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April 13, 2017
How vouchers transformed Indiana: Private schools now live or die by test scores, too
Low test scores have cost 16 schools the right to accept new vouchers. At least three have closed.
how's it going?
March 23, 2017
She’s no Tony Bennett or Glenda Ritz — Jennifer McCormick is charting her own course as Indiana’s schools chief
More than two months into her administration, educators and advocates are praising McCormick’s focus and remain optimistic about her tenure.
changing of the guard
November 23, 2016
Will Indiana Republicans now move to make the state superintendent job appointed?
With Glenda Ritz in the role, Republicans pushed to limit the superintendent's powers.
November 15, 2016
As Trump education secretary speculation heats up, Indiana names top the list
Education policy watchers have cited Tony Bennett and Luke Messer as possible candidates.
October 31, 2016
With days to the election, these questions loom large over the future of Indiana schools
What direction will Indiana choose and how will affect schools?
July 26, 2016
In replacing Pence in governors race, Holcomb calls for cooperation on education
Indiana’s Republican party today solved one political mystery by naming Lt. Gov. Eric Holcomb as its candidate for governor but, for educators, another huge question…
January 27, 2016
A challenger for Glenda Ritz could emerge this week
Yorktown Superintendent Jennifer McCormick plans an announcement about the superintendent race Thursday.
July 15, 2015
The basics of Indiana’s NCLB waiver: An ongoing debate
In 2012, Indiana negotiated a waiver from sanctions of NCLB, making promises to the federal government in exchange. Ever since, managing it has been a bit messy.
July 13, 2015
The basics of Mike Pence on education: A battle for control
As governor, Mike Pence has pushed for career and technical education, school choice, tougher school accountability and changes to standards and tests.
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 23, 2015
IPS starts summer with 300 teacher, staff vacancies
Superintendent Lewis Ferebee said he is concerned about the looming challenge of filling the spots before school starts.
June 15, 2015
5 ways Glenda Ritz's run for governor will change education and politics
Glenda Ritz has announced her plan to challenge Gov. Mike Pence in 2015 — will that decision affected the state's political and education policy environments?
June 4, 2015
Glenda Ritz makes her run for governor official
State Superintendent Glenda Ritz today launched a run for governor, saying only by replacing Gov. Mike Pence can she give schools the support they need…
May 26, 2015
As Ritz contemplates a run against Pence, how strong is her teacher and parent support?
With a possible run for governor on the horizon, school visits also offer a gauge of the strength of Glenda Ritz's appeal with a core constituency: parents and teachers.
May 20, 2015
CSUSA gets OK to open a charter school in Indy
Charter Schools USA, which operates three Indianapolis schools under contract with the state, earned a go-ahead to open a charter school on the South side next year.
May 6, 2015
Schools could earn fewer A's next year under proposed state board rule changes
Schools could have a harder time earning A's beginning in 2016 if the Indiana State Board of Education approves new A-to-F grading rules Thursday.
April 29, 2015
Legislature shifts more Ritz powers to state board than expected
Last-minute moves by the Indiana legislature ultimately stripped more power from state Superintendent Glenda Ritz than expected in the last hours of the 2015 session.
March 16, 2015
New career and technical education director says IPS can be an urban model
IPS is in the process of overhauling its career and technical education program.
March 5, 2015
The basics of everything: Your guide to education issues in Indiana
Few states can match the Hoosier state for the wide variety of efforts to change the way students learn, or for the level of drama and discord that has accompanied those efforts.
January 7, 2015
New A-to-F grading system clears hurdle after stumble
For a few minutes this morning, the latest dispute between state Superintendent Glenda Ritz’s Indiana Department of Education and Gov. Mike Pence’s Center for Education…
January 5, 2015
Nearly all Indiana educators rated effective again
In the second year of what was intended to be a tough new system of evaluating educators, the results were the same: hardly any were rated ineffective and nearly all were certified as doing their jobs effectively. Less than 0.5 percent of educators were rated “ineffective” during 2013-14 school year, which could place them at risk of being fired, according to data posted on the Indiana Department of Education website in advance of a presentation at Wednesday’s Indiana State Board of Education meeting. That’s about the same percentage as the prior year.
September 19, 2014
Teachers tackle new standards but worry about tests
The four-month standards debate didn’t end until Gov. Mike Pence and state Superintendent Glenda Ritz, political foes in most education debates, jointly endorsed new standards and pushed them them through two state boards last April. That left teachers just more than three months to learn the standards, alter their lessons and prepare for big accompanying changes to the state’s ISTEP test that will affect all students in grades 3 to 8.
September 3, 2014
State board approves controversial changes to teacher certification rules
Job seekers who hold a four-year college degree and 3.0 GPA can now teach in Indiana classrooms once they pass a content knowledge exam — even if they haven't been trained as an educator. The State Board of Education signed off on the rules changes for the third time in two years today.
August 5, 2014
Christel House rebounds after controversy and test score drop
After a long string of A’s, Christel House South fell to an F last year after test scores made a dramatic drop. This year, it recovered nearly all of its lost ground by gaining 9 points to achieve 71 percent passing. The school’s passing rate had been more 70 percent the prior three years.
July 28, 2014
The basics of testing in Indiana: Change on the horizon
In 2014, standardized testing became a central battleground as state policymakers instituted new standards for what students are expected to learn. By 2015, that will require major changes to ISTEP, Indiana’s state exam.
July 19, 2014
Arlington High School will stay open, but takeover questions remain
For the now, it seems Arlington High School will be able open its doors this year. But the ongoing troubles raise a critical question: can state takeover of low performing schools successfully be undertaken in Indiana? Or should the practice be abandoned?
July 11, 2014
Tony Bennett guilty of ethics charge for campaign work
Former Indiana State Superintendent Tony Bennett was found guilty of violating an ethics law by a state panel today and agreed to pay a…
July 9, 2014
Politico: Indiana Inspector General will find Bennett broke state law
Indiana Inspector General David Thomas has found former state Superintendent Tony Bennett broke state law in 2012 by using his public office to coordinate…
June 25, 2014
Indiana superintendent hoping film will launch an education movement
Now that the documentary has already had premieres in Lafayette and Indianapolis, the West Lafayette team behind "Rise Above the Mark" believes they only have a small window of opportunity to make a big impact with the film. Will the film make an impact the team deems as worth their investment of close to $75,000, or will it simply cause more polarization in an already politically charged landscape?
June 16, 2014
State withdraws charter for network that Tony Bennett pushed for
The Indiana Charter School Board, which voted today to withdraw BASIS' charter award, said the organization still had no immediate plans to open a school in Indianapolis. The board said it was withdrawing the application with the expectation BASIS might reapply in the future.
June 4, 2014
Indiana's dilemma: Should state test scores count next year?
Indiana could propose letting teachers and schools off the hook from sanctions for poor test scores next year as part of its effort to meet demands from the U.S Department of Education. But state Superintendent Glenda Ritz and the Indiana State Board of Education today faced a series of tough questions they’ve only begun to try to answer about what that could mean for the state’s school accountability system.
May 7, 2014
Behning wins easily despite primary campaign scare
Indiana’s House education committee chairman, who was concerned enough about a primary challenger to begin airing television ads in the campaign’s last week, won…
May 6, 2014
Key legislative education leader fighting for his political survival
A primary challenge to Indiana House Education Committee Chairman Robert Behning, R-Indianapolis, has made Behning’s central role in changing education in the state over the past several years a centerpiece of his case against the incumbent. The unexpectedly close race has raised new questions about the political potency of a coalition of voters, spanning both political parties, that is increasingly skeptical of the sorts of reforms Behning is identified with.
May 2, 2014
New tensions begin to emerge over state's NCLB response
Gov. Mike Pence and state Superintendent Glenda Ritz put aside their 2013 squabbles to form an alliance for the fight over new state academic standards last month, but dividing lines between them may re-emerge as the state scrambles to respond to a warning from the federal government.
April 29, 2014
Third grade reading results tick up, IPS still worst in Indiana
There was little change in the percentage of Indiana third graders who passed a state reading test in 2013. Test takers did slightly better with…
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.
April 4, 2014
Tony Bennett: Indiana should have renamed Common Core at the start
Indiana's former state superintendent, Tony Bennett, recently sat down with Chalkbeat Colorado Bureau Chief Maura Walz while in Denver for a speaking engagement. Here's what he had to say about Common Core.
March 24, 2014
Pence signs bill voiding Indiana’s Common Core adoption
It’s official: Indiana has pulled out of Common Core. But what impact that move actually has on what kids learn in the classroom is still…
March 19, 2014
How Indiana jumped from Common Core but got on board with preschool
Simultaneously Hoosiers dropped out of of a group of 45 states that have agreed to share standards while also joining in on another education front by becoming the 42nd state to offer financial aid for preschool. Driving the state in these different directions were politics, timing and changing attitudes.
March 19, 2014
Common Core: Without a champion, support waned
So how did Indiana become the first state to formally withdraw from Common Core? Opponents of the standards were able to connect with the natural sympathy of several key Republican players, who share with Common Core critics grave concerns about the influence of the federal government.
March 19, 2014
Preschool: Support reached the tipping point
Why was this time different for preschool at the statehouse? Two big factors: strong and growing support for early childhood education from business leaders and Pence’s evolving embrace of the idea of state aid for poor preschoolers over the past year.
February 4, 2014
Senate votes to reject Common Core
Indiana legislators took a substantial step toward doing away with the Common Core today when the Senate voted to void the state's 2010 decision to adopt the learning standards. The 36-12 vote saw only Democrats vote against it. Under the bill, Indiana can no longer follow Common Core standards as of July 1.
Updated December 1, 2015
The basics of Tony Bennett: A reform star’s rise and fall
After pushing hard for educational change, Bennett faced a backlash.
The basics of...
Updated November 3, 2016
The basics of Glenda Ritz: A lone voice at the top against Republican education agenda
This is one of two stories summarizing the basics facts about Indiana’s two major party candidates for state superintendent. A more detailed story about Glenda…
January 14, 2014
Educators blast teacher certification rules
Opponents of changes to teacher licensing, which were pushed through by former state Superintendent Tony Bennett as one of his final acts before leaving Indiana,…
December 22, 2013
Schools, board members ask: Are Indiana's grades fair?
Schools across Indiana received their report cards today, with the state rating the highest scorers an “A” and the lowest laggards an “F,” terminology…
December 22, 2013
The basics of teachers unions in Indiana: Facing tough times
Teachers unions have seen tougher opposition under Republican legislative leadership.
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 21, 2013
The basics of state takeover in Indiana: Getting tough with failing schools
Big questions remain about the school improvement strategy.
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.
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