Education

Education news

State Kicks Off New School Cybersecurity Initiative

May 7, 2018

Cybersecurity in schools is the focus of a new initiative from the Indiana Department of Education, and it includes thousands of dollars in funding for some schools.

The initiative aims to get schools on the same page, and more prepared, in terms of cybersecurity. Schools can apply for matching grants of up to $25,000 to build up their cybersecurity systems, and improve 24-hour system monitoring.

The department’s chief technology officer John Keller says it’s crucial, since more schools are offering more tech to students.

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.

Tyler Lake / WFIU/WTIU News

 

A new virtual charter school focusing on agriculture is set to open at the end of July. But students won’t be confined to a computer screen for the entirety of their time at the school.

Representatives from the Indiana Agriculture & Technology School held an information session in Bloomington Wednesday to explain more about how the new program will work.

It incorporates a physical farm campus in Morgantown, with hundreds of acres of crops, pasture, and forest that will give students hands-on experience.

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 24, 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.

A recent report says Indiana needs to drastically improve state funded preschool, but state officials say it ignores significant improvements to the program.

Emilie Syberg / WBAA

More than three hundred students protested at West Lafayette High School today as part of the National School Walkout. Friday marked the 19th anniversary of the shooting at Colorado’s Columbine High School. Student organizers conceived and planned the event, and adults stayed on the sidelines to do one thing: listen.

Activism among students and teachers has skyrocketed in recent weeks with strikes and walkouts across the country, and so far Indiana educators don’t have plans to join a growing number of movements in several states.

But Indiana State Teachers Association President Teresa Meredith says the widespread demonstrations are getting people’s attention.

“Most of the calls though are about 'what are we going to do, and when are we going to do it,' and so when I ask them why they’re asking the question, the responses vary,” she says.

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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