Education

The 2019 legislative session has officially come to an end, and lawmakers’ attempts to address a number of education issues are receiving mixed reviews.

Indiana University President Michael McRobbie testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee. (Zach Herndon/WTIU)
Lauren Chapman

Indiana’s public universities made their funding requests to Senate legislators Tuesday as that chamber’s budget hearings are underway.

Pixabay

Purdue professors are voicing concerns over a new partnership between the university’s Online Writing Lab, or OWL, with textbook rental and online tutoring service Chegg.

Some Purdue faculty argue that, rather than learning the material of a course, students could use answers provided by Chegg and similar programs to complete homework assignments and even tests.

Workforce development is a hot topic in Indiana, especially when it comes to education policy, but some professionals in the field feel wary of those efforts as they reach further into K-12 classrooms.

Education took up more than half of the state’s last two-year budget, and so far teacher pay looks to be a big focus in 2019, but that’s not the only education issue policymakers plan – or need – to address next year.

A pair of Gary lawmakers is calling for the state to end its contract with the group running the financially distressed Gary Community Schools Corporation.

Miyu Sumimoto / WBAA News

Before a crowd at Purdue University Thursday night, former First Lady Laura Bush and her daughters spent time telling the college town crowd of the importance of education.

Laura Bush talked of her time creating a women’s council that promotes education for women in Afghanistan.

Jenna Bush, who’s been a teacher and is now an on-again, off-again TV contributor, says she, in her words, “wasn’t proud of the country” and decided to focus on education as a way of making change.

Samantha Horton / WBAA News

This year, WBAA endeavored to do a different type of election coverage -- one where the hazards are mostly the water and sand variety.

WBAA’s Stan Jastrzebski took candidates miniature golfing this fall to have a conversation about the issues, rather than a debate, while the candidates had a friendly competition on the links.

Holding the putters in this first segment are Chris Campbell and Sally Siegrist, the two candidates for State House District 26, which represents West Lafayette in the legislature.

EDITOR'S NOTE: A candidate's miniature golf score should NOT be construed, in any way, as reflecting a candidate's fitness for office.

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.

The Senate education committee heard testimony on a bill to mandate schools teach computer science. It mandates computer science curriculum in elementary and middle school. It also requires it as an elective in high school, and it earmarks money for teacher training.

Technology companies, interest groups and computer science teachers supported Senate Bill 172 – including Brown County teacher Jacob Koressel.

Pages