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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.
July 29, 2015
Studying new preschool programs could bolster success evidence but cost is a barrier
Indianapolis has a chance to do a rare gold standard study of preschool effects if someone will pay for it.
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 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 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.
May 5, 2015
Video: Experts discuss challenges of Indianapolis preschool expansion
Preschool options are growing in Indianapolis and statewide, but real practical challenges remain before early education advocates say the state will have an infrastructure it can be proud of.
April 23, 2015
'Charter shopping' bill next heads to Pence's desk
A bill that could soon be making its way to the governor’s desk would strengthen Indiana’s charter school law, proponents of the idea say,…
April 18, 2015
Panel: Partnerships, big and small, are key to preschool progress in Indianapolis
Preschool educators and policymakers gathered to talk about the future of preschool in Indianapolis, hosted by Chalkbeat in partnership with WFYI and Butler University.
April 16, 2015
Preschool is expanding, but practical challenges remain
An event Saturday at Butler University featuring the state's top preschool advocates hosted by Chalkbeat will shed light on the future direction of preschool in the state.
March 2, 2015
Council approves funding for Indianapolis preschool program
Paying for the program was the final decision needed to put into action what is expected to be a five-year program.
February 11, 2015
Committee OKs using reserve cash to pay for city preschool program
The funding plan will now face approval by the full Indianapolis City-County Council, which in December passed the framework for the preschool program by a wide margin.
February 9, 2015
City-County Council begins debate about how to pay for preschool
The plan for a $40 million public-private partnership between the city, businesses and philanthropy groups to provide preschool for 1,000 poor children passed the council by a wide margin in December after months of compromise between council Democrats and Republican Mayor Greg Ballard, who was blocked by Democrats when he first pitched the idea for a similar program last summer.
January 29, 2015
Charter school offered $100 reward to anyone who referred students who enrolled
Carpe Diem Meridian charter school offered $100 Marsh grocery gift cards to anyone who referred a student who enrolled. Recruitment practices like these are legal in Indiana but have been outlawed elsewhere.
December 1, 2014
After uncertainty, Ballard's preschool plan passes easily
The Indianapolis City-County Council tonight voted to approve a $40 million preschool program to serve up to 1,300 poor children.
December 1, 2014
Ballard rallies crowd for preschool before Council vote
Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard cheered the city’s proposal to fund preschool for poor children with his supporters Monday night as city leaders braced for a close…
November 11, 2014
Compromise on Ballard's preschool plan takes a big step forward
A City-County Council committee tonight approved a bipartisan plan for a $40 million city preschool program, sending it to the full Indianapolis City-County Council for a vote.
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 13, 2014
Ballard's preschool plan may have new life in city budget
Mayor Greg Ballard’s plan to provide preschool to 1,300 low-income Indianapolis children next year may not be dead after all. The Indianapolis City-County…
September 15, 2014
Closed charter schools have a ripple effect
Charter schools in Indianapolis have closed for all sorts of reasons: financial, managerial and academic and now, in the wake of last week's closing of Flanner House School, even for allegations of cheating on the state ISTEP exam. But that's the basic bargain of opening a charter school: perform or close. In exchange for increased autonomy to run their schools as they see fit charter operators face the real threat of being closed down if they don't fulfill their promises.
September 12, 2014
Lilly rallies business leaders to back Ballard's preschool plan
Eli Lilly and Co. hosted about 50 CEOs and executives from the city's financial, health and human services and education sectors at their sprawling downtown campus and urged them to support Ballard's plan, which has been under fire from council Democrats who don't like the way the mayor wants to pay for it.
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.
September 10, 2014
Democrats raise doubts about Ballard's preschool plan
Democrats who are wary of Mayor Greg Ballard's blockbuster $50 million proposal to help more children attend preschool across Indianapolis will offer their own preschool expansion plan later this month. But supporters of Ballard's plan say Democrats are playing politics and putting at risk a potentially huge benefit to poor Indianapolis children.
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 20, 2014
Ballard takes aim at tax questions for preschool plan
Confusion remains for some residents over how Mayor Greg Ballard plans to fund his recently announced anti-crime initiative, which includes a $50 million public-private partnership…
August 11, 2014
Private schools top Marion County on ISTEP, charters best IPS
Half of the 230 schools in Marion County — public, private and charter — ranked in the bottom quarter of all schools in Indiana that took the state ISTEP test last spring. Just 20 percent of of the county’s schools were even in the top half of the state for ISTEP scores, with 13 percent in the top quarter. Charter schools in Marion County outperform Indianapolis Public Schools, but not by a large margin, when it comes to where they rank statewide.
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 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 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.
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.
March 21, 2014
Ballard aims to commit matching dollars for preschool
Mayor Greg Ballard will seek to offer about $100,000 for matching grants to boost Indianapolis preschools. In 2013, lawmakers approved a $2 million matching…
March 5, 2014
Senate backs bill promoting IPS-charter school partnerships
A legislative vote Tuesday may clear the way for Indianapolis Public Schools to create unique partnerships to jointly run IPS schools with charter schools.
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.
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