Indiana Department of Education

State of Indiana / http://in.gov/

Groups which often disagree on education are uniting behind a proposed scholarship to coax more top students into teaching careers.

House Republicans have made the scholarship bill a priority this session.

It would offer students in the top 20-percent of their high school class as much as $30,000 for college, in exchange for a commitment to teach for five years afterward.

The scholarship proposal drew support from teachers' unions, education reform groups, State Board of Education members and state school superintendent Glenda Ritz.

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The Indiana Department of Education says student ISTEP+ scores were not negatively impacted by the scoring process completed by test vendor CTB. 

The assurances come after anonymous allegations surfaced in an Indianapolis Star story earlier this month.

A handful of sources claiming to be CTB supervisors told the Star a computer malfunction had inadvertently changed grades on the annual statewide test, and that company leaders decided to leave those potentially incorrect scores in place. 

Judy Baxter / https://www.flickr.com/photos/judybaxter/

Despite assertions from conservative economists and lawmakers, the data is clear: Indiana is indeed experiencing a teacher shortage.

Since the issue came to legislators’ attention this summer, the Department of Education confirmed that the Hoosier State has seen more than a 30-percent drop in the number of people licensed as first-time teachers.

What’s still a bit blurry is what policymakers will do to remedy the problem.

Test Experts' Warning: Replacing ISTEP Isn't A Quick Fix

Sep 30, 2015
Alberto G. / https://www.flickr.com/photos/albertogp123/5843577306

National education leaders are cautioning Indiana to think through any attempt to replace ISTEP with a new test.

Legislators have been reviewing whether switching to an off-the-shelf test would reduce the time students have to spend on exams.

The Senate passed a bill this year to dump the ISTEP and find a shorter test, but the House called for further study.

Kyle Stokes / http://indianapublicmedia.org/stateimpact/

State education and legal officials are looking into a potential problem with the law that mandates schools receive annual A-through-F accountability grades.

The law that mandates the state gives schools A-F grades each year has been around since 1999, but the law has been tweaked several times over the last few years, as policy changes around standards and testing arose.

Indiana Schools Running Low On Teachers

Jul 14, 2015
Bob Cotter / https://www.flickr.com/photos/gibsonsgolfer/

According to the most recent data available from the Indiana Department of Education, the state issued licenses to about 4,500 teachers during the 2013-14 school year. In 2010, that number was 5,500.

Teachers also need separate licenses to teach individual subjects, so the number of total licenses teachers are receiving has dropped more dramatically. The state granted more than 6,000 licenses to first-time teachers in 2013, as opposed to about 16,000 four years earlier.

Summer Food Program Combats Hunger And Learning Loss

Jun 10, 2015
Kristin Malavenda/WBAA News

Nearly half of all public school students in the United States receive a free or reduced price lunch.

That’s according to the latest Kids Count survey from the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

But during the summer, kids don’t have access to those meals.

Josh Davis / https://www.flickr.com/photos/thedavisblog/2230010178

After only a year on the job, the State Board of Education‘s executive director is leaving. Robert Guffin announced he'll retire at the end of May. He leaves just as some members of the State Board might be leaving, too, as the board is overhauled under a law passed by the legislature this year.

Ritz Works To Make Clear Rule On New Grading System

May 7, 2015
NYC Department of Education / http://schools.nyc.gov/default.htm

A vote to approve final rule language for the new A-F school grading system had been on the original agenda for Thursday’s meeting, following months of discussion and opportunities to hear public comment on the proposed changes.

But, the Department of Education presented about 20 additional edits Thursday morning – edits that some board members say they hadn’t seen before. 

Lawmakers Pass Dual Language Pilot Program

Apr 29, 2015
Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

Lawmakers approved legislation Tuesday encouraging students to learn a second language.

The measure authorizes what’s called a dual language immersion pilot program.

Students in the immersion program would begin simultaneous instruction in two languages beginning in elementary school. The legislature is setting aside $500,000 in grants to pay for it.

Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, who authored the bill, says it could help Indiana graduates as they enter the job market.

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