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RBB Schools Explore Testing Alternatives


The Richland-Bean Blossom School Corporation will use funds provided by the state to explore alternatives to the Acuity formative test it currently gives to students in grades three through ten. The test attempts to identify students who need remediation in math and English. This is the first time the Indiana Department of Education will allow school corporations across the state to choose the assessment tests they give students.

The Department appropriated a total of twelve million dollars for each of the next two academic years for school systems to use on formative tests. The Richland-Bean Blossom School Corporation received $17.45 per student in funding for the tests.

Assistant Superintendent Jason Bletzinger says the School Corporation hopes to find tests aligned with the curriculum and standards they use, as well as State standards.

“The bottom line is we want to have assessments that really just gel with our instruction,” Bletzinger said. “It’s going to be part of our instruction. We can assess students, find out where they’re at and then identify where a student’s at, which students need remediation, which students need the enrichments.”

The school corporation plans to release more information on its plans in August.

Monroe County Energy Mobile Promotes Conservation


The Monroe County Energy Mobile spent this past weekend in the Sycamore Knolls neighborhood. Bloomington Commission on Sustainability member Molly O’Donnell made the announcement last week just prior to the visit.

“We’ve designed signs that can go from one area to another…just saying ‘Energy Mobile Coming to You Soon,’” O’Donnell said at a Commission meeting. “If we go to houses…and nobody’s home, we have another flyer and on the back there are tips on how to save energy.”

The Energy Mobile is a Toyota Prius that the local consortium of governments and private organizations uses to promote energy conservation in the community. The effort is part of the Georgetown University Energy Prize contest.

Communities participating in the contest are evaluated on efforts to decrease community energy usage. The Prius is used by the City’s Utilities Department as a visual component of the effort. The visits are used to demonstrate ways for residents to conserve energy through various strategies. The prize is five-million dollars, which is to be used to invest in local energy conservation projects. Finalists and winners of the contest are to be announced during the first half of 2017.

Indiana’s Child Well-Being Rank Drops

Indiana’s ranking for child well-being has dropped over the past year, according to this year’s Kids Count databook released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. But Indiana’s new rank is not necessarily the result of worsening conditions in Indiana. According to the report, other states like Missouri and New York have improved over the past year, leaving Indiana behind. Hoosier students have actually improved in math and reading, two elements the organization uses to make the ranking. Also, the performance gap between Caucasian and Hispanic students has shrunk noticeably.

But while Indiana’s child education has improved, the report notes further improvement is still needed. More than half of Hoosier eighth graders scored below proficient in math and more than half of Hoosier fourth graders scored below proficient in reading. Although the report seems largely bleak there are signs that should give hope for future improvement. The percentage of babies born with low birth weight is now below the national average. Fewer children lack health insurance and fewer minors are abusing drugs and alcohol, according to the report.

Ins and Outs of Money – Growing Your Money Through Investing


When you hear “investment,” you might think “risky.” Richard Shockley of IU’s Kelley School of Business reveals the secret of growing your money in the market simply and without the risk of get-rich-overnight investing schemes.

Eight Bloomington Residents Awarded Grants From Indiana Arts Commission


Each year the Indiana Arts Commission awards grants to further the careers of budding artists around the state. Of the thirty-seven grant recipients this year, eight were from Bloomington, including one piano player getting ready to launch a festival this August. Correspondent Jordan Guskey brings us that story for today’s WFHB community report.

Interchange – Drones at Liberty: Part Two


Part 2 of Drones at Liberty: Our conversation continues to explore the meaning of drones–drones as instruments of war and policing, drones in the public imaginary, drones as extensions of state and/or human will–all topics under examination at the recent IU Symposium on Drone Warfare.

All technologies are transgressive.

It seems to me that normalization is the issue. Spying technologies have been around for a long time and yet there surely was a “peeping Tom” (men!) stigma as well as a respect for privacy–plus, who cares what normal life someone else was leading–ah, but prurience cultivated over the decades has increasingly led us to acknowledge that life is boring, yet hope that some folks perhaps are not boring, or that spying as a transgression is not boring BECAUSE it’s a transgression not for what is revealed through spying. Our television shows and movies normalize torture and spying and now the piloting of UAVs across the thousands of miles.

I would go so far as to argue that acceptable use inevitably paves the way for the transgression, and that the transgression is the fullest expression of the technology.

But, as many presenters made plain, the policing and terror apparatus is already firmly in place, and UAVs are an “in-kind” application that will further the constant machine surveillance and control of humanity.

With apologies to Emily Dickinson:

I heard a DRONE buzz – when I died –
The Stillness in the Room
Was like the Stillness in the Air –

and then it was
There interposed a DRONE –

With Blue – uncertain stumbling Buzz –
Between the light – and me –
And then the Windows failed – and then
I could not see to see –

Ishan Ashutosh, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at Indiana University, is a critical human geographer whose work encompasses the study of migration, the politics of race and ethnicity from an international and comparative perspective, and urban studies. His research examines the multiple and contested representations of South Asia through projects situated in migration and area studies.

Chris Miles is a PhD student in the Department of Communication and Culture at Indiana University. His work focuses on the intellectual, political, and material relationships between capitalism, media technologies, and nature. In particular, he studies informatic media and digital technology integrated into or pattered on biology and biological processes.

The Flaming Lips, “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1″
The Police, “Bombs Away”
The Flaming Lips, “Do You Realize??”
The Flaming Lips, “All We Have Is Now”

41 men targeted but 1,147 people killed

Interchange – Drones At Liberty: Part One
Interchange – Terror Skies: The Drone as Judge and Jury
Interchange – Colin Allen: Thinking About Thinking Machines

Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Board and Music Engineer: Jonathan Richardson
Executive Producer: Joe Crawford

Daily Local News – July 21, 2015


Indiana is sitting on $2.1 billion in cash reserves as the 2015 budget year draws to a close; The legal balance between First Amendment rights and local government ordinances was on display last week at a Bloomington Board of Public Works meeting; The budget for the Monroe County Public Library is expected to grow slightly next year; Horror movies have provided thrills for decades now, but do video games provide the same rush of adrenaline for players?

Each year the Indiana Arts Commission awards grants to further the careers of budding artists around the state. Of the thirty-seven grant recipients this year, eight were from Bloomington, including one piano player getting ready to launch a festival this August. Correspondent Jordan Guskey brings us that story for today’s WFHB community report.

When you hear “investment,” you might think “risky.” Richard Shockley of IU’s Kelley School of Business reveals the secret of growing your money in the market simply and without the risk of get-rich-overnight investing schemes.

Anchors: Casey Kuhn, Chris Martin
Today’s headlines were written by Jerrod Dill and Ivy Bridges
Along with David Murphy for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Jordan Guskey
The Ins and Outs of Money is produced by Ryan Stacy and edited by Dan Withered, in partnership with the Monroe County Public Library and The United Way of Monroe County.
Our engineers are Jen Brooks and Joe Crawford
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Executive Producer is Joe Crawford.

Bring It On! – July 20, 2015


Liz Mitchell and Leila Randle welcome Terry James.

On tonight’s show, Liz and Leila welcome Terry James. Mr. James joins us to provide an update on family activities in the African American settled community of Jamestown, of which he is a descendant of Ervin James, the founder of the settlement. He also provides his observations on the recent series of events in South Carolina.

Headline news and local calendar events of interest to the African-American community.

Hosts: Liz Mitchell and Leila Randle
Bring It On! is produced by Clarence Boone
Executive Producer is Joe Crawford
Our News Editor is Michael Nowlin
Our Board Engineer is Chris Martin

Brown County Hour – Episode #40: July 2015


Hosted by Dave Seastrom, Vera Grubbs, Rick Fettig and Jeff Foster.

First aired Sunday, July 5, 2015 at 9 AM on WFHB.

☆ In this episode of the Brown County Hour:

  • Musical guests: Lucky & The Kid (aka Picker Dan Bilger and Barry Elkins)
  • Vera Grubbs interviews artist Darren Redman
  • Pam Raider interviews Keith Bradway of the Writers, Readers and Poets Society (WRAPS)

    Lucky and The Kid
    (l-r: Barry Elkins and Picker Dan Bilger)

  • Jeff Tryon’s My Brown County: The Last House In Brown County”
  • Singer/songwriter Cari Ray returns with another “For a Song”
  • BCH “poet lariat” Gunther Flumm returns with his latest poem, Possum Oil
  • Essays by Dave Seastrom and Rick Fettig
  • Brown County Community Calendar for July 2015
✇ Theme music by Slats Klug & Friends.

IU Receives Grant to Study Possible Autism Link


IU has received a $900,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study a possible link between autism and body temperature. The study will be conducted by Jeffrey Alberts and Chris Harshaw of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.

The researchers will examine the effect of body temperature on mice with genetic disorders that mimic the symptoms of autism. Anecdotally, parents of children with autism have reported that fevers tend to lessen their behavioral symptoms. A 2007 study published in the Journal of Pediatrics confirmed some of those observations, but the nature of that association is still unclear.  Alberts and Harshaw are hoping to take a detailed look at that connection under laboratory conditions.

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