Friday, April 21, 2017

Indiana hasn’t really improved the schools it has taken over. Now, the state could start taking over entire districts | Chalkbeat

Indiana hasn’t really improved the schools it has taken over. Now, the state could start taking over entire districts | Chalkbeat:

Indiana hasn’t really improved the schools it has taken over. Now, the state could start taking over entire districts


An effort to solve debt crises in Gary and Muncie could end with Indiana lawmakers having the power to take over school districts, even if they aren’t failing.
A bill would create a brand-new district takeover process that mimics a strategy Michigan recently abandoned in Detroit — one that could largely cut state education officials out of the picture. Lawmakers are still working out a final version of the bill.
Takeover is just one of many strategies the state has as its disposal to help schools improve. But so far, the state has only taken over individual schools when they have years of low test scores and letter grades — and it doesn’t have a strong track record of turning them around. Of the four schools that were taken over by the state in 2012 and still remain under state control, all received F grades in 2016.
Lawmakers came up with the strategy to solve long-standing financial troubles in Gary Community Schools, which has racked up $100 million in debt and dwindled to fewer than 6,000 students. The district has also been labeled an F since 2011, with seven schools considered failing.
But over the past few weeks, Senate Bill 567 has been adjusted by House lawmakers to add the Muncie school district to the mix —  which, despite having about $18 million of debt of its own, currently has a C grade from the state and no failing schools within Indiana hasn’t really improved the schools it has taken over. Now, the state could start taking over entire districts | Chalkbeat:

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