Superintendent Jon Willman, right, and members of the Hamilton Community School Board take questions about a proposed tax levy increase during a public meeting ahead of the November 2012 election. The referendum passed with 74 percent of the vote.
Less than a quarter of Indiana school corporations have pursued a referendum in the five years since the state legislature changed the way districts can levy taxes for construction and operating expenses.
Gov. Mitch Daniels talks to students at Our Lady of Hungary in South Bend last fall. The school benefited from a boost in enrollment last year from the state's voucher program.
The number of Indiana students participating in the state’s voucher program more than doubled in the program’s second year.
Some 9,324 students are attending private schools using state-funded vouchers this year. That’s up from 3,919 in 2011-12, making Indiana’s program the fastest growing in the country. Next year there’s no limit on the number of vouchers the state can award.
Forty-eight schools who didn’t participate in the program last year are now included on the list of institutions that accept vouchers, bringing the total to 289.
(You can find out how many students from your school corporation are participating in the voucher program after the jump.) Continue Reading →
Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett chats with State Board of Education member Tony Walker before the panel's meeting Wednesday.
Scroll down to find what grade your school received — we included results for all traditional public, charter and private schools.
Fewer Indiana schools received the state’s highest performance rating this year compared to last year, according to letter grades Indiana Department of Education officials released Wednesday.
Forty percent of Indiana schools received an A, down from 47 percent in 2011. But one in five schools received B’s this year, up more than 10 percentage points from last year.
“This is a very positive day overall, very positive news,” Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett said during the State Board of Education meeting in Indianapolis Wednesday. Members of the executive panel approved the grades unanimously shortly thereafter.
Bennett has brought in $1.3 million in campaign contributions since his election four years ago — more than $812,000 in 2012 alone — with the thick of the political fundraising season still to come. By contrast, Democratic challenger Glenda Ritz has raised $112,000 to date, largely from the political arms of the state’s teachers unions.
A majority of Bennett’s campaign funds come from contributors in Indiana. But roughly 40 percent of his campaign cash has come from out-of-state givers, including from a company tapped to lead a school takeover and from the mayor of New York City.
71 percent of Indiana students passed both the math and English portions of this year’s ISTEP+ exam, the state’s benchmark standardized test for children in Grades 3-8, according to figures released Tuesday.
The result reflects a modest increase in the passing rate — about 1 percent over last year.
Overall ISTEP+ scores are higher than they’ve ever been, but stubborn socio-economic achievement gaps remain. While low-income and minority students’ scores have increased slightly faster than the population as a whole, they still lag behind.
“In general, I think [Tuesday’s results] are very good news,” Jonathan Plucker, director of Indiana University’s Center for Evaluation and Education Policy, told StateImpact. “But clearly we have a lot of work to do.” Continue Reading →
Election season is upon us, and aside from the usual blustering politicians and hopefuls, there’s another question appearing on ballots across the state: Will voters raise their own taxes to support local school districts? Political predictions are notoriously difficult to make, but the past can be a guide. We took a look back at the history of referendums in Indiana. Continue Reading →
Purdue University, where an average of 40 percent of all grades given out are A's.
Looking to graduate college with lots of A’s on your transcript? Major in Aerospace Studies at Indiana University, or take a lot of band classes at Purdue.
Amid the debate over grade inflation across the country — a national study found three out of every four students at public flagship universities earn either an ‘A’ or a ‘B’ in their classes — we took a closer look at grades data at Indiana’s flagship universities, IU and Purdue.
Both schools give out more A’s on average than any other grade. A’s make up 42.3 percent of all grades given out at IU and 40.5 percent of all grades at Purdue. The national average is 43 percent.
But data from the Spring 2011 semester also show individual schools and academic departments within IU and Purdue vary widely in how many A’s they give out — check out the chart after the jump:
Second graders at Christel House Academy, a charter school in Indianapolis, play fraction games. An accelerated curriculum is a key part of the school's model.
Indiana lawmakers who supported last session’s education overhaul have billed charter schools as a better alternative than the state’s public schools for teaching low-income students. But state test scores from spring 2011, used as a measure of student performance, show the opposite: Public school students have outperformed their charter school counterparts.
Charter schools tend to serve higher percentages of low-income students. About 60 percent of charter students receive free and reduced-price lunches, for example, compared to just less than 50 percent at public schools.
Yet a StateImpact Indiana analysis of results from the state’s standardized test released Tuesday also show passage rates among charter schools with high percentages of low-income students are slightly worse than passage rates in public schools, as the graph after the jump shows.