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.

Jackson County Moving Deliberately Toward Pre-K Pilot

Jul 13, 2015
Jeanne Christine /

The final county selected for the state’s pre-k pilot program will launch its efforts in just a few weeks.

Programs in four of the five areas started in January, but in Jackson County, officials wanted to wait so they could make room for more kids, find extra funding and get pre-k providers up to speed.

StateImpact Indiana’s Rachel Morello visited with a few of those providers to see how they’re getting ready for the fall launch.

Rachel Morello / StateImpact Indiana

As baby boomers retire, they’re creating a gap in the workforce…and the education field is no exception.

Principals, assistant principals and superintendents are leaving their positions…but instead of waiting for those positions to open up and going through the routing hiring process, some school districts are trying to get a head start by training teachers from the bottom up.

Casey Kuhn / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The emotions of a teenager are not simple to understand. As they move away from childhood and morph into an adult, the confusion invades many aspects of their lives, including in their classrooms.

For students recognizing their sexual orientation or gender identity, this confusion is intensified. As the students struggle to embrace this part of their life, teachers also struggle to understand the challenges LGBTQ students face.

Daniel Hartwig /

Ball State University – one of only a few charter school authorizers in the state – says it’s tightening requirements for prospective operators and saying no to more applications.

Ball State‘s charter schools have been watched closely since a report more than two years ago said many of them were continuing to receive sponsorships despite being outperformed by traditional public schools.

Kyle Stokes /

Education is expected to be a major part of the governor’s race in 2016 with State Superintendent Glenda Ritz entering the race.

But Ritz says she plans to address a wide range of issues -- not just those relating to schools and education policy.

StateImpact Indiana’s Rachel Morello explains how Ritz’s role as an educator will likely play into the race as her campaign gets off the ground.

Erica Gibson / WBAA News

Dusty Miller is a kindergarten teacher at Lafayette’s Vinton Elementary School. His students are learning how to write their names, handle scissors and recognize shapes and letters -- all important skills for kindergartners. 

But Miller’s students aren’t quite kindergartners, or at least, they won’t be until the fall. They’re kids who have no preschool experience, or know English only as their second language, and are at risk of falling behind their classmates when school starts. 

Rachel Morello /

Education became a much bigger part of the 2016 race for Indiana governor Thursday as State Superintendent Glenda Ritz is throwing her hat into the ring.

The announcement has excited many of those who supported Ritz in her 2012 run for the state’s schools chief  – but others say the former librarian and first-term executive official is stepping outside her wheelhouse.

StateImpact Indiana’s Rachel Morello spoke with Indiana statehouse reporter Brandon Smith about how the lifelong educator can translate her experience into a campaign.

Rachel Morello / StateImpact Indiana

Despite constant clashes with Governor Mike Pence over the last two years, State Superintendent Glenda Ritz says her decision to run for governor isn’t personal; it’s because of significant differences with Pence over how to move Indiana forward.  Ritz officially became the third person to enter the Democratic primary Thursday, calling herself the “best candidate” to beat the governor.

Rachel Morello / StateImpact Indiana

Lawmakers spent a good deal of time this year reworking the way schools are funded – not just public schools, but charter schools too. These alternative institutions saw a pretty big swing in their favor in the new biennial budget, as they now have access to additional money they can use to pay for things like buildings, technology, and transportation- something they didn’t have access to before.