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April 10, 2017
A quiet change in Indiana law could mean a bigger voucher program — and a wild ride for families
During the first 24 years of the Milwaukee voucher program, 121 new private schools opened and nearly 70 percent of those schools later closed.
What's your education story?
December 18, 2015
From the start she was inspired to be a teacher and then to fight for their rights
The Shelby County native taught kindergarten in Shelbyville schools before moving to ISTA headquarters in Indianapolis to lead the union full time.
December 9, 2015
Teachers union joins the push to roll back 2011 education reforms
The Indiana State Teachers Association wants lawmakers to relax bargaining rules, reduce testing and put a 2-year hold on accountability sanctions.
August 31, 2015
Teacher pay is a big issue beyond IPS, education leaders say
Two panels of educators that met last week hosted by The Mind Trust and the West Side Chamber of Commerce discussed teacher pay last week.
August 28, 2015
Why people think there’s a teacher shortage in Indiana and why they’re probably wrong
In Indiana, as in many other places, the problem isn’t the number of certified teachers but a mismatch between them and available jobs.
August 7, 2015
Glenda Ritz drops out of governor's race
State Superintendent Glenda Ritz announced today she is no longer running for governor, saying she needed to focus instead on her work in education.
July 9, 2015
Demand falls flat for controversial teaching permit so far
Does Indiana really need a special teaching permit for teachers changing careers to get them into the classroom more quickly? So far, just two have been given.
June 10, 2015
Report urges more expansion for tax credit scholarship program
The number of tax credit scholarships supporting student tuition at private schools has jumped dramatically from 559 students in 2010 to 11,067 in 2014.
May 19, 2015
Teachers union to Pence: Reappoint Cari Whicker to the state board
A teachers union list of recommendations for who Gov. Mike Pence should appoint to the Indiana State Board of Education is telling for who it suggests, and who it doesn't
December 4, 2014
What comes next for Ritz, Pence and the state board?
The long-quarreling state board is deeply divided between 10 appointees named by Pence and his fellow Republican predecessor, Mitch Daniels, and Ritz, the lone Democrat holding statewide office in the capitol. Pence has mostly endorsed Daniels' standards, accountability and school choice initiatives while Ritz was elected promising to push for a reconsideration of those ideas.
November 5, 2014
Indiana sees a big jump in A-rated schools
More than half of Indiana’s schools were rated an A this year, a majority for the first time this decade.
October 15, 2014
Citing formula flaws, state board steps in to raise Christel House to a B (updated)
The school, which was at the center of a 2012 controversy over whether former state Superintendent Tony Bennett was accused of unfairly conspiring with his lieutenants to raise its grade, again saw its grade go up after reconsideration.
September 26, 2014
Indiana's goal: use data to reimagine education
State Rep Steve Braun, R-Zionsville, has been nurturing an ambitious idea for the Hoosier state: applying cutting-edge data techniques from the business world to harness information he thinks could solve what today seems like an impossible mystery — what skills will our kids need for the kinds of jobs that will be available on the days they graduate high school or college?
August 28, 2014
Indiana celebrates NCLB waiver win, but questions remain
Four months after Indiana was stunned to be put on a form of probation by the U.S. Department of Education, there was widespread relief today with federal officials approved the state's request to extend a waiver that releases schools from possible sanctions under No Child Left Behind. But there was also a sense that Indiana wasn't entirely out of the woods yet.
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.
June 13, 2014
California ruling prompts reflection about Indiana's teacher protections
A ruling against teacher tenure in a Los Angeles lawsuit earlier this week has local advocates considering their own challenges to teachers' jobs protections.
April 7, 2014
New evaluation system gives few Indiana teachers low grades
Nearly all rated educators were classified in the top two categories as effective or highly effective: a whopping 97 percent. That’s not exactly what state had in mind, leaving some leaders scratching their heads.
April 7, 2014
Teacher evaluation law under scrutiny
To some in Indiana, the high concentration of top educator ratings in the first year of a new evaluation system is perfectly reasonable. But to others, including those who helped overhaul the state's evaluation rules, the high scores are implausible given the performance of the state's schools. Those leaders are scratching their heads — and weighing changes to the law.
January 27, 2014
New rules helping more Indiana children use vouchers
Changes to Indiana’s voucher program that lawmakers made in 2013 helped fuel it’s dramatic growth and allow somewhat more wealthy families to access tax dollars to pay private school tuition. The Indiana Department of Education's data, released today, show 19,809 students are using vouchers this school year, more than double last year's total of 9,324. The first-year number was 3,919. Indiana's voucher program is the fastest growing in U.S. history and the nation’s second largest.
December 22, 2013
The basics of teachers unions in Indiana: Facing tough times
Teachers unions have seen tougher opposition under Republican legislative leadership.
November 7, 2013
Indiana's big test score gains prompt debate over cause
Indiana fourth graders made big gains on a national test, which released scores today. Indiana fourth graders made big gains on a national test of reading and math known as the "nation's report card," according to data released today. Indiana's 2013 gains were top five among the 50 states on both fourth grade reading and math. Eighth graders posted smaller gains in both reading and math. Hoosier test takers scored above the national average on all four exams administered. "“I am encouraged by the gains that Hoosier students showed on these tests, particularly their gains in the fourth grade," State Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz said in a statement. "This is yet another sign of the hard work and dedication exhibited by our educators, administrators, parents, and most importantly, students every day in our schools.” The state's success instantly renewed debate about reforms pushed by former Gov. Mitch Daniels and ex-state Superintendent Tony Bennett over four years beginning in 2008. Bennett was defeated in the 2012 election in a stunning upset by current state Superintendent Glenda Ritz. Eric A. Hanushek, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, said Bennett's fight for reform may have cost him his job but it appears to have yielded improvements. "I think we're starting to see results," said Eric A. Hanushek, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. "These battles are hard-fought, and if we didn't see any results, then we might wonder if it's worth it." Teresa Meredith, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association, attributed the gains to standards reform in the early 2000s, specifically rejecting Bennett and Daniels' policies as a reason for the improvement.
October 22, 2013
Ritz suit alleges state board broke open meetings law
Glenda Ritz fired back at her political foes on the Indiana State Board of Education Tuesday with a lawsuit charging that its other members broke state law by going around her to ask the legislature to intervene on A to F grades. Ritz, who by law chairs the state board, said a letter written by the 10 other board members to Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tempore David Long violated state transparency laws. The letter asked the legislators to take over the state's annual school-grade calculation process, which has been delayed under Ritz. "No public notice was issued for a meeting that allows this action," a statement from her office said. "Superintendent Ritz was not made aware of this action until after it was taken, despite her role as chair of the State Board of Education." Ritz argued that she had a responsibility to take action. “When I was sworn in to office, I took an oath to uphold the laws of the State of Indiana,” Ritz said. “I take this oath very seriously and I was dismayed to learn that other members of the State Board have not complied with the requirements of the law. While I respect the commitment and expertise of members of the board individually, I feel they have over-stepped their bounds."
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