Indiana DOE recent press releases

Indiana Department of Education logo.

Recent press releases from the Indiana Department of Education:

State to Better Target Schools’ Needs with Improved Plan for Distributing Special Grant Resources

(INDIANAPOLIS – April 21, 2010) The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) today unveiled a network for improved support for students with special needs made possible through Indiana Resource Centers for Improvement Activities special education grants. These six resource centers, called the Indiana Resource Network (IRN), and the grant recipients will work together to provide Indiana’s schools targeted and comprehensive special education support and assistance.

Under this new and more coordinated grant process, IDOE will distribute funding to recipients who will provide professional support for special education to schools across the state. Several levels of support will be available based on individual districts’ needs.

“Our goal as a department is to make the pathways between resources and students more direct and efficient,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett said. “This revamped method for providing special education services is a more organized way to target schools’ individual special education needs, and it’s a great example of the ways we’re working to streamline every area of education funding and support.”

The Indiana Resource Network and their matched grant recipients:

Indiana University, Riley Hospital for Children Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center

Effective Assessment and Instruction
Indiana University, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community

Effective Evaluations
Indiana State University, Blumberg Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Special Education

Effective and Compliant Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
Indiana State University, Blumberg Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Special Education

Positive Behavior Support
Indiana University, Center for Evaluation & Education Policy (CEEP) and Indiana Institute on Disability and Community

Transition to Adulthood
Indiana University, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community

IDOE will refer schools to one or more IRN Centers to improve the quality of special education services. IRN Centers will provide many forms of assistance, including professional development, capacity building and policy examination.

The grants equal approximately $5.6 million in federally allocated special education funds. For more information on the Indiana Resource Network and the goals for each grant category, visit

Second of third press releases:

IDOE Halts Race to the Top Efforts, Focuses on Implementing Reform Plans

(April 22, 2010) Yesterday, the Indiana State Teachers Association declined an invitation (letter attached) to meet and further discuss union support for vital components of the state’s Race to the Top (RttT) application that are the foundation for Indiana’s student-focused reform agenda. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett issued this statement in response:

“I received notice yesterday that the Indiana State Teachers Association is unwilling to join me for an open and transparent discussion regarding union support for vital components of Indiana’s Race to the Top application. Without support from the union that represents more than 90 percent of Indiana’s school districts, our application will not be competitively positioned. Therefore, Indiana will not apply for Phase 2 funding.

“Instead, just as today’s students have no time to waste, IDOE will waste no time as we continue our efforts to implement Indiana’s Fast Forward plan without the federal funding. I am hopeful the unions will work with us throughout the implementation process, and I promise to make sure discussions between IDOE and the unions are transparent to all stakeholders.”

2010-04-21 ISTA Letter

Third and final release:

Math and Science Programs receive funding for innovation

(April 26, 2010) The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) is pleased to announce the winners of the Mathematics and Science Partnership (MSP) 2009-10 and the Classroom Innovation in Mathematics 2010-11 grant competitions, totaling approximately $4.4 million in funding for local school corporations. As a result of a statewide competitive application process, approximately $2.7 million will be distributed to six grantees through the MSP grant. In addition, approximately $1.7 million will be distributed to 18 school districts, which includes 35 schools, through the Classroom Innovation grant.

“Mathematics and Science education are clear cornerstones to student’s academic success and this funding will allow schools across the state to really move the needle for improved achievement in these subjects,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett said. “I am confident these grant recipients will push these dollars directly to the classroom where we will hopefully see immediate impact on academic programs.”

Indiana Mathematics and Science Partnership Program

The MSP program awards grants to public school districts to partner with institutions of higher education to participate in professional development activities that increase the content knowledge and teaching skills of mathematics and science teachers. These activities must result in a measurable improvement in student academic achievement in mathematics and science.

Indiana MSP program provides funding to eligible schools based on three criteria: (1) focus on mathematics and/or science as an area for School Improvement; (2) show evidence of and plans to increase highly qualified teacher credentialing; and (3) provide data showing evidence of low test scores in mathematics and/or science as relevant to the selected program purpose – with the opportunity to implement scientifically-based professional development as a means for improving student academic performance.

“As schools are responsible for improving student learning, it is essential to have highly qualified teachers leading the way,” said Bennett.

Classroom Innovation in Mathematics Program

The Classroom Innovation in Mathematics program, funded through the David C. Ford Fund, provides an opportunity for public school districts to pilot digital mathematics curricula, technology-based instruction, and interactive whiteboards for classroom instruction during the 2010-11 school year. The results of this pilot program will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of digital curricular materials and provide data for schools that may look at adopting digital mathematics curricula in the future.

Students included in this grant will have access to technology in their mathematics classrooms on a daily basis, whether in daily instruction via interactive whiteboards, online formative and summative assessments in a computer lab, or work outside of the classroom via remote online access.
“In a time when mathematics test scores have been stagnant, Hoosier students need increased access to innovative, high-quality instruction to which they can relate,” said Bennett. “Through this grant, approximately 13,000 additional students will have access these innovative practices in 2010-11 alone.”


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