a blended learning school, uses traditional instruction alongside digital lessons. The current school is on Meridian Street in Indianapolis, and the two new schools that are a part of the expansion will be in Northeast and Northwest Indianapolis.

Hayleigh Colombo of Chalkbeat Indiana reports that these new schools were always expected to open: Continue Reading

Pence: School Accountability Must Go On, Despite Ritz’s Proposal

Governor Mike Pence is not supporting Glenda Ritz's proposal to freeze accountability after this spring's testing.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images (File)

Governor Mike Pence is not supporting Glenda Ritz's proposal to freeze accountability after this spring's testing.

In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan released Friday, Governor Mike Pence said Indiana will not freeze school accountability after implementing a new ISTEP+ this spring, a plan proposed by state superintendent Glenda Ritz.

As we reported last week, legal counsel for the State Board of Education was investigating the legality of Ritz’s proposal. After announcing the state would need to adapt the ISTEP+ to the state’s new standards, Ritz suggested the State Board of Education consider freezing accountability for schools and teachers, so they have time to adapt to the changes without being punished for bad scores.  Continue Reading

New Indiana Standards Mean A New Test, So How Do We Get There?

Standardized Test

biologycorner / Flickr

Indiana students will take a standardized test aligned with the state's new academic standards this spring.

For the last few years, third through eighth graders in Indiana took the ISTEP+ exam in the spring to measure student performance. But when Indiana chose to not use Common Core standards and develop its own set of standards, the assessment portion of the equation remained unsolved.

Last week, state superintendent Glenda Ritz said after talking with the U.S. Department of Education regarding the state’s condition on its No Child Left Behind waiver, some sort of assessment that matches the new standards must be administered this spring.

To some, this was a surprise announcement. But looking at the issue as a whole, this has been a long time coming. Continue Reading

Could Indiana Put Teacher Accountability On Pause?

Indiana students may be required to take a new state test in spring 2015.

Sorcha O'Neill (flickr)

Indiana teachers may be required to teach to a new state test in spring 2015.

At a panel discussion today, State Board of Education legal counsel explained the process to pause accountability after the state’s new standardized tests go into effect this spring.

As we reported last week, a new assessment linked to Indiana’s new standards must be fully operational this spring, to keep the state’s No Child Left Behind waiver.

Indiana’s teacher accountability system will need to adjust to a brand-new test - and State Superintendent Glenda Ritz has suggested giving it time to do so.

As Ritz explained in a guest column for nwitimes.com, when she told the State Board of Education about the new test, she predicted a drop in scores, and as such recommended the board suspend consequences of teacher evaluations.
Continue Reading

Study: No Child Left Behind May Benefit Teachers

No Child Left Behind, the law that holds states and schools accountable for for student performance, is regarded by many as a negative component of public education today.

Most teachers think No Child Left Behind legislation actually makes their work easier, researchers found.

Doug Leany (flickr)

Most teachers think No Child Left Behind legislation actually makes their work easier, researchers found.

A study released Tuesday through the American Educational Research Association says the law may benefit teachers.

Most teachers think the law actually makes their work easier, researchers found. Educators report feeling more in control of their classrooms, more supported by parents and school administrators, and overall more satisfied with their jobs since the law took hold.

Studies also find that NCLB has made teachers better at what they do, leading them to devote more classroom time to core subjects and spend more time searching for better instructional strategies. And researchers say the correlation to improve student performance makes sense. Continue Reading

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »

Economy
Education