“I’m my own worst critic,” he tells Steve Samuel, the assistant principal evaluating him, right before suggesting he be marked down in one category.
Like many districts, Wayne Township is using a modified version of the state’s teacher evaluation model. Teachers are scored in three “domains” — broad categories like planning, instruction and leadership — broken down into multiple subcategories.
We’ll show you what it looks like below. But first, it’s important to understand how the two evaluation systems are different. Continue Reading →
The Indiana Statehouse reflected in the windows of the building housing the Indiana State Teachers Association, the state's largest teachers union.
Changes to the state’s collective bargaining law in 2011 created a new timeline for contract negotiations between teachers unions and school districts. Most Indiana school districts signed labor agreements before the October deadline. But teachers represented by the Carmel Clay Education Association still don’t have a contract in place for the 2012-13 school year.
Carmel Clay is only the third school district* to reach the final step in the new timeline since the law changed in 2011. So the board hasn’t fielded a complaint during the mandatory fact finding period before. That means everyone’s headed into unchartered territory, says Sarah Cudahy, general counsel for IEERB.
If you’re an Indiana state lawmaker (at least in the current majority), you probably think the state’s public universities are doing too little to keep a student’s cost of attendance down. The price of a college education is rising faster than the rate of inflation, you argue.
If you’re a public university in Indiana, on the other hand, you probably think decreasing state appropriations left you no choice but to raise tuition and fees more than state lawmakers would’ve wanted.
A recently-released report hints at a fundamental cause for the financial strain at Indiana’s public universities: a surge in enrollment in the past decade, brought on in part by the most recent economic downturn. Continue Reading →
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan speaks at a conference in Gary in September 2011. Duncan has proposed issuing waivers to states in the absence of Congressional action to reauthorize No Child Left Behind.
They’re concerned the formal requests for “flexibility” Indiana and ten other states sent to the U.S. Department of Education don’t do enough to address the socioeconomic and racial achievement gaps the original NCLB law was meant to close.
Indiana Department of Education officials say the state’s waiver proposal does enough to hold schools accountable for making sure the most at-risk students make progress.
But in a letter to state superintendent Tony Bennett, the U.S. Department of Education listed the “inattention” to minorities and poor children as a “significant concern” with Indiana’s waiver plan. Continue Reading →
House Education Chair Robert Behning is one of a number of Indiana legislators with strong ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council.
This year’s legislative session is already underway and lawmakers are hurrying to put their bills forward for consideration. And where there are lawmakers, there are interest groups. The groups and their lobbyists can be tremendously effective in steering — or killing — legislation, so we’re helping you get familiar with them. Learn about the most important groups and individuals influencing your lawmakers with our series, “Meet the Influencers.” First up …
The American Legislative Exchange Council
The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, is not a lobbying firm, but it has quite a bit of influence at the capitol. It’s an organization that brings together right-leaning businesses and legislators from statehouses all over the country. They meet at a series of annual conferences to, among other things, hammer out model bills to be introduced into state legislatures.
But wouldn’t a diploma mill produce — well, you know — diplomas?
While statistics have longshown student performance at for-profits lags behind other colleges in many areas of student performance, defenders have been able to downplay these numbers since for-profits tend to educate more “high risk” students.
A report the Government Accountability Office released last week, though, showed fewer students at for-profit colleges earn degrees than at not-for-profit and public institutions — even after statistically controlling for age, race, and income.
But academics cautioned lawmakers to restrain the urge to use the new numbers as artillery in a battle to ramp up regulations on for-profit universities.
Indiana state superintendent Tony Bennett discusses the takeover of a Gary school at a public meeting in August.
Indiana education officials have dropped ambitious federal goals for student performance spelled out under No Child Left Behind. In their place, the state’s adopting what it calls an “ambitious and achievable” goal of its own:
Every Indiana school must earn a state letter grade of an A — or failing that, improve two letter grades to earn no worse than a C — by 2020.
State officials spelled out this goal in their NCLB waiver application (which we’ve annotated for easy reading below the jump), which they submitted for review to the U.S. Department of Education this week. Continue Reading →
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