Education

Efforts to keep state funding out of schools that discriminate against staff and students are back at the statehouse. 

Indiana’s high school graduation rate dipped slightly in 2019, with the rate of students needing waivers from the state to earn a diploma, noticeably higher than previous years. 

The state’s largest early learning nonprofit says 2019 was a year of progress, and should set up 2020 to be “transformative” for early learning providers and families looking for improved access. 

School Spotlight: What’s A Sensory Path?

Dec 23, 2019

In the small town of Carlisle, south of Terre Haute, Carlisle Elementary School has a unique hallway that kids love to visit. If the timing’s right, you’ll see kids hopping, spinning, and waving their arms in the air. It’s called the sensory path hall. A series of stickers in various colors and shapes on the floor and walls leads kids from one end to another, and back again, in a big loop. 

As the weather gets colder and tougher to navigate with ice and snow, many schools will likely use scheduled make-up days when kids can’t get to class. But more are using what’s called eLearning instead of cancelling school, and the state has made it easier for them to do so.

Charter Group Intends To Buy Or Lease Donnan, Howe And Manual School Buildings With '$1 Law'

Nov 25, 2019

The organization seeking charters for three Indianapolis schools on track to exit state takeover wants to use a state law to buy or annually lease the buildings for $1 each, according to its spokesperson.

It’s a Tuesday morning, just before 7. It’s still dark outside and a group of more than 20 teachers from Bedford, just south of Bloomington, are getting on a school bus. They’re going to the Statehouse. 

IPS Ends Deal With Charter Schools USA, Creating Uncertainty For Takeover Schools

Nov 22, 2019

This story was updated Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019 at 10:20 p.m.

 

Indianapolis Public Schools Board voted unanimously Thursday to not renew a contract with the for-profit operator of one of its first innovation partnerships.

Emma Donna Elementary School was opened by the Florida-based Charter Schools USA in 2015 in partnership with IPS. The company also operates Emma Donnan Middle School as part of a state-mandated takeover. The two schools created a K-to-8 southside campus where students were taught by the private company’s teachers.

Republican legislative leaders are urging the state to use 2018 ISTEP scores for school letter grades and teacher evaluations this school year, instead of 2019 ILEARN scores. The move comes after widespread alarm from educators and state leaders about a drop in achievement on the state’s new ILEARN exam.

Educators are pressing for an overhaul of the state’s school accountability system after a reported drop in student achievement on the state’s new ILEARN exam – including the state’s top education official.

How Active Shooter Drills Can Harm A Child's Health

Aug 29, 2019

Dianne Gordon knew something was wrong as soon as her daughter stepped off the school bus one April afternoon. Seven-year-old Rory was inconsolable. 

"It was heart-breaking," says Gordon, who lives in Champaign, Ill. "She was screaming and yelling. She loves school, and she kept yelling, ‘I don’t want to go back. I don’t want to go back.'”

Virtual Charter School Board Members Resign Minutes Before Public Meeting

Aug 27, 2019

Tuesday night the board of directors who run two scandal-plagued virtual charter schools planned to hold a public meeting to discuss its closure. But what took place, leaves more questions than answers. 

Minutes before the meeting was to start, the attorney for the Indiana Virtual School and Indiana Pathways Virtual Academy said it's canceled. 

“Two board members are here for the executive session and resigned just a few minutes ago,” Mary Jane Lapoint said to a small group, including stunned former employees. 

Policymakers say they want to hold schools harmless for major drops in student achievement on the state’s new ILEARN test, after mounting pressure from school leaders and parents.

Virtual Charter Schools Say Allegations Of Enrollment Inflation Are False

Aug 19, 2019

DALEVILLE -- The attorney for two virtual charter schools alleged to inflate student enrollment and received millions of dollars in overpayments from the state, says new evidence will prove the schools did nothing wrong.

Nursing Students Serve Homeless As Part of Education

Aug 16, 2019

Hundreds of people snake through the warehouse at the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry in Indianapolis, picking up canned goods, cartons of milk and other groceries. 

Maximilian Kwiatkowski / The Times

 On this edition of the podcast you'll hear the latest on the search for emergency housing for several residents of an apartment building in Valparaiso, the Hard Rock Casino is coming to Gary, Brandon Smith on Attorney General Curtis Hill's latest attempts to block a federal lawsuit against him, and Chris Nolte has a conversation with Donna Stuckert of the Porter County Recycling and Waste Reduction. All of that, and more, on this edition of “Lakeshore Update”… 

Ohio Opens School For Students With Addiction

Jul 26, 2019

Bouncing on a purple exercise ball, Alyssa talks to her new teacher about what classes she needs to graduate.  "There’s a Psychology 1 as an elective, I would take that, but I already took psychology and sociology... And I feel like Heartland in general is a psychology class," she says, laughing.

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.

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