The 2011-2012 school year was big for education headlines: five state takeovers of schools with chronically-bad exam results, the first year of one of the nation’s most ambitious school voucher programs, and new standardized tests with higher stakes than ever.
And that’s just the beginning — 2012-13 and beyond hold new changes: expansion of the voucher program, likely more state interventions in failing schools, expansion of the state’s charter school market, and new state-mandated evaluation systems for teachers.
Instead of focusing on “back-to-school” stories about shopping and school supplies, StateImpact Indiana is taking this time of the year to step back. We’ll reflect on how education policy in Indiana changed in the last year and try to figure out where it’s headed in the years to come. We try and explain what ties it all together: the thought that free market principles can save “failing” schools in Indiana and across the country. But are schools, in fact, failing? And how effective are the “solutions” to the proposed problem? In the spirit of the StateImpact project, we examine these questions by looking at what the policy changes mean on the ground level — for students taking tests, for parents choosing schools, and for teachers who spend every day in the fray.
Join us for the hourlong special, Progress Report: Education in Indiana, Monday, August 20, at 7 p.m. on WFIU.