#1
87.0%

Fast Facts

•Graduation Rate: 75.8% •Average SAT Score: 1470 •Average ACT Score: 22.3 •4th Grade NAEP Math Score: 52% •8th Grade NAEP Math Score: 38% •4th Grade NAEP Reading Score: 38% •8th Grade NAEP Reading Score: 35% •Per Pupil Funding: $9,343 •Public School Enrollment: 1,046,661
State Happenings

Indiana

Indiana has been called the “reformiest” state for good reason. A much tested and improved charter school law offers a wide variety of options. A path-breaking, statewide school choice program, expanded in May 2013, has attracted thousands of parents who have chosen private schools for their children. Indiana also offers more digital learning elements than 45 other states and can boast a pretty decent record of teacher quality measures that put the public in the drivers seat. These are just a few of the critical pieces that leaders have put in place to ensure that parent power in Indiana is more than a dream.

The statewide Choice Scholarship Program serves low- and middle-income families across the state and gives vouchers to attend private schools. As of the 2012 school year nearly 10,000 students are participating in the program. In May 2013 Governor Mike Pence signed legislation to expand eligibility to the voucher program even further and allow previously qualified families whose income had increased to remain in the program. There also is a tax credit program that awards scholarships up to the amount of tuition and fees, capped at $7 million annually. The state permits parents some choices among traditional public schools, offering only intra-district public school choice in Indianapolis.

SOURCE: The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice

Indiana’s charter school climate has vastly improved since 2011. This is the result of numerous positive changes, including the creation of a statewide commission, the Indiana Charter School Board, and the removal of all caps on enrollment and number of schools. Charters also have a large level of autonomy from district regulations, including teacher freedoms.

SOURCE: 2014 Charter School Law Rankings and Scorecard

Indiana’s history of policy to support online learning yield important lessons for other states. Students have access to multiple providers of online instruction, but the funding mechanism is overdue for improvement.

SOURCE: Digital Learning Now!

Indiana’s data system has the capacity to provide evidence of teacher effectiveness, and has connected licensure advancement and renewal to objective evidence of teacher effectiveness. Evaluations must include student achievement and growth, but law does not specify at what percentage. Ineffective performance is a reason for dismissal, and Indiana has a streamlined appeal process. Performance is the top criterion for districts to consider when laying-off personnel. Indiana has also passed a law that makes teacher evaluations an ineligible subject for collective bargaining.

Indiana uses a variety of factors to determine teacher pay, including experience evaluations and advanced degrees, although each factor can’t count more than one-third.

SOURCE: National Council on Teacher Quality

Readily available data on school report cards and parent-friendly resources, including links to school options through choice and charters, are easy to access on Indiana’s state department of education website. Of the 290 local school boards, 274 are elected and 16 are appointed. Election schedules vary, with a majority held in May, some in November, and a few held on other unspecified dates.

Scoreboard

51%

Best Performing Outlets

  • Banner Graphic - Online 100%
  • Evansville Courier & Press 83%
339

Total stories:

79

Total media outlets:

Worst Performing Outlets

  • Kokomo Perspective - Online 17%
  • Daily Journal - Online / Associated Press 17%
  • Charter Schools are innovative public schools designed by educators, parents or civic leaders that are open by choice, accountable for results and free from most unnecessary rules and regulations governing conventional public schools. For more information about CER's annual charter law rankings, click here.
  • School choice means giving parents the power and opportunity to choose the school their child will attend. States that give all parents the opportunity to choose the best school for their child – whether public, private, parochial or charter – ensure Parent Power!.
  • Teacher quality comes with strong, data-driven, performance-based accountability systems that ensure teachers are rewarded, retained and advanced based on how they perform in adding value to the students who they teach, measured predominantly by student achievement, along with skills and responsibilities.
  • Transparency in education means giving parents access to good and objective information about their schools, student and teacher performance and options.
  • The movement toward improving education in the U.S. today includes a strong focus on online learning, an approach that involves a myriad of delivery mechanisms via online tools for students, no matter where they live or attend school. Online learning is opening up classrooms to the world and ensuring students access to some of the best content and educators.
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