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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)

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)

Why education is important for its own sake

The Indianapolis Star – Andrew Downs

“The fall semester has begun at colleges and universities across the state. By now, the new students have begun to question the wisdom of scheduling classes back-to-back in different buildings. They also have learned that being assigned a roommate can be a blessing and a curse. Many of these students were told that college would be fun, and it will be. The students will make friendships that will last for years to come. They will develop networks that help them today and in the future. They will be exposed to new subjects, new ways of seeing things, and will learn much along the way.”(more)

Hannon’s goal: Help parents make choices and give schools useful data

Chalk Beat Indiana – Scott Elliot

“Caitlin Hannon gave up her job and her Indianapolis Public School Board seat for an idea that, while a pretty good bet to give her a future role in education in the city, is far from a slam dunk to succeed. She’s taken the leap from suggesting a unified enrollment system as a board member to starting one herself. Her goal goes beyond just matching families with the best schools for their children. She also thinks if parents all fill out one common application form, whether they want an IPS or charter school, and feed their desires into one database, it could help solve for Indianapolis one of education’s biggest mysteries: the motivations behind how and why they made those choices. Hannon now has two years to start a nonprofit, find financial support, create a complex data system and, most importantly, get buy-in from her former board colleagues, the office of a new mayor, the leaders of local charter schools and perhaps even other public schools and even private schools.”(more)

Why those math scores matter so much

The Indianapolis Star – Glenn Augustine

“With the return to school, there’s good reason for parents to encourage their children’s best efforts, especially in math. New information shows how students fare in that subject can be an indicator of their future. Research from the University of California-Irvine found parents often focus early attention on their child’s behavior and reading. However, researchers determined math skills are actually the best way to predict a child’s long-term success. In Indiana, all students in third through eighth grades take ISTEP to assess their mastery of state standards. A sample of fourth and eighth graders in every state also take the National Assessment for Educational Progress. Both exams are valid but test different concepts and use differing measurements.”(more)

Doyel: How to build leaner kids, better learners

The Indianapolis Star – Gregg Doyel

“Thomas Campbell has no idea he’s exercising. As far as he knows, he’s sitting in Miss Sitzman’s first-grade class at Frederick Douglass School. As far as he knows, he’s learning. And he is. He’s sitting at his desk and he’s going over spelling words, but he’s not sitting on a chair. He’s sitting on one of those big bouncy balls you see in a gym, a stabilizing ball that strengthens your core. Thomas Campbell is working his abs, and he has no idea. “I like the ball,” he says, and he smiles, and that’s just one of the small victories at Frederick Douglass, also known as IPS School 19, also known as Super School. This is a school, and IPS is a school district, that could use some victories. Thanks to the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon, the wins are starting to pile up. Thomas Campbell is working his abs as he spells out f-i-s-h in Miss Sitzman’s class. Down the hall, fifth-grader Leshly Soto is walking on a mini-elliptical trainer – the kids call it a “moonwalker,” but you and I know it’s a cardio machine – as she reads a history lesson. Another fifth-grader, Alyssa Smith, is watching math facts on a projector screen and jumping on a mini-trampoline. The screen asks: What is 12 times 5?.”(more)