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How One of Indianapolis’ ‘Innovation School’ Principals Is Using Language of Love — and Spanish Immersion Program — to Achieve Dramatic Student Growth

The 74 Million – Kate Stringer

“The staff start their emails with “Familia….” The teachers swing from the monkey bars at recess with their first-graders. The principal finds out students have stolen a bike and walks them home to tell their parents. Not many schools have the word “love” in their mission, and it’s a hard thing to quantify on a school report card. But Global Prep Academy — whose motto is “unlocking the world through language, expeditionary learning, and love” — is one of a dozen schools in Indianapolis doing things differently, including a dual-language immersion program beginning in kindergarten for its native Spanish and English speakers that aims to embrace students’ culture and families.”(more)

An Innovation That Looks Good Even Up Close

Education Next – Michael J. Petrilli

“In September, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos had the best week of her tenure, thanks to a well-orchestrated back-to-school tour that ended in Indiana on September 15. She had a clear, attractive message and stuck to it: We need to unleash the creativity and innovation of our schools and educators, and stop trying to make one size fit all. She also demonstrated a true commitment to sector-agnosticism—she visited traditional public schools, not just private and charter ones—and celebrated schools that are as far from her own conservative Christian upbringing as one can imagine—and did it all with grace and humor. Well done, Madame Secretary!.”(more)

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to roll out school choice plan in Indy

Fox 59 – Russ McQuaid

“Before she was picked by President Trump to head up the U.S. Department of Education, Betsy DeVos was the chairwoman of the American Federal for Children, a pro-school choice lobbying group. When she visits Indianapolis tonight, Secretary DeVos will address a sea of friendly and familiar faces at the AFC’s National Policy Summit at the Westin Hotel. It’s expected DeVos will roll out a Trump administration plan to provide tax credits to corporations and individuals who donate money to groups and schools that provide school choice scholarships to students and parents.”(more)

The importance of early childhood education

The Kokomo Perspective – Jeff Hauswald

“Early childhood education is very, very important! In a state-by-state comparison of early childhood education programs and efforts, Indiana is in last place… but at least we are tied for last place! How important is early childhood education? One of the most effective means of helping children to read on-level by third grade has proven to be early childhood education, which directly impacts the high school drop-out rate. Quite simply, early childhood education is one of the leading means by which society can reduce the “school-to-prison” pipeline, which costs the average taxpayer $14,823 per year for each incarcerated person in Indiana state prisons (Vera Institute of Justice, 2010). These conservative estimates from 2010 are considered far lower than the true prison cost found throughout Indiana today. Aside from the long-term societal cost that are inversely related to investments in early childhood education, the benefits for each child for whom an early childhood education program is available are staggering. Students who attend an early childhood program are less likely to be held back through grade retention. Early childhood education, such as preschool, allows students to enter kindergarten ready to learn.”(more)

Senator Pushes For Mandatory Cursive Curriculum, Again

WFYI – Megan Powell

“Sen. Jean Leising, R-Oldenburg, continues the fight to place cursive writing back into the curriculum after the Indiana Department of Education made cursive optional in 2011. Wednesday afternoon, the Education and Career Development committee met to discuss Senate Bill 73. If passed, this bill would add cursive writing back into the elementary curriculum for third and fourth grade as well as mandating reading cursive…As Indiana keeps debating SB 73, about half dozen states have made the move already to make cursive writing mandatory. “It’s very important for children to write in cursive because they won’t be able to read historic documents,” Amanda Krause, elementary student teacher, said. Leising asked members of the committee to look at the issue, not only looking at the issue on a state level, but on a global platform. She said Mexico recently reinstated cursive writing in their curriculum.”(more)

How college students can get a handle on debt before it’s too late

USA Today – Jeff Reeves

“Student loans can get out of control in a hurry, mostly because students don’t find out about their total debt until it’s too late. Indiana University decided to change that. Starting in 2012, the Big Ten university began sending out annual “debt letters” to each of its students to provide an estimate of how much each IU student owed in full, how much they could anticipate to pay in interest and what a likely monthly payment could look like after graduation. “We talked to students and asked them how much debt they had, and they didn’t know how much in student loans they had out and what the repayments were going to be,” says Jim Kennedy, director of financial aid at Indiana University.”(more)