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Top Public Schools Could Receive Freedom In Scheduling

Last updated on Wednesday, March 20, 2013

(STATEHOUSE) - Indiana’s top-performing school districts could gain some of the regulatory freedom of charter schools.

The Senate has already passed a bill excusing top schools from the 180-day school calendar and other requirements.

Schools would still have to provide the same amount of instructional time, but could experiment with different calendar configurations, as long as 85-percent of their students passed either the math or English ISTEP exam and graduation exam. Districts could also ignore regulations on career education, curriculum, and student performance standards, though they'd still have to administer ISTEP.

About 20 districts currently qualify.

Retiring Carmel-Clay Superintendent Jeff Swenson says he's wanted to do more with dual high school and college credit, such as a college-style Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule for students in their final semester to get a head start on college classes at Carmel High School.

The House Education Committee likely won't vote until next week, but members from both parties not only appear supportive, but wondered aloud why all schools shouldn't be granted similar flexibility.

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