Education

Graduation rates at public colleges in Indiana continue to climb, according to a new report from the Commission for Higher Education.

A statewide listening tour with Indiana’s schools chief and a state senator kicked off Thursday night. The duo will focus on education concerns from Hoosiers, but the tour isn’t without controversy.

At least two Indiana school districts face federal lawsuits claiming they didn’t do enough to protect students from bullying. Meanwhile, anti-bullying advocates in the state are pushing for stronger laws. 

Indiana Senate Democrats

On this edition of the podcast you'll hear the latest on State Senator Eddie Melton taking steps towards a gubernatiorial run in 2020, the Gary Community School Corp. issued an apology after a teacher awarded an autistic student a trpphy naming him “the most annoying male”, Senator Elizabeth Warren held a rally in the Hoosier state and Chris Nolte has a conversation Chris Nolte with Janet McCabe, assistant director, Indiana University Environmental Resilience Institute. All of that, and more, on this edition of “Lakeshore Update”… 

The steel mills of northern Indiana inspired the River Forest Community Schools mascot – the Ingots – and as high school senior Julian Wilson talks with a couple of his classmates, a clear theme emerges: school pride.

For many students in Indiana, eighth grade is the first and last time that they’ll focus on climate change in class. It's the only class required for all students that specifically talks about climate change in the Indiana education standards. Many high school students are encouraged to take courses that prepare them for college like chemistry and biology, instead of environmental science. 

Midwest IEC President Don Hulsey discusses merit shop and small business issues with U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) in Washington this week. (Courtesy of Independent Electrical Contractors)
Justin Hicks

 

Representatives from Indiana’s electrical industry met with lawmakers in Washington D.C. last week to garner support for several bills in hopes the legislation can close a fast-growing gap in their talent pipeline.

Herbert Reynolds/Provided

On this edition of the podcast you'll hear the latest on school layoffs in Griffith, a multi-million dollar cleanup is underway on the Lake George Canal, Sharon Jackson has details on an upcoming renaming ceremony at Indiana Dunes National Park,  Attorney General Curtis Hill has filed a lawsuit against the owners of Purdue Pharma, Jill Sheridan and Carter Barret report on student mental health, and Chris Nolte has a conversation Chris Nolte with a conversation with Scott Pelath on the Kanakee River Basin Commission. All of that, and more, on this edition of “Lakeshore Update”…   

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Justin Hicks

Two Indianapolis-based foundations teamed up to study the value of certificates and other non-degree certifications.

2019 Session: Quiet With Few Major Controversies

Apr 25, 2019
The bill will fund adult high school diploma programs based on performance – not just enrollment. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Lauren Chapman

A lot of Indiana lawmakers described the 2019 session the same way – it was a quiet one, with no big blowups or major controversies that typically characterize the General Assembly’s annual term. 

General Assembly Passes Two-Year Budget

Apr 25, 2019

Hoosiers now know what the state budget will look like for the next two years. It boosts funding for education, but schools with declining enrollment will still lose money.

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Justin Hicks

Companies across the state struggle to find skilled workers. One company is partnering with schools to train future employees as early as fifth grade.

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — A new round of testing has found lead levels in the drinking water at seven northwestern Indiana schools that exceed the federal action level for the toxic metal.

The School City of Hammond's board heard from a consulting firm Tuesday that drinking water in seven Hammond schools and two other district buildings tested above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's lead action level of 15 parts per billion.

Leising's Campaign For Cursive Writing Continues

Apr 17, 2019

Cursive writing is back on the discussion table at the statehouse, as one lawmaker continues her nearly decade-long campaign to require Hoosier schools teach cursive writing.

Indiana University

GARY, Ind. (AP) — Indiana's last remaining public school that's only for girls will be going co-ed starting this fall.

The conversion of the Frankie Woods McCullough Academy for Girls in Gary into a co-ed school was approved last week by the Distressed Unit Appeals Board, which oversees the Gary Community School Corp.

District emergency manager Pete Morikis says the change at the Gary school could attract back families who may have left for other area districts and charter schools to keep their boys and girls in school together.

Indiana teachers push lawmakers for more money for schools

Apr 16, 2019
Michael Conroy / Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Some Indiana teachers don't believe the latest Republican-backed state budget plan does enough to support public schools — and legislative leaders are warning that they might even be faced with tightening up that spending proposal.

State lawmakers Monday advanced a bill that allows schools to charge for public record searches, as long as those searches require more than five hours of work.

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — A vast majority of Indiana's school districts are still struggling to find qualified teachers amid the state's lingering teacher shortage.

Indiana State University's annual survey of Hoosier school superintendents shows 91 percent say their districts had a teacher shortage this fall.

That's slightly better than the 94 percent who reported teacher shortages last fall. But 94 percent of the 220 districts who completed this year's survey say they continue to struggle to find qualified applicants.

Who Decides How To Protect LGBTQ Student Rights?

Jun 14, 2018
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(Pixabay)

School policies across the state to specifically address the rights of lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) students vary, and advocacy groups say those can have a long-term impact on kids.

The state’s first set of coalition schools received approval from the State Board of Education Wednesday. The group of districts will waive some state requirements to change how they offer career and technical education, or CTE.

State Withholds Funding For 4-Year-Old Kindergartners

May 30, 2018

Schools who choose to enroll 4-year-olds in kindergarten will pay the price, as a new law prevents schools from receiving state dollars for kids who aren’t old enough at the start of the school year.

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced the program at Chapel Hill 7th and 8th Grade Center. (Photo by Sarah Panfil/WFYI)


Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced plans Tuesday to fund $2 million in new scholarship programs for low-income residents. It’s part of a broad effort to address gaps in the labor market, and to help more residents attain post-secondary credentials.

In his State of the City address last year, Hogsett announced the creation of a task force that would work to improve college access for low-income residents.

Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) says some Hoosier taxpayers would have seen tax increases without legislation approved during the special session. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Lawmakers approved two substantial tax measures during Monday’s one-day special session.

Many of the provisions sought to conform state tax laws with major policy changes made by the recent federal tax reform bill – which Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) says is part of what made a special session necessary.

(Pixabay)
Lauren Chapman

The State Board of Education plans to take a closer look at virtual charter schools. Members approved a new committee at their meeting Wednesday to review and make policy recommendations around virtual schools.

The U.S. Department of Education denied Indiana’s request to count thousands of the state’s basic high school diplomas known as general diplomas.

A new federal education law, Every Student Succeeds Act, requires states to report graduation rates uniformly. The rule change means Indiana’s least rigorous diploma of the four offered, the general diploma, no longer counts in graduation rates.

Indiana’s most recent federally reported graduation rate is 87 percent.

The first wave of 2018 school funding referenda are up for consideration in about two weeks. That means voters in several counties will have the power to approve or deny tax measures to make millions of dollars available for their local schools.

Purdue University economics professor Larry DeBoer says school funding referenda are usually more likely to pass in May, and the overall number of those winning voter approval has grown in recent years.

State Awards STEM Grants For Elementary Schools

Apr 23, 2018

The state is giving money to nearly a dozen school corporations to help them offer more science, technology, engineering and math – or STEM – education.

Lawmakers approved $1 million in 2017 for the State Department of Education to offer the grants. The department’s Chief of Workforce and STEM Alliances, Amanda McCammon, says the goal is to help schools begin, or build up existing STEM education in kindergarten through sixth grade.

“Schools are utilizing them for professional development for teachers, and then they’re also utilizing it for purchasing curriculum,” she says.

The Indiana Public Access Counselor says Carmel Clay Schools should have explained why it placed its superintendent and another senior staffer on a three-month paid-leave last year that ended in their resignations.

Carmel Superintendent Nicholas Wahl and Human Resources Director Corrine Middleton were placed on paid administrative leave by the school board in October for alleged management issues.

A major argument in favor of charter schools is improved student achievement, but a recent study out of Indiana University, says transfer students have smaller academic gains in the first two years at a new charter school, compared to unmoved, public school peers.

IU education professor Hardy Murphy co-authored the study.

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Emilie Syberg / WBAA

Gia Bradford has some words of hard-earned advice she’d give her freshman year self, if she could.

“I would take the SATs earlier,” says Bradford.

Bradford is a senior at West Lafayette High School. She and her fellow seniors are in the last months of their high school careers, so they’re starting to relax a little. But the past four years haven’t been worry-free.

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