Indiana

Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Claire McInerny

Claire McInerny is an education reporter for StateImpact Indiana. She comes to WFIU/WTIU from KCUR in Kansas City. She graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Kansas where she discovered her passion for public media and the stories it tells. You can follow her on Twitter @ClaireMcInerny.

Bill Collector To Target IPS Families For Unpaid Textbook Fees

A range of text book fees at Indianapolis Public Schools for the 2016-17 school year.

A range of text book fees at Indianapolis Public Schools for the 2016-17 school year. (photo credit: Indianapolis Public Schools)

Families in Indianapolis Public Schools who have not paid textbook rental fees will soon be hearing from a collection agency.

The IPS Board voted unanimously Thursday to hire a company to collect on the outstanding bills.

More than 3,000 IPS parents have delinquent textbook fees from last school year. That has left more than a half million dollar deficit for the district, officials say.

More than 5,500 bills were sent for the 2016-17 year for a total of $846,221 in textbook rental fees. But as of this month, 3,213 parents had not paid last year’s fee leaving a deficit of $550,693.

Continue Reading

U.S. Dept. Of Education Encourages IDOE To Improve Data Security

The U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to state superintendent Jennifer McCormick, outlining problems with the state's security around student data. (photo credit: Peter Balonon-Rosen/ Indiana Public Broadcasting)

The U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to state superintendent Jennifer McCormick, outlining problems with the state’s security for student data. (photo credit: Peter Balonon-Rosen/ Indiana Public Broadcasting)

The U.S. Department of Education (USED) sent a letter to state superintendent Jennifer McCormick this month outlining problems with the Indiana Department of Education’s security around student data.

The state receives grant money from USED for implementing security systems, which opened the state up to an audit.

According to the USED letter, the audit’s “objective was to determine whether IDOE has internal controls in place to prevent, detect, report, and respond to unauthorized access and disclosure of personally identifiable information” in the state’s data system.

Continue Reading

Indiana Early Learning Group Gives Out $72,500 In Awards

Early Learning Indiana awards grants to pre-k programs across the state.

Early Learning Indiana awards grants to pre-k programs across the state. (photo credit: Sonia Hooda / Flickr)

The education advocacy group Early Learning Indiana has awarded $72,500 to programs across the state designed for youngsters.

Fourteen different programs were selected for the group’s Family Engagement Prizes. They include grand prize winner Walnut Hill Early Childhood Center in Goshen, which was awarded $25,000.

St. Mary’s Child Center MLK in Indianapolis was among eight programs receiving $5,000 awards. The others were Apple Tree Child Development Center YMCA in Muncie, Bona Vista Early Head Start in Kokomo, Head Start of LaPorte County, School City of East Chicago, the Monroe County Community School Corp. in Bloomington, Montessori Garden Academy in Indianapolis and Cradles of Clay County in Brazil,

The awards were granted to early childhood school programs that demonstrate “a deep level of commitment and care for families.”

Study: If College Kids Want Better Grades, Set Better Goals

During the 2013–2014 school year, Indiana’s four-year high school graduation rate was 87.9 percent. One year later, during the 2014-15 school year, the graduation rate was down to 87.1 percent. (Chris Moncus/Wikimedia)

A new study shows college students who set clear studying goals earn better grades.(Chris Moncus/Wikimedia)

If college students want a better chance at getting As in their classes, new research says setting goals at the beginning of the semester increases the opportunity to earn better grades.

Victoria Prowse is an associate professor of economics at Purdue University and helped conduct research on how goal setting affected the grades of college students. The study worked with 4,000 students at a large, public university, all taking a required class.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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:

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