Indiana University School of Education

  1. Contrasting views on how Indianapolis Public Schools should move forward was the central theme to the Center for Evaluation & Education Policy Chat on Oct. 31, 2012. "The Future of Urban Education in the U.S.: Where Is It Going?" was held in the Georgian Room of the Indiana Memorial Union at Indiana University Bloomington.

    The keynote speakers for the event were Indianapolis Public Schools Superintendent Eugene White and David Harris, founder and CEO of the Mind Trust. White has served as superintendent of IPS since 2005, working internally on reform to improve graduation rates and academic performance. IPS reported a nearly 65 percent graduation rate last year, but the school corporation has come under fire for providing waivers to a quarter of graduating seniors who would not have earned a diploma otherwise. Long the state's largest school system, IPS has seen enrollment shrink in the past few years because of losses to voucher transfers and charter schools.

    Harris' Mind Trust, an Indianapolis nonprofit with a mission to promote education reform, put forward "Creating Opportunity Schools: A Bold Plan to Transform Indianapolis Public Schools" in December. The plan calls for providing pre-kindergarten to all 4-year-olds, shrinking IPS central administration, eliminating the elected school board, establishing totally autonomous "opportunity schools" that give teachers and principals more freedom while holding them more accountable, and giving parents more school choices. White has criticized most aspects of the plan, offering a strong rebuttal and alternative vision during an April school board meeting.

    "There is escalating pressure to reform Indianapolis Public Schools, and many urban school districts in Indiana and the nation, prompted by declining enrollments, dwindling financial resources and increasing levels of poverty among students, said Terry Spradlin, director for education policy at CEEP and moderator of the Policy Chat. "But the greatest pressure these schools now face is market-based school choice reform."

    Other panelists included John Houser, research associate at the Center for Urban and Multicultural Education at the IU School of Education at IUPUI. Houser co-authored a review on the Mind Trust plan that painted a mixed picture of results coming from the reforms promoted in the proposal. The report "School Reform and the Mind Trust Proposal: Another Look at the Evidence" raised concerns regarding equity and democratic participation for Indianapolis students. Also participating are Jason Kloth, Indianapolis' first-ever deputy mayor of education and the former executive director of Teach for America-Indianapolis; and Tammie Barney, deputy chief of staff for the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. Barney has been part of the organization's education coalition work featured on the IndyEducation911 website.

    CEEP, one of the country's leading nonpartisan education policy and program evaluation centers, promotes and supports rigorous evaluation and research primarily, but not exclusively, for educational, human services and nonprofit organizations. Center projects address state, national and international education questions. CEEP is part of the IU School of Education.

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  2. The Indiana University School of Education honored outstanding alumni who have had a great impact on issues of urban education, STEM education and international higher education programming. The three were the focus of an awards dinner Friday, Oct. 5, at the Wright Education Building at IU Bloomington.

    The 36th annual IU School of Education Distinguished Alumni Awards honor individuals who hold a degree from the school and have made a lasting impact through their work since leaving the school. This year's honorees include Patricia A. Payne, director of the Crispus Attucks Center in Indianapolis; Gerald O. Thompkins, director of the STEM Education and Research Center at Kent State University; and James E. Weigand, former Indiana University School of Continuing Studies dean.

    "These individuals represent the very best of what we at the School of Education strive to accomplish," said IU School of Education Dean Gerardo Gonzalez. "These honorees have truly excelled in their professional and civic lives. We honor their deep commitment to education and recognize the difference they have made in so many lives."

    Below is more information on the newest recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award:

    • Patricia A. Payne, BS'62, MS'75, is a tireless advocate for educational equity and has made her life's work fighting for social justice. Payne earned her bachelor's degree, master's degree and administrative license from the Indiana University School of Education. She then spent 25 years as an elementary teacher before being appointed to create Indianapolis Public School's Crispus Attucks Center charged with furthering excellence, scholarship, respect and courage toward greater student academic achievement.

    A luminary in the Indianapolis community, Payne has made an impact around the country. Respected at the state's highest levels, she has been an Indiana State Teachers Association board member and committee chair. Indiana Gov. Evan Bayh appointed her to serve as a commissioner on the Teacher Education Licensing Study Committee. Nationally, Payne has served on the National Education Association's board of directors, chairing numerous committees including the Black Caucus and Minority Affairs Committee.

    Heralded by many for her extraordinary work, Payne was the 1984 Indianapolis Public Schools Teacher of the Year and an Indiana State Teacher of the Year finalist. She has been honored by countless organizations including the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, the Atlanta-based Martin Luther King Institute for Social Change, the Indiana Black Expo and the NAACP. In 1990 she received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Martin University founder and civil rights visionary the Rev. Boniface Hardin.

    • Gerald O. Thompkins, BS'70, MS'77, was born in Harlem but grew up in Indianapolis. He earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science from the Indiana University School of Education, and his Ph.D. from Michigan State University. Thompkins is the recently appointed director of the STEM Research and Education Center for Kent State.

    Formerly the associate dean for student affairs at Wayne State University College of Engineering, Thompkins has a portfolio that includes enrollment management, business development partnerships, cooperative education programs and international student exchange programs. He also directed the Center of Academic Excellence in National Security Intelligence Studies and the Michigan-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. Previously, he was director of engineering programs at Michigan State.

    Thompkins is also a retired commander from the United States Navy, serving throughout the United States, Iceland and Japan. His 22-year naval career began as an intelligence officer and subsequently as a training officer for an Anti-Submarine Warfare Operations Center unit. He was later promoted and served as a commanding officer for the Navy's Law Enforcement and Physical Security Unit in Selfridge, Mich. Commander Thompkins' awards include the Navy Commendation Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award, Recruiting Gold Wreath Award and various unit and service ribbons.

    • James E. Weigand, EdD'64, is an energetic ambassador for education -- science education, international education and continuing education -- and has truly impacted lives all over the world. Earning his doctorate from the School of Education in 1964, Weigand has spent his career as one of Indiana University's greatest advocates, serving as professor in the School of Education, as assistant to three Indiana University presidents and as dean of the School of Continuing Studies. Even in retirement, his contributions to the university continue, serving as special assistant to the Indiana University Foundation president, a role he maintained until 2012.

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  3. We recently visited with several teachers with degrees from the Indiana University School of Education who have been nominated for and won significant teaching awards in the last few years. In this video, you'll hear from 2011 Indiana Teacher of the Year and 2012 Indiana Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching Stacy McCormack; 2012 Indiana Teacher of the Year Melanie Park; Chicago area teachers Danya Greenberg, nominated for a Golden Apple Award in 2012, and Howard Templer, winner of a Golden Apple Award in 2011; and Jamil Odom, runner-up for Indiana Teacher of the Year in 2011. Each of these teachers spoke of things that they have carried forward from their experiences at the School of Education.

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  4. Jamil Odom of Mary Bryan Elementary in Metropolitan School District of Perry Township, who received a Master of Science degree in elementary education from the IU School of Education in Bloomington in 2005, earned the honor as runner up for Indiana state Teacher of the Year for 2011. In this video, Odom speaks about returning to school at the IU School of Education to become a teacher, how he tries to reach his students, and what it is like teaching in a time of great expectations on educators.

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  5. Today’s high school graduates must leave their senior year with a different skill set than in the past and, it follows that high schools should change to meet the new expectations. That’s the basis for a new work by Eric Ban, BS’91, EdD’04 from the IU School of Education and a longtime educational administrator and entrepreneur. Ban has published College Acceleration: Innovating Through the New American Research High School, a book that outlines a vision of a 21st century high school preparing students for college and careers, a vision put into practice by Ban as principal of Crown Point (IN) High School.

    Ban said the basic difference between today’s high schools and those of the past is that schools that might have parsed students into tracks towards careers or higher education no longer have that task: all students are expected to have some exposure to college. “Our expectations have shifted and we’re no longer challenged to sort,” Ban said. “We’re challenged to help all kids experience postsecondary success. To do that, we have to design systems personalized for every kid and help them maximize their talents and work towards their goals.”

    The book is premised on the idea that high schools should better prepare students for postsecondary education by building on innovation and research, much like teaching and research hospitals. Ban said the schools should partner throughout the community to create best practices for each school and each student, allowing for a personalization of education that can fit each student’s growth. “We want to put every kid on a path to success to progress toward their goals,” Ban said.

    Part of the plan is to make sure parents and students get regular transcript updates, have comparative data to track whether a student is progressing in the proper manner—including by comparison to others with similar goals—and making certain the families understand what the assessment data and other feedback is revealing.

    In Crown Point, Ban said his school has put the plan in place by working closely with community partners, including other schools, local industry, and others. “What we’ve done in Northwest Indiana is we’ve had the conversation around ‘what are the job bases, what are the emerging workforce needs of our region and how can we as a collection of high schools in this region respond to that?” Crown Point is a part of the “College Acceleration Network,” a consortium of these partners including the Indiana Department of Education, The Lumina Foundation, and ACT.

    Several education and public policy experts and observers have praised the book. “Ban’s system is driven by performance data without sacrificing important interrelationships among all parties to the educational process,” wrote Morton J. Marcus, former director of the Indiana Business Research Center and faculty emeritus at the IU Kelley School of Business. “Without the strident tone of a revolutionary tome, College Acceleration enlivens the discussion of how to improve education in these difficult times.”

    Ban is completing his work at Crown Point, where he has served as principal since 2008. On July 1, he becomes a member of the faculty at American College of Education and will also take an executive role with Academic Partnerships, an online learning company that he helped found. Ban has earned considerable notoriety for the work he has done at Crown Point. The Indiana Association of School Principals named him District 1 High School Principal of the Year in 2011. The IU School Administration Association based at the IU School of Education also presented him with the 2011 Indiana University Emerging Leader Award.

    Hear more from Ban about College Acceleration in this short video.

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Indiana University School of Education

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