Kyle Stokes came to StateImpact Indiana in 2011 from from Columbia, Mo., where he was a producer and reporter for NPR member station KBIA-FM and NBC affiliate KOMU-TV. Based out of the WFIU/WTIU Newsroom in Bloomington, his work has appeared on the statewide network of Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations, and on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Tell Me More. Originally from Minneapolis, Minn., Stokes is a proud graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism and an even prouder Minnesota Twins fan.
Kalen Phillips, left, and Cole Crouch, both students in the AP Statistics class at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis, listen to a presentation from StateImpact Indiana's Kyle Stokes on the system state officials use to issue letter grade ratings to schools.
Officials won’t have to start from scratch. The Indiana General Assembly’s order still requires state officials to blend schools’ pass-fail rates on statewide tests (as they have since 1999) with a measure of students’ relative academic “growth” (as last year’s re-write prescribed) in the re-written school letter grading system.
But in passing House Enrolled Act 1427, lawmakers took aim at the method state officials chose to measure student growth — a method critics charge is so complicated that even state superintendent Glenda Ritz cannot advise local educators how to improve their final rating.
Fort Wayne Community Schools… is calling on lawmakers to re-evaluate the state’s system of accountability centered on test scores.
The district will not use the data from the test in its evaluations and will not distribute the test results to parents or teachers “unless and until they can be validated by a legitimate, independent third party.” Continue Reading →
Kyle Stokes speaking to the AP Statistics class at Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis' Wayne Township last week. Kyle did this at the request of a project-based learning coach and the district's superintendent to give students the "101" on Indiana's A-F grading system.
A few months ago, Wayne Township Schools superintendent Jeff Butts called me with a request: Help out some students at Ben Davis High School who were going to study Indiana’s system for rating schools.
My study of Indiana’s system for rating schools basically drove me crazy enough to make this video, so I immediately empathized with the students because of their assignment: get to know the A-F formula, “the Indiana Growth Model,” and possibly come up with recommendations for how to improve it.
Students at Charter School of the Dunes in Gary turned their January academic showcase into a rally to keep their school open after Ball State officials announced they were pulling their sponsorship. The school ultimately found a new authorizer, but five other charters' appeals were officially rejected Wednesday.
Ball State President Jo Ann Gora made it official and “final” Wednesday — five Indiana charter schools will not have the university’s backing next year, and will have to close if their leaders don’t find new sponsors.
In total, Ball State will not authorize nine of the schools it sponsored this year, representing a quarter of its charter portfolio — the largest in the state, currently. Even losing those charters, though, the university remains the state’s most prolific charter authorizer.
If the schools don’t find new authorizers, more charters will close in 2013 than in the combined twelve years since Indiana’s charter law passed. Continue Reading →
Statewide data collected by the Indiana Commission on Higher Education show that almost 30 percent of Hoosier high school graduates need to take at least one remedial course in math or English when they get to college. (It’s more than 60 percent for Indiana high school graduates headed to our two-year colleges.) Those are courses that carry no credit, but cost just the same as the ones that do…
Legislation signed into law by Gov. Mike Pence will require high schools throughout Indiana do a better job of determining whether their students are ready to go college.
The new law, House Enrolled Act 1005, was prompted in part by research that shows thousands of high school graduates, including those who graduated with academic honors, had to take basic remediation courses in math and English as college freshman.
Starting next school year, high schools will have start identifying 11th graders who are at risk of failing their senior-year graduation exams or need remedial classes before beginning college work for credit. The law also requires high schools to start providing extra help to those students in their senior year Continue Reading →
But an update on the testing company’s website — as of 12:30 Eastern — says the issue “has been resolved,” and IPS administrators have given the go-ahead for schools to resume testing, district spokesperson John Althardt tells StateImpact.
As we’ve reported, critics have leveled an array of criticisms against the Common Core — some don’t like the standards’ continued emphasis on testing, some fear federal intrusion in state education policy.
John Rice, a math teacher at Schmucker Middle School in Mishawaka, talks students in his eighth grade Algebra I class through a set of homework problems. Students in this class will take the Algebra I End of Course Assessment this year.
Indiana law requires all students to take two exams to earn a full high school diploma, and Britton Sofhauser has already taken one of them: the Algebra I End-of-Course Assessment.
Most students see the Algebra I “ECA” for the first time in ninth grade. Sofhauser passed it — easily — when he was in seventh grade.
“[My teacher] made it sound like the hardest test ever, but I think that was just so we’d study more,” says Sofhauser, now an eighth grader at Schmucker Middle School in Mishawaka.
Though Sofhauser takes advanced math classes, he’s hardly an exception.