Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

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Know Thy Test: Six Essential Things To Know About Indiana's Statewide Exam

After months of preparation, high-stakes statewide testing season has kicked off in Indiana. On Monday, hundreds of thousands of children began taking the ISTEP, the state’s benchmark standardized test for students in Grades 3-8. So what’s at stake? What questions will students have to answer? As students break the seals on their test booklets and […]

Will Groups Opposing Statewide Testing Fizzle Or Flourish?

We’ve written about the small group of Indiana parents who plan to opt their children out of statewide standardized exams this Spring, fearing the testing is undermining their kids’ education. This small but vocal Indiana group may now have supporters in a state reputed for doing everything “bigger”: Texas, where The Texas Tribune reports there’s “a […]

Why Snow Days Might Be Bad For Kids

The first flakes of the '11-12 school year fell on November 29 and were forecasted to continue overnight.

Snow days: good for kid movie plots — and bad for kids’ test scores? As parts of Indiana brace for the first slushy snowfall of the season, consider a 2009 study that found passage rates on standardized math tests fell by as much as half of a percentage point for each inch of snow. The study’s authors looked […]

Interactive Map: A Handy Guide To Voucher Schools

Much of the controversy around school vouchers has focused on the religious nature of many private schools taking part in the program. And it’s true. About 98 percent of all voucher schools are Christian schools. But we decided to look at vouchers from a different angle. How well are these schools performing on the state’s […]

Mailbag: Controversial Charter Schools And Achievement Gaps

Our article about the controversy surrounding charter schools created some controversy of it’s own. Reader inteach expressed concerns about the non-unionized nature of many charter schools. Teachers are wary of charters for three reasons. First, they see them draining money and the best students away from traditional public schools. Second, they see the working conditions in […]

Could Making Standardized Tests Less Secure Stop Teacher Cheating?

Here’s a thought:  If teacher cheating scandals in Atlanta and elsewhere are the result of keeping standardized tests top secret, why not put test items “out in the sun instead of trying to lock them up in more and more secure rooms”? That’s the proposal Stanford economist and education expert Eric Hanushek offered on the EducationNext blog. […]

Why One Indianapolis School Will Welcome State Intervention

Was news of state intervention a downer for staff at Indianapolis’s Washington Community High School? No — far from it. “We were elated,” said Jim Grim, Washington’s director of community engagement. The Indiana Department of Education decided not to take over the school, but instead to enlist the help of two outside organizations to help […]

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