teachers

Indiana union leaders say a pivotal U.S. Supreme Court decision handed down Wednesday won’t have a direct impact on the state, but could change the way those groups receive support from national affiliates.

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.

Noah Coffey / https://www.flickr.com/photos/noahwesley/

After a number of high profile teacher sexual misconduct cases and a low ranking on a national “teacher conduct” scorecard -- state lawmakers formed a committee to recommend a plan of ways to protect Indiana children from sexual predators.

Now, the committee has a set  recommendations it hopes will become law.

Lawmakers say tougher measures could protect Indiana children from predatory school employees.

Under new recommendations, educators convicted of certain felonies would automatically lose their licenses.

Bob Cotter / https://www.flickr.com/photos/gibsonsgolfer/

The number of English learner students in Indiana is increasing, but the number of number of certified English language instructors is not.

Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Claire McInerny visited the Community Schools of Frankfort, the district with the highest percentage of English learners in the state, and reports on the school's struggle to bridge the gap.

momboleum / https://www.flickr.com/photos/momboleum/5477189644

A group of private universities is making some graduate level classes free for high school teachers that teach dual credit science, technology, engineering or math. The program, new this spring, is already maxing out in enrollment.

As of last year, Indiana’s thousands of dual credit teachers must have a master’s degree in their content areas to continue to teach high school.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

POLICE BODY CAMERAS

Legislation headed to the governor will give the public and the press more access to police body camera videos than they’ve ever had.  A final compromise drew unanimous support for the bill in both chambers.

There was one issue remaining in the body camera bill – a provision that said, if a video potentially depicts excessive use of force or civil rights violations by police, it must automatically be released.  Police didn’t like that, and so, despite the objections of press organizations, lawmakers took the provision out. 

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

The Senate passed two education bills Tuesday- one that address teacher mentoring programs and another that addresses the future of ISTEP. Here’s what the bills would do:

House Bill 1005 – Teacher Programs

  • Create a mentoring program for teachers
  • Give established educators a financial incentive to mentor other teachers
  • Allow school districts to create their own programs (approved and monitored by the State Board of Education

House Bill 1395 – The ISTEP Committee

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.

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.

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?

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