IBJNews

GOP-controlled Legislature overhauls K-12 education

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share
Year In Review
More
Stories
State's economy stuck in neutral Indictment: Durham looted Fair Finance Ballard cruises to second term City backs string of high-profile
                              projects Manning's injury sends Colts
                              into tailspin Downtown mall stung by loss
                              of Nordstrom Right-to-work battle derails
                              legislative session General Assembly overhauls K-12 education Real estate meltdown leaves developers reeling Spate of Indiana firms
                              lines up for IPOs Rolls-Royce relocated 2,500
                              jobs to downtown Openings launch new era for
                              tourism biz Patent expirations up pressure
                              on Lilly Las Vegas crash saps IndyCar
                              momentum


Newsmakers
Simon
                              takes on Amazon.com Melangton Daniels White in crosshairs as reformers target IPS

This year saw the most sweeping changes to public education since the approval of teachers’ unions in 1973.

Big Republican majorities in the General Assembly allowed Gov. Mitch Daniels and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett to pass the nation’s most comprehensive package of school reforms.

But not before there were huge rallies and debates over charter schools, the rollback of teachers’ unions’ rights and publicly funded vouchers for private schools.

The reforms restricted teacher collective bargaining contracts to wages and benefits—not to length of school days or other conditions in schools.

And while state law used to stipulate that teacher pay and promotions could be based only on seniority and educational attainment, a new law now limits those factors to just 33 percent of a teacher’s evaluation. The rest of a teacher’s performance—and pay—must be based on a mix of other factors, most notably, an annual ranking of their effectiveness at getting students to learn.

Local districts have leeway to design their own evaluation systems, although the state will issue guidelines next year.

The education reforms also took steps to increase the number of charter schools in Indiana—and even let them hire unlicensed teachers, provided they make up no more than 10 percent of the faculty.

Another bill created what will be the nation’s largest voucher program, giving low-income students taxpayer-funded scholarships to use at private schools. The program has signed up nearly 4,000 students already.

Daniels created and successfully championed early college scholarships, which provide an average of $4,000 to a student who finishes high school in three years and chooses to attend an Indiana college.

Changes to the school funding formula will more quickly shift money away from the school district a student previously attended and toward the district the student currently attends. The change favors fast-growing suburban schools over shrinking urban districts.

Perhaps the biggest change in education came from the delayed implementation of a 1999 law authorizing state intervention in schools whose students scored in the lowest levels on state standardized tests five years in a row.

In August, the State Board of Education decided to take control of five schools, including four that were part of the Indianapolis Public Schools district.•
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

  4. Send them back NOW.

  5. deport now

ADVERTISEMENT