Adam Baker

A new data tool from the state aims to make it easier for families to access school information.

file photo

The Indiana Department of Education released 2019 federal school ratings Friday, while state letter grades remain on hold. 

Districts and schools received two letter grades last year: one from the feds and one from the state. Now, after officials submitted a change to the state’s Every Student Succeeds Act or ESSA plan last year, schools are getting federal ratings instead. Schools can be rated from “does not meet” to “exceeds” expectations.

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.

Reported cases of bullying in schools have slightly decreased compared to the 2017-18 school year, according to an annual state survey aimed at tracking bullying incidents. 

Most of Indiana’s teachers started or completed the process to renew their licenses this summer, ahead of a new license renewal requirement that went into effect Monday.

The state is willing to send funding to schools even if they enroll some 4-year-olds in kindergarten at the start of the upcoming school year. Officials say it’s a small but important shift from a change lawmakers made during the 2018 session.

The Indiana Department of Education says Indiana’s teacher shortage is counterproductive to its priorities.

Students start taking Indiana’s new standardized test this month, and officials say the exam should provide better data to teachers and schools about student performance. ILEARN is the new replacement for the ISTEP, and elementary, middle and some high school students will start taking ILEARN as early as next week.

It’s “computer adaptive,” meaning the test adjusts the questions it asks students based on their previous answers.

Spokesman for the State Department of Education Adam Baker says overall, ILEARN will provide better data for teachers and schools, sooner.

The group responsible for Indiana’s school safety report says the state needs to improve mental health services and data sharing to keep kids safe.

IDOE Asks Public To Comment On Federal Waiver Request

Nov 25, 2017

Graduation rates at some Indiana high schools could plummet due to a new federal definition of regular diplomas. It would prohibit schools from including students who earn the general diploma in calculated graduation rates. Instead, federal guidelines would only count students who earn the Core 40 diploma or above.

General diplomas require fewer math, social studies and science credits – and less testing.

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