education

Courtesy / Indiana Senate Republicans

The Senate passed their version of a bill Tuesday to change how the State Board of Education is constructed.

Senate Bill 1 allows the members of the State Board of Education to select a board chair from within their ranks.

Right now, the state superintendent automatically assumes that position. But the General Assembly has taken it upon itself to change this, following months of strained relations among the board, current superintendent Glenda Ritz and Governor Mike Pence.

Legislature Trying to Fast-Track ISTEP+ Changes

Feb 17, 2015

The General Assembly is trying to speed up the process for approving changes to this spring’s ISTEP+ test.

Late last week, the State Board of Education and Department of Education approved a handful of recommendations to shrink this year’s version of the test, which students can start taking in less than two weeks. 

By law, those changes must get the okay from the General Assembly. In order to fast-track that process, two things happened in the House of Representatives Tuesday:

Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

House Republican budget architect Tim Brown says his caucus’ proposed budget will include more money spent on education than ever before in state history.  The House GOP’s budget proposal was unveiled Monday.

House Republican leaders have said for months that education was their top priority this session and that they planned a significant increase in funding for K through 12 schools. 

To that end, House Ways and Means Chair Tim Brown says, under the House GOP budget, schools would get $469 million more over the next two years than they did in the last state budget.

Protesters Pack Statehouse in Support of Ritz

Feb 17, 2015
Rachel Morello / StateImpact Indiana

Educators, parents and even a few kids out of school for the snow day packed the statehouse in Indianapolis Monday to show support for state superintendent Glenda Ritz.

Icy relations have become the norm among the state’s top education policymakers, including Ritz, Governor Mike Pence, the State Board of Education and the Department of Education.

Courtesy / State of Indiana

The Indiana Department of Education says it will proceed as planned to issue the ISTEP+ exam beginning Feb. 25, even after Gov. Mike Pence signed an executive order Monday to re-evaluate the test’s length.

Even though the test could change -- after the testing consultant hired through Pence’s executive order issues recommendations on how to shorten it -- the DOE says they are preparing school districts as if the test will not change.

Deputy state superintendent Danielle Shockey says Pence’s actions only add to the confusion in preparing for this year’s ISTEP.

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