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GOP-controlled Legislature overhauls K-12 education

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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.•
 

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  1. Of what value is selling alcoholic beverages to State Fair patrons when there are many families with children attending. Is this the message we want to give children attending and participating in the Fair, another venue with alooholic consumption onsite. Is this to promote beer and wine production in the state which are great for the breweries and wineries, but where does this end up 10-15 years from now, lots more drinkers for the alcoholic contents. If these drinks are so important, why not remove the alcohol content and the flavor and drink itself similar to soft drinks would be the novelty, not the alcoholic content and its affects on the drinker. There is no social or material benefit from drinking alcoholic beverages, mostly people want to get slightly or highly drunk.

  2. I did;nt know anyone in Indiana could count- WHY did they NOT SAY just HOW this would be enforced? Because it WON;T! NOW- with that said- BIG BROTHER is ALIVE in this Article-why take any comment if it won't appease YOU PEOPLE- that's NOT American- with EVERYTHING you indicated is NOT said-I can see WHY it say's o Comments- YOU are COMMIES- BIG BROTHER and most likely- voted for Obama!

  3. In Europe there are schools for hairdressing but you don't get a license afterwards but you are required to assist in turkey and Italy its 7 years in japan it's 10 years England 2 so these people who assist know how to do hair their not just anybody and if your an owner and you hire someone with no experience then ur an idiot I've known stylist from different countries with no license but they are professional clean and safe they have no license but they have experience a license doesn't mean anything look at all the bad hairdressers in the world that have fried peoples hair okay but they have a license doesn't make them a professional at their job I think they should get rid of it because stateboard robs stylist and owners and they fine you for the dumbest f***ing things oh ur license isn't displayed 100$ oh ur wearing open toe shoes fine, oh there's ONE HAIR IN UR BRUSH that's a fine it's like really? So I think they need to go or ease up on their regulations because their too strict

  4. Exciting times in Carmel.

  5. Twenty years ago when we moved to Indy I was a stay at home mom and knew not very many people.WIBC was my family and friends for the most part. It was informative, civil, and humerous with Dave the KING. Terri, Jeff, Stever, Big Joe, Matt, Pat and Crumie. I loved them all, and they seemed to love each other. I didn't mind Greg Garrison, but I was not a Rush fan. NOW I can't stand Chicks and all their giggly opinions. Tony Katz is to abrasive that early in the morning(or really any time). I will tune in on Saturday morning for the usual fun and priceless information from Pat and Crumie, mornings it will be 90.1

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