Adam Baker

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.

One part of Indiana’s education plan under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA, aims to reduce gaps in teacher effectiveness for low-income and minority students.

But a national research group has criticized the state’s final targets. The National Council of Teacher Quality says the state leaves minority students 4.3 percent more likely to be taught by ineffective teachers. Instead, it says, the state should update the plan to reflect the ultimate objective: elimination of those gaps.

Jimmy Emerson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/auvet/4716903349

After a year of struggling to bring an HIV epidemic under control, the Scott County city of Austin is now confronting a problem of police manpower.

Austin has six officers for a city of 4,300. However, police say federal standards suggest the city should have twice that much manpower.

Mayor Doug Campbell says the police force has been undermanned for years, even before the drug problem blamed for the HIV outbreak led to more police calls too.

Ryan Griffis / https://www.flickr.com/photos/grifray/195738091/

Indiana and the U.S. are seeing an uptick in traffic deaths in the first half of the year.

The National Safety Council says fatalities are up 14-percent nationwide. Indiana's 356 deaths represent a 23-percent increase, and the highest six-month total in three years.