5 things you should know about Indiana education

ONLINE PREK?: Indiana senators are backing a proposal that would give $2 million over two years for an “in-home,” online preschool option. But some educators and advocates are worried the promised “15 minutes a day, five days a week” isn’t enough to truly prepare Indiana’s neediest kids for kindergarten. Chalkbeat has the story.

FROM THE STATEHOUSE: Two major education bills moved ahead this week, one that would replace Indiana’s ISTEP exam with a system of tests to be called “ILEARN.” Another would make the state schools chief appointed rather than elected. But neither proposal is in the clear just yet — further debate awaits. Read more in about ILEARN and the state schools chief in WFYI.

CLEAN SLATE: At Wednesday’s Indiana State Board of Education meeting, board members suggested Indianapolis Public Schools look into an A-F grade “reset” for struggling schools the district is in the process of overhauling. So far, Superintendent Lewis Ferebee says he’s interested. Read more from Chalkbeat.

THE RIGHT TO PLAY: A complaint against Richmond schools filed with the state says that staff at an elementary school would not let students with disabilities use the playground during recess. Read more in Pal-Item and Indiana Lawyer.

LOSING CONTROL: In a rare move, Indiana lawmakers are considering plans to take over two cash-strapped districts: Gary and Muncie. A bill to take over Gary has been making its way through the legislature, but the addition of Muncie came as a surprise to district officials, according to CBS4. If the takeover goes forward, state emergency managers would have near-total control, NWI reported. Read more in AP, WTHR, Post-Tribune and WFYI.

COMING UP…

If you’re looking for some entertainment tonight, we will be stopping by the second Teacher Story Slam, hosted by Teachers Lounge Indy. More details on the event are here. Want a preview? Here’s one of our favorite stories from the inaugural slam.