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December 5, 2013
"Teacher choice" one of Pence's education proposals
Gov. Mike Pence laid out his 2014 legislative agenda in a speech Thursday at the annual Legislative Conference. (Scott Elliott) Gov. Mike Pence wants to extend the concept of school choice to teachers, he said today, offering state aid to those who are willing to work in low-scoring, high-poverty schools. Pence made education a centerpiece of the 2014 legislative agenda he announced in a speech today, with the novel "teacher choice" program one of five plans aimed at improving schools. Under the plan, teachers who chose to work at low-performing schools serving high-poverty communities would receive a salary boost from the state. Details of Pence's proposals — especially the potential costs — have not yet been determined, according to his staff. Also among his education ideas were a plan for Indiana to venture for the first time into direct funding of preschool for poor children and a proposal to expand career and technical education programs he pushed through the legislature earlier this year. Four of his proposals — to help charter school networks, make it easier for charter schools to use school district buildings, establish an educator innovation fund, and the teacher choice program — were first aired in a controversial email released by state Superintendent Glenda Ritz on Wednesday. The email, written by a lawyer from the Center for Education and Career Innovation that Pence developed, included proposals for Pence's education legislative agenda. Ritz released the email as part of her complaint that the center is aiming to strip her of her powers as state board chairman. Pence said Thursday he would not support a bill to limit Ritz's power. Here's more detail on each of Pence's proposals:
December 4, 2013
College performance funding plan approved
Updated - The initial plan for how Colorado colleges and universities would be financially rewarded for increasing graduation rates and achieving other key goals was approved Thursday by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.
November 27, 2013
The basics of Common Core standards in Indiana: A reconsideration
An early adopter of Common Core, the state has since changed course.
November 27, 2013
Senate Ed chair Evie Hudak resigns to avoid recall
Sen. Evie Hudak, D-Westminster, resigned her seat Wednesday to avoid a recall election. The move clears the way for a new senator to be selected…
November 19, 2013
At legislative kickoff, lawmakers ponder preschool, state board and Common Core
On Organization Day, Indiana legislative leaders annually gather for a mostly ceremonial start to the upcoming legislative session. Will 2014 be another big year for new education laws? That's hard to say. As lawmakers began to pitch ideas today for the 2014 legislative session, opinions diverged on how much could be accomplished on hot education issues like the Common Core, preschool funding and discord on the Indiana State Board of Education. Senate Education Committee chairman Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, doesn't think education will be a big focus this time. "I don't have any priorities for education for session 2014," he said. "I think we passed some pretty significant bills the past three years and I think it's time to take a rest." But across the statehouse, House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said improving early childhood education and addressing the “skills gap" that he said leaves high school graduates ill-prepared for work and college, were two of his four top priorities for 2014. He also hinted the legislature could wade into a dispute among state Superintendent Glenda Ritz, Gov. Mike Pence and the Indiana State Board of Education over who directs education policymaking. "Our state's constitution clearly gives that task to the elected legislative bodies in this chamber and the senate," Bosma said. The legislature officially began the new session Tuesday with its annual "organization day," a mostly ceremonial event. Lawmakers begin their work in earnest when they next meet in early January.
November 18, 2013
The basics of teacher evaluation in Indiana, part 2: Ratings formulas and merit pay
A look at how the new system works.
November 18, 2013
The basics of teacher evaluation in Indiana, part 1: A political battle
A big overhaul changed the way teacher performance is reviewed.
November 14, 2013
Tony Bennett charged in ethics complaint
A complaint from the Indiana Inspector General's office says former state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett broke the law by using state resources for political purposes. The complaint says Bennett and his Indiana Department of Education Employees spent his work time and used office computers and telephones for the campaign. Inspector General David Thomas, a Republican, declined further comment. In September, the Associated Press reported it had obtained documents through public records requests that showed two Republican donor lists were stored on education department office computers and that he and his staff discussed 2012 campaign details via email. Bennett's calendar also listed what appeared to be campaign phone call appointments.
November 6, 2013
Daily Show guest addresses Tennessee’s textbook committee
Tennessee’s education committee heard several conservative Tennesseans discuss their concerns about school textbooks Tuesday afternoon. You can read about the four-hour hearing here. And…
November 1, 2013
Hick proposes big higher ed boost in 2014-15
Gov. John Hickenlooper is proposing a significant increase in higher education spending and enrollment-plus-inflation growth for K-12 in his 2014-15 budget plan.
October 30, 2013
Senate Ed Committee gets downsized
Updated - The lineup for the smaller 2014 version of the Senate Education Committee has been set by party leaders.
October 21, 2013
Why Indiana matters when it comes to education
(NOTE: Much has changed since this post was first published in October of 2013. This post has not been updated to reflect…
October 8, 2013
State audit finds some faults with BEST
A new state audit of the Building Excellent Schools Today construction program has a clear message to the people who run the program – "you need to tighten up your procedures."
October 1, 2013
Colorado Commits launches A66 TV spots
If you’ve been wondering where the Amendment 66 campaign has been, you now need to look no farther than your TV – the first ads boosting the amendment aired Tuesday.
August 20, 2013
Ready or not, online tests coming to Colorado
Colorado kids will get a chance to put their computer skills – and their academic knowledge - to high-stakes use later this year when the state’s first online tests roll out.
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