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August 10, 2016
The robots are coming! Hundreds of Indiana elementary schools get funds to teach science and math through robotics
A $290,000 donation will be shared by 400 Indiana elementary school to establish robotics programs for fourth and fifth graders.
February 15, 2016
Tindley's woes, and CEO's departure, raise tough questions for charter schools
Marcus Robinson departs as the high profile charter school network looks to work its way out of fiancial trouble.
February 1, 2016
Ahmed Young wants to help push the city's education efforts in a new direction
Hogsett's new education director has been a teacher and lawyer specializing in education.
January 18, 2016
The basics of Lewis Ferebee: An IPS superintendent pushing hard for change
In some ways, the he has defied expectations after a career working in traditional school systems.
January 6, 2016
Hogsett says he'll rely on school district leaders for education advice
The new mayor calls in superintendents for a meeting during his first week in office.
November 24, 2015
Newly approved Indianapolis charter school would dump grade levels for 'milestones'
A groundbreaking Ohio high school that has junked the concept of grade levels is the model for one of two newly approved Indiana charter school proposals.
November 18, 2015
Indianapolis has solidified itself as one of the top U.S. charter school cities
The number of charter school students has nearly doubled since the city first appeared in the national rankings.
November 4, 2015
Questions remain about Mayor-elect Joe Hogsett's education plans
The question about Mayor-elect Joe Hogsett, who cruised to an easy defeat of Chuck Brewer, is pretty simple: what kind of Democrat will he be?
October 6, 2015
In one month, mayoral race could take education in a new direction
The 2015 mayoral election, coming fast just a month from today, is a departure after 12 years in that neither candidate is a slam-dunk to continue on the same path.
September 16, 2015
IPS will free up schools next year with the Mind Trust's help
Superintendent Lewis Ferebee want to give out money in Indianapolis Public Schools based on student needs and let each principal have wide freedom to make decisions.
August 25, 2015
IPS board gives blessing to house Global Prep charter school
Superintendent Lewis Ferebee got the go-ahead from the school board to negotiate a deal with charter school developer Mariama Carson to put the school in an IPS building.
August 10, 2015
Hannon resigns IPS board to take a Mind Trust fellowship
Caitlin Hannon, a former Indianapolis Public Schools teacher who joined the school board in an effort to push for change in the district, has stepped down, but she hopes to return to a key role in education in the city soon.
June 22, 2015
Indiana has seen a burst of new charter schools since 2011 law
In a significant jump, 86 charter schools could be open this fall, up from just 49 charter schools statewide four years ago,. The gain equates to about 75 percent more schools.
June 18, 2015
Appointing IPS board members on Brewer's agenda for mayoral campaign
Indianapolis Republican mayoral candidate Chuck Brewer thinks the city should be more involved in education — so much so that he proposed adding two mayoral appointees to…
June 17, 2015
City reshuffles education staff as Jason Kloth departs
With the departure of Deputy Mayor Jason Kloth, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s office overseeing education programs and charter schools is undergoing a transition.
May 20, 2015
CSUSA gets OK to open a charter school in Indy
Charter Schools USA, which operates three Indianapolis schools under contract with the state, earned a go-ahead to open a charter school on the South side next year.
May 6, 2015
Huge demand for preschool aid far exceeds scholarships offered
More than four times as many children applied than the 1,300 scholarships available.
February 17, 2015
Bill to limit 'charter shopping' passes Indiana House
Concerns about low-scoring charter schools that avoid sanctions by switching to new sponsors are behind a bill that passed the Indiana House today, but it would not block those moves entirely.
December 15, 2014
Advocates of all stripes wonder: How would Hogsett approach education?
Advocates on both sides of the political fence say they are optimistic about Joe Hogsett, who has emerged in the last month as a leading contender for mayor in 2016. But they also admit that they really don’t know much about what he thinks about charter schools, the structure of the Indianapolis Public School Board, and other issues that the next mayor is likely to confront.
December 10, 2014
Joe Hogsett looks to forge his own path on education
Former U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett, who at least for the moment looks like the front runner to become mayor of Indianapolis in 2016, has…
November 12, 2014
Education on Joe Hogsett’s mind as he announces mayoral bid
Democrat Joe Hogsett, a former U.S. attorney, announced today he would run for mayor next year, and education was one of the issues on…
November 6, 2014
Ballard's charter school office could start charging schools a fee
An unexpected budget change that may not have caught the attention of the city's charter school supporters — a new fee mayor-sponsored charter schools might have to pay — was tucked deep in the details of a plan that emerged this week from protracted negotiations designed to save Mayor Greg Ballard’s preschool proposal.
October 31, 2014
School Chooser Guide's goal is to help parents navigate choice
Indianapolis has more than 180 traditional public schools, more than 35 charter schools and more than 65 private schools. Most of the private schools also accept publicly-funded tuition vouchers for poor families. That’s a lot of options, and the goal of the School Chooser Guide is to help families navigate them.
October 2, 2014
New Christel House charter school hopes to be neighborhood anchor
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard marveled at the progress on Indianapolis’ West side this morning as he stood before a gleaming new school on the…
September 25, 2014
PNC pledges $500,000 for preschool if Ballard’s plan prevails
PNC Bank in Indiana is joining in with a half-million dollar pledge of financial support for preschool if only Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard can…
September 24, 2014
State preschool pilot will launch in January, Pence says
A new state preschool pilot program in Marion County should get off the ground in January, although it might start out by serving a…
September 11, 2014
Flanner House to close its doors for good today
Flanner House, the Indianapolis charter school at the center of a cheating scandal, officially closes at the end of the school day today.
August 22, 2014
Two more mayor-sponsored charter schools surrender charters
One Indianapolis charter school will be under new management next year and another will convert back to being a Catholic school, the board that…
August 22, 2014
After cheating scandal, Flanner House families look ahead
Amix of anger, disappointment and disbelief was widely shared Thursday among those connected to Flanner House School, the community center that shares its name and the wider education community in Indianapolis after a cheating scandal forced the school to close.
August 21, 2014
Flanner House charter school to close amid cheating allegations
An Indianapolis charter school that stunned the state with sky-high test scores in 2013 will close next month after state and city investigators concluded that the gains had come from cheating. State and city investigators say Flanner House School staff allowed students to practice in advance on real test questions, erased and changed some of their answers, and even wrote essay responses for students to copy into their won handwriting.
August 5, 2014
Christel House rebounds after controversy and test score drop
After a long string of A’s, Christel House South fell to an F last year after test scores made a dramatic drop. This year, it recovered nearly all of its lost ground by gaining 9 points to achieve 71 percent passing. The school’s passing rate had been more 70 percent the prior three years.
July 30, 2014
$50 million preschool push a centerpiece of Ballard's plan to cut crime
Mayor Greg Ballard today announced major new education initiatives aimed in part at combating an upswing in violence in Indianapolis, most notably a…
July 19, 2014
Arlington High School will stay open, but takeover questions remain
For the now, it seems Arlington High School will be able open its doors this year. But the ongoing troubles raise a critical question: can state takeover of low performing schools successfully be undertaken in Indiana? Or should the practice be abandoned?
June 27, 2014
Three $100,000 fellowship winners named
A charter school developer, an intelligence analyst and an Indianapolis Public Schools principal each get $100,000 and a year off to work on ideas for improving IPS schools.
June 2, 2014
New charter school's goal: Keep kids from returning to jail
A Marion County judge and the head of the county’s juvenile detention center think a new charter school is the way help kids who have gotten into serious trouble with the law erase that stigma by adding a new, better label: high school graduate. To get there, the school will copycat some elements of a successful chain of dropout recovery high schools run by Goodwill Industries. Those schools, called Excel Centers, have a strong record not only of getting dropouts to earn diplomas but also to garner better paying jobs or even enroll in college. If the approach can work with kids who are in the greatest danger of heading to a life of crime, not only will their futures be improved the entire city can benefit, said Deputy Mayor Jason Kloth.
May 9, 2014
Mind Trust sees strong early interest in innovation fellowships
With a week still to go before its first deadline, more than 200 educators have already expressed interest in a $100,000 fellowship for…
April 22, 2014
Fellowships to offer $100,000 for educators to develop ideas for IPS
Indianapolis Public Schools principals or teachers with smart ideas for how to overhaul low-rated district schools could get $100,000 and a year off to develop them into concrete plans. The district, Mayor Greg Ballard’s office and The Mind Trust jointly announced new “innovation school fellowships” tonight with the goal of one day seeing the school board sign off on using models created through the year of study to revive failing district schools.
November 25, 2013
Mayor's charter school stable to grow again next year
PHOTO: Tajuana CheshierTindley Renaissance, new mayor-sponsored charter school, opened this fall. (Alan Petersime) Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard's ambitious plans to expand his growing charter school portfolio took another step forward last week, as he announced plans to add at least two new schools under his umbrella. Ballard, who sponsored five new schools that opened this year, expects six already approved schools to open next year. Ballard currently sponsors 31 charter schools, along with monitoring four Indianapolis Public Schools in state takeover, for a total enrollment of about 16,000 students. Next year, he expects to be overseeing 42 schools with about 18,000 students, which would mean the schools Ballard leads would have a greater combined enrollment than 10 of the 11 school districts in the city, second only to Indianapolis Public Schools. That's also almost double the 22 schools that were under the mayor's control in 2012. Ballard announced the expansion strategy last year when he has partnered with The Mind Trust, an Indianapolis-based non-profit that advocates for school choice and other education changes, to create a charter school incubator aimed at attracting high-quality charter school operators to come to, or expand in, the city. Ballard has estimated the effort could seed 20 new charter schools over five years.
November 21, 2013
The basics of state takeover in Indiana: Getting tough with failing schools
Big questions remain about the school improvement strategy.
November 15, 2013
Monument Lighthouse charter school will close this spring
Monument Lighthouse Charter School is on Indianapolis' northeast side near Lawrence Township. The Indianapolis governing board that oversees two Lighthouse charter schools informed parents Thursday that the Monument Lighthouse school will close at year's end. The board decided the school, at 4002 Franklin Road, had not made enough progress toward the academic goals it established for itself upon opening in 2007, according to Deputy Mayor Jason Kloth. Another school operated by the board will absorb students from Monument Lighthouse, and the city will also help find spots in other schools for the 607 students who will be displaced by the closure. Charter schools are operated by arrangements that can be complex, and Lighthouse is no exception. The two Indianapolis schools are sponsored by Mayor Greg Ballard, who is responsible for monitoring their progress and can decide to close them if they don't meet performance targets. Charter schools are directly guided, however, by local boards of citizens. In this case, that local board oversees two schools — Monument Lighthouse and Indianapolis Lighthouse — and picked an out-of-state company to manage it. That company, Massachusetts-based Lighthouse Academies hires the principal and employs the staff at both schools. The company has a 20-school network in eight states. The Monument school was due for a decision from Ballard's charter school office as to whether it would earn a renewal of hits charter to keep operating at the end of the school year. By deciding to close on its own, the school made that decision instead of the mayor. Kloth said it was a "responsible" decision by the school's board and that the mayor's office supported it. "We have a shared belief it is in the best interest of students in the short term and in the longer term broadly," Kloth said.
October 25, 2013
Glenda Ritz's reversal of fortune in dealing with Republicans
State Superintendent Glenda Ritz Republican leaders at the statehouse were wary of state Superintendent Glenda Ritz from the moment she defeated Tony Bennett last November to become the only Democrat holding statewide office, and the simmering tension has exploded over the last month. But it wasn't that long ago Ritz was winning accolades for charming some Republican legislative leaders and pledging to work cooperatively on issues where they had common interests. Ritz's ability to get anything done from her own agenda depends on her ability to make common cause with Republicans, who control all other education policy-making bodies — both houses of the legislature, the governor's office and a majority on the Indiana State Board of Education. So the recent fallout makes her job tougher and raises questions about whether she can accomplish any of her policy goals. Over the course of nine months in office, her political scorecard looks better than might be expected. Still, early wins have turned to something of a losing streak of late. The latest battle could be a make-or-break moment for Ritz's term in office, as it comes down to the question of who sets the policy agenda for the education department, going forward. Here's a look back:
October 24, 2013
The basics of charter schools in Indiana: A mayor’s big role
Charter schools are expanding quickly in Indiana.
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