Claire McInerny / StateImpact Indiana

Dual language immersion programs are catching on in Indiana’s schools.  The programs have been shown to increase test scores.

There are only a half dozen right now, but the state is investing $500,000 to launch five pilots this year.

StateImpact Indiana’s Claire McInerny explains how these programs function, by starting in one of the state’s oldest dual language programs.

NYC Department of Education /

There’s been much gnashing of teeth recently about the grades assigned to Indiana schools.

Some say a delay in releasing ISTEP scores should release schools from their letter grades this year.

Others say a loophole in state law forbids the state from assigning them this year. The state attorney general says there’s no problem at all. 

Here to attempt to sort out the mess are StateImpact Indiana reporters Claire McInerny and Rachel Morello.

Claire McInerny / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The first huge milestones of a kid’s life -- crawling, walking, talking, are often cultivated by their parents. But often, once a child enters school full time those milestones shift from the living room to the classroom.

A teacher takes on the responsibility of helping a child master reading, counting and various motor skills, with the parents playing a supporting role.

Claire McInerny / Indiana Public Broadcasting

When most of us start a new job, we don’t typically buy hundreds of dollars’ worth of office supplies for our colleagues and ourselves. In fact, most of us would be outraged if that were expected.

Alberto G. /

The State Board of Education thinks there are serious consequences to the latest problems in grading the ISTEP exam, and is even considering taking legal action against the test’s maker, even though it’s unclear how successful such action would be.

Last month, the makers of the ISTEP-plus exam, CTB, announced grading the assessment would take longer than anticipated, thanks to the time needed to take to correct certain answers originally marked as incorrect on select open-ended questions.

Claire McInerny / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Think about the teachers you had as a kid. How many of them had been teaching for more than 10 years, 20 years, even 30 years? Quite a few probably, because that’s how the profession used to work. But in the last 10 years, that’s changed, with 40- to 50-percent of new teachers not making it past their fifth year.

So what is it like to be a new teacher? What happens in classrooms that cause half of new teachers to leave and what makes the other half stay?

Possible Solutions To Indiana Teacher Shortage Differ

Aug 24, 2015
Judy Baxter /

By now you’ve likely heard this headline: Indiana – like many other states across the country – is facing a teacher shortage.

The number of first-year educators granted a state license dropped by 25-percent last year. For the most part, people agree this drop could represent a troubling trend.

Where they tend to disagree is in what part of a teacher’s career they want to employ a solution. 

Steve Burns / Indiana Public Broadcasting

After informing the Department of Education this week that there are issues with scoring this year’s ISTEP test, the president of testing company CTB attended Wednesday’s State Board of Education meeting to explain why.

The scoring issues will mean a delay in receiving student scores and school accountability grades.

Eric Castro /

Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Lewis Ferebee and two other administrators are at the White House today for a conversation on school discipline. Reducing suspension and expulsions rates is a priority of the Obama administration.

In the past year at IPS, student suspensions, expulsions and arrests have been dramatically cut.

The reason? The district is focusing more on helping students understand and control why they act out instead of kicking them out of school.

Phil Jern /

Indiana’s new A-to-F school letter grade model was given final approval Friday when Attorney General Greg Zoeller and others signed off on its use during the 2015-16 school year.

For the past two years Governor Mike Pence, Superintendent Glenda Ritz and others debated how to change the formula that calculates whether a school earns an A-to-F grade for student academics.

Current grades are based mostly on ISTEP pass rates. Now student performance and student test score improvement will be weighed equally in calculating a school’s grade.