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Asked and answered
September 11, 2018
Teachers’ union chief Jesse Sharkey on school closings, contract battles, and life after Rahm
What the CTU president says about Chicago schools chief Janice Jackson, being called out by investigator Maggie Hickey, and union challenges post-Janus.
June 27, 2018
Colorado teachers unions will feel a limited impact from the Supreme Court’s Janus decision
Colorado’s teachers unions have been living in a post-Janus world for decades.
June 18, 2018
5 ways ‘Janus’ Supreme Court ruling could affect Illinois schools
The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to decide a historic case that could shift the political landscape and dampen union power –…
Updated April 19, 2018
Internal memo offers candid postmortem of charter fight in Massachusetts
In 2015, charter school advocates had the wind at their backs as they set out to lift the state’s charter cap. A year later, their effort would end in humiliating defeat.
dotting the i's
March 2, 2018
Group that supported Douglas County anti-voucher candidates fined in campaign finance case
A judge found no attempt to deceive voters because the group disclosed "the key fact that a large national union of teachers was attempting to influence the election.”
February 26, 2018
As the U.S. Supreme Court tackles case that could weaken unions, the UFT conveys confidence
The union distributed photos from four schools where teachers had amassed to show their support.
January 30, 2018
Cary Kennedy ‘aligns with all of our issues and values,’ teachers union president says in endorsement
Former State Treasurer Cary Kennedy has made increasing teacher pay a key part of her educational platform.
war on teachers?
December 12, 2017
When union protections disappear, poor schools lose teachers, new research finds
Michigan's teacher-focused policy changes did not increase in teacher turnover. But at schools with lower test scores or more students in poverty, teacher churn jumped.
November 30, 2017
DeVos calls America still ‘a nation at risk,’ cheers GOP tax plan
The nation's ed chief tells a summit gathering in Nashville that not much has changed since the landmark Reagan-era report indicting America’s public schools.
November 16, 2017
Gutting Wisconsin teachers unions hurt students, study finds
The high-profile fight to limit union power was replete with drama — including a recall election and state legislators fleeing…
July 27, 2016
Teachers brave heat to vent anger over ALEC’s influence on Indiana education laws
Most of their complaints focused on the state’s private school tuition voucher program.
February 29, 2016
House panel resurrects controversial teacher pay bill
After senators killed House Bill 1004 last week, today's House Education Committee passed a similar Senate bill 7-4.
February 25, 2016
Teacher pay and pension changes, opposed by unions, are dead for now
The Senate announced it wouldn't move forward with House Bill 1004, but another Senate bill with almost identical language has a hearing scheduled Monday.
February 8, 2016
Rise & Shine: Why won’t Grace College say why it approved a charter school in Bloomington?
February 3, 2016
Plan to change teacher pay and pensions passes after emotional debate
House Bill 1004 moves on for consideration in the Senate starting next week.
January 28, 2016
Union backers say bill could wreck Indiana's teacher pay system
The bill would let superintendents give more pay to current teachers as well as job applicants.
December 9, 2015
Teachers union joins the push to roll back 2011 education reforms
The Indiana State Teachers Association wants lawmakers to relax bargaining rules, reduce testing and put a 2-year hold on accountability sanctions.
November 4, 2015
Questions remain about Mayor-elect Joe Hogsett's education plans
The question about Mayor-elect Joe Hogsett, who cruised to an easy defeat of Chuck Brewer, is pretty simple: what kind of Democrat will he be?
August 21, 2015
A question of fairness: Weighted budgeting would affect IPS teachers, students
Indianapolis Public Schools is contemplating a major overhaul in the way it distributes money to schools, which could have a big impact on where teachers are assigned, how much support schools receive and how evenly operational dollars are split up.
July 7, 2015
Rise & Shine: Shelby County retired teachers balk over threatened benefits
June 18, 2015
Daniels, Peterson recall the birth of charter schools at Mind Trust event
The dinner and panel discussion attracted a full house of 750 invitees to the Indiana Roof Ballroom.
May 19, 2015
Teachers union to Pence: Reappoint Cari Whicker to the state board
A teachers union list of recommendations for who Gov. Mike Pence should appoint to the Indiana State Board of Education is telling for who it suggests, and who it doesn't
May 13, 2015
Mike Pence's 2015 education agenda: Wins, losses and consolation prizes
Some of Pence’s goals resulted in new laws, but others were gutted along the way or changed so much that they had a passing resemblance to what he originally pushed for.
April 7, 2015
House committee saves ISTEP, calls for study of replacement options
A proposal to replace ISTEP with an off-the-shelf national test was derailed today as a House committee sent the idea to a summer committee for…
March 26, 2015
Concerns subside after huge school deregulation bill is scaled back further
After many changes, Senate Bill 500, aimed a reducing unneeded regulation for schools, passed the House Education Committee without objection.
March 5, 2015
The basics of everything: Your guide to education issues in Indiana
Few states can match the Hoosier state for the wide variety of efforts to change the way students learn, or for the level of drama and discord that has accompanied those efforts.
February 24, 2015
Senate defeats civics test bill, grapples with future of ISTEP
A bill proposing all students pass a civics test was defeated in the Senate after receiving support in both the Senate Education and Senate Appropriations committees.
February 4, 2015
Senate committee drops required elections from teacher union bill (updated)
(CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Senate Bill 538 would have required every school district in the state to reaffirm in…
February 2, 2015
These 9 education changes could move ahead in the legislature — but 6 others probably won't
There's no question a huge battle will take place over the role of state Superintendent Glenda Ritz on the Indiana State Board of Education. But of the 122 education-focused bills the Indiana General Assembly is expected to consider, just a fraction will make it through to Gov. Mike Pence's desk in April to become law.
January 28, 2015
Statehouse labor battle renewed as teachers unions cry foul
The battle over teachers unions in Indiana might be on again. A bill heard in a Senate committee today would challenge unions’ very right to represent…
December 10, 2014
Joe Hogsett looks to forge his own path on education
Former U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett, who at least for the moment looks like the front runner to become mayor of Indianapolis in 2016, has made…
December 5, 2014
Pence's 2015 education plans on funding, flexibility raise questions
Pence's made waves with his bombshell announcement Thursday that he would dissolve the Center for Education and Career Innovation and ask lawmakers to reconsider Ritz's leadership post on the Indiana State Board of Education. But the rest of the education agenda that dominated his speech contained a half-dozen major new proposals to overhaul Indiana's system of school finance, again expand access to charter schools, provide more money for private school tuition vouchers and add a new program he called “freedom to teach,” giving the state board authority to grant waivers from some state regulations to school districts that want to try innovative ways to “focus resources on student learning.”
October 10, 2014
Rise & Shine: Angry parents say the kids “rule” at Indianapolis high school
War chests fill up
September 3, 2014
Democrats, unions pour money into key races
Democratic candidates in pivotal state Senate races, including those of interest to education, continued to lead their Republican opponents in fundraising, according to campaign finance reports filed Tuesday. (With interactive database)
July 3, 2014
NEA president: Current testing system “will crumble”
The president of the National Education Association Wednesday called for a massive reduction in the amount of student testing and predicted accountability systems based on such assessments “will crumble.”
June 13, 2014
California ruling prompts reflection about Indiana's teacher protections
A ruling against teacher tenure in a Los Angeles lawsuit earlier this week has local advocates considering their own challenges to teachers' jobs protections.
June 10, 2014
Union dispute over School 93 plan brings parent, teacher complaints
Parents, teachers and activists who have pushed for an overhaul of School 93 are calling on Indianapolis Public Schools and its teachers union to resolve a disagreement they say is threatening their plan to improve the school.
June 9, 2014
Report: Give extra for IPS teachers at the neediest schools
If you put about 150 IPS teachers in a room and had they rewrite the way the district pays them, what would they come up with? TeachPlus, an organization that aims to get teachers involved in education policy making, spelled out some answers today within the recommendations of a report for how IPS improve its approach to compensation.
May 13, 2014
Dougco union requests state review of teacher evaluation system
In a first for Colorado, the Douglas County teachers’ union is asking the state to take a close look at the district’s teacher evaluation system,…
May 6, 2014
Key legislative education leader fighting for his political survival
A primary challenge to Indiana House Education Committee Chairman Robert Behning, R-Indianapolis, has made Behning’s central role in changing education in the state over the past several years a centerpiece of his case against the incumbent. The unexpectedly close race has raised new questions about the political potency of a coalition of voters, spanning both political parties, that is increasingly skeptical of the sorts of reforms Behning is identified with.
April 25, 2014
Ferebee interested in longer school days or school year for some schools
In the interview this week, Ferebee said he believes some of IPS's successful schools have already found ways to essentially add learning hours for their students, sometimes through volunteerism in the schools or community partnerships. For kids who are far behind, he said, that approach may be simply necessary.
April 22, 2014
Fellowships to offer $100,000 for educators to develop ideas for IPS
Indianapolis Public Schools principals or teachers with smart ideas for how to overhaul low-rated district schools could get $100,000 and a year off to develop them into concrete plans. The district, Mayor Greg Ballard’s office and The Mind Trust jointly announced new “innovation school fellowships” tonight with the goal of one day seeing the school board sign off on using models created through the year of study to revive failing district schools.
April 10, 2014
No IPS-charter compacts next year
Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Lewis Ferebee told school board members Wednesday he has no plans to exercise new powers granted to the district last month by the Indiana legislature to make deals with charter school operators to run district schools. Gov. Mike Pence signed House Bill 1321 last month. It gives IPS the authority to hand empty buildings over for charter schools to use, or to hire charter school operators to run an IPS school. Ferebee has said all along he was not exclusively interested in deals with charter schools.
March 20, 2014
IPS teachers tackle tough questions about pay
As part of an exercise at a meeting sponsored by TeachPlus, each group was given a budget for a fictional urban district with 45,000 students, 3,000 teachers and a $190 million budget, or somewhat bigger than IPS, which has about 30,000 students, 2,800 teachers and a $263 million budget. The challenge was to redesign the way teachers were paid and earned raises by redistributing the way the money was spent. Nearly 150 IPS educators who attended quickly found the task wasn’t easy.
March 18, 2014
Rise & Shine: State moves to take control of federal funds for Gary schools
Updated December 1, 2015
The basics of Tony Bennett: A reform star’s rise and fall
After pushing hard for educational change, Bennett faced a backlash.
December 22, 2013
The basics of teachers unions in Indiana: Facing tough times
Teachers unions have seen tougher opposition under Republican legislative leadership.
December 3, 2013
ISTA, Indiana settle lawsuit for $14 million
Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson announces the ISTA settlement. (Scott Elliott) A four-year legal and financial struggle that has saddled Indiana's largest teachers union may be coming to an end, but not without a heavy cost. Secretary of State Connie Lawson announced today a $14 million settlement has been finalized between the state and the Indiana State Teachers Association. The deal settles the state's lawsuit charging ISTA defrauded its members by mishandling funds in an insurance fund. The union admitted no guilt as part of the deal. The state originally sued for $27 million, but settled for roughly 50 cents on the dollar. Lawson said the suit cost the state $1.5 million in public dollars and the settlement came because: "We knew they were willing to spare no expense on endless litigation."
October 21, 2013
Why Indiana matters when it comes to education
(NOTE: Much has changed since this post was first published in October of 2013. This post has not been updated to reflect…
October 4, 2013
Dougco candidates debate merit-based pay, morale
A clear split emerged between candidates at Thursday night’s Douglas County school board race debate between candidates who supported current board actions and those who would like to see the pace of change slowed.
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