Education

Indiana Schools Launch Ad Campaigns To Lure Students, Dollars

Aug 12, 2016
Peter Balonon-Rosen, Indiana Public Broadcasting

Schools will start soon, but where you live doesn’t necessarily determine where you go to school anymore. Families can choose where to go to school — private, charter or public school.

The aim behind providing this choice? Proponents say it will force all schools to better themselves.

Whether it has done that remains controversial. But it has given birth to a new reality for public schools: with education competition, comes the need for education marketing.

Schools Seek Community Connection

WFIU / https://www.flickr.com/photos/wfiupublicradio/

The Indiana State Board of Education this week will hold public hearings at two failing schools in Northwest Indiana to determine the future of the schools.

Beveridge Elementary School in Gary, and Joseph L. Block Junior High in East Chicago received five consecutive ratings of F on the state’s annual A-F grading system.

New Indiana School Standards Emphasize Computer Skills

Aug 1, 2016
Brad Flickinger / https://www.flickr.com/photos/56155476@N08/5326220288

For the first time, schools will be required to teach computer science skills to all Indiana elementary and middle school students.

Indiana will be one of seven states with formal statewide computer science standards this school year.

All summer, computer science has been a focus at the Lincoln Street Boys and Girls Club in Bloomington. About 20 rowdy campers pile into the club’s computer lab.

David Shank / Shank Public Relations Counselors

A new report from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce shows school superintendents and principals have favorable views of school counselors.

But those same officials say they can’t always hire counselors when students need them.

School counselors help students improve their academics, address emotional needs and prepare for college and careers … but they aren’t always there.

ISTEP Panel: How Will New Test Help Students, Teachers?

Jun 16, 2016
NYC Department of Education / http://schools.nyc.gov/default.htm

The panel re-writing the state’s school standardized assessment met for the second time Tuesday.

However, members are unsure of their vision for the test.

The panel has the power to decide the new test’s format, technology, vendor and many other factors.

But Tuesday’s meeting discussion focused on something different-  the goal of the test.

Many of the educators on the panel said they didn’t want to move forward with technical decisions until they knew exactly how this test is expected to help the state and teachers.

Jeff Weese / www.flickr.com/photos/jeffweese/4125904945

Leaders of a small northern Indiana school district say the battle to fund their school system isn’t over.

Argos Community School administrators say they will continue to push for a local property tax increase even though voters defeated a proposed tax hike on the May 3 ballot.

The district has laid off eight staff members, eliminated a science program and scaled back the number of cafeteria workers.

Alberto G. / https://www.flickr.com/photos/albertogp123/

One thing became clear during the first meeting of the panel tasked with rewriting the ISTEP, Indiana’s standardized school assessment test.

Change will come slowly because there’s so much work to do.

And one legislator says the state may need to bring back the ISTEP to allow enough time to develop a good alternative.

The 23-member committee created by the 2016 Indiana General Assembly met for the first time on Tuesday.

The group has a December 1, 2016 deadline to evaluate different tests and recommend a replacement test.  

Benjamin Chun / HTTPS://WWW.FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/BENCHUN/

The 22-member panel tasked with developing a new standardized assessment test to replace the ISTEP will begin meeting soon.

Lawmakers mandated the ISTEP rewrite during the 2016 legislative session.

The panel has the ability to change the format of the test, the school accountability measures, and how often and when it can be administered.

US Department of Education / https://www.flickr.com/photos/departmentofed/

    Fifty-five schools – 2.6 percent of the schools in the state - earned an accountability grade of F last year, according to the Indiana Department of Education.

And many of those failing schools struggle to climb out of the failing category.

But an elementary school in Evansville jumped straight from F to A. 

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

In the corner of a basement office in Purdue’s Mann Hall, there’s a desk up on cinder blocks, sitting higher than all the rest. A few feet away there’s a workspace consisting of tables whose height can be raised or lowered. Researcher Brad Duerstock designed his own office  – to accommodate his wheelchair.

“I’ve used mounting systems where I was so kind of physically away from the table, I was more close to the table behind me than the table I was really involved with," he says. "So it is excluding.”

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