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Gov. Pence Promises To Shorten ISTEP+ Assessment

by David Murphy Governor Mike Pence has signed an executive order to shorten the length of the 2015 ISTEP+, which is scheduled to be administered in March.

The order is Pence’s response to the uproar that followed last week’s announcement that this year’s tests would take more than twice as much time for students to take as they did last year.The average time is up from around 5 hours to around 12 hours.

Pence’s proposal would only take effect after the appointment of a so-called assessment expert and a presentation of the ensuing report to the State Board of Education and the Department of Education. Today, Pence’s office announced that he had named Edward Roeber, a private sector testing consultant, to carry out his wishes.

This flap over I-STEP+ is only the latest in a long line of problems and complaints the test has caused since its inception. Since teacher pay and promotion is increasingly based on the performance of students on the tests, many say there is increased pressure to ‘teach-to-the-test.’

Some teachers now prefer teaching in schools and districts where higher socio-economic conditions tend to boost test scores. At the other end of the spectrum, poorer schools and districts, which produce lower test results, are put on track for eventual privatization. The most recent estimate is that the state department of education paid outside firms and consultants $31 million for the tests.

At the local level, the Monroe County Community School Corporation had to add five days to the school calendar year just to administer the test when it was originally introduced. On top of that administrative cost is the supplemental time and cost of test preparation, pre-testing, and test processing.

Last year, the test practice time was about an hour. This year it has grown to six hours.

Other problems have arisen in the actual application of the tests, including computer glitches during tests, errors in score calculation, and even the fudging of results, the most notorious being when former state superintendent of education, Tony Bennett, was caught raising the score of a charter school run by a big GOP donor. ISTEP + testing begins next month in Monroe County and across the state.

Activate! – Broadview: Mary Hawkins


MCCSC Adult Education volunteer Mary Hawkins talks about working with ESL students at Broadview Learning Center. Also, volunteer opportunities from the City of Bloomington Volunteer Network.

MCCSC Adult Education Broadview Learning Center
ESL Tutor at Broadview Learning Center
Bloomington Worldwide Friendship Host
Lotus Education and Arts Foundation

Daily Local News – February 9, 2015

The Monroe County Commissioners approved a measure on Friday that signals the beginning of a southern bypass around Bloomington; The city of Bloomington has cancelled its controversial plan to kill deer in the Griffy Lake Nature Preserve; The Indiana House of Representatives is expected to vote today to approve a bill that would strip power from Glenda Ritz, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction; The IU Cinema has announced that French filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet will no longer be able to lecture as part of the Jorgensen Spring Lecture Series.

Family members of a missing Bloomfield woman are using social media to track down more information about her disappearance. Meanwhile, state police say they are still working on several leads. We have that story for today ‘s WFHB community report.

MCCSC Adult Education volunteer Mary Hawkins talks about working with ESL students at Broadview Learning Center. Also, volunteer opportunities from the City of Bloomington Volunteer Network.

Anchors: Taylor Telford & Doug Storm
Today’s headlines were written by David Murphy and Joe Crawford
Along with Alycin Bektesh for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Sarah Panfil
Activate! is produced by Jennifer Whitaker, along with the City of Bloomington Volunteer Network
Our engineer is Chris Martin,
Our theme music is provided by the Impossible Shapes.
Managing Producer is Alycin Bektesh
Executive producer is Joe Crawford.

Family members reach out through social media for missing Bloomfield teen


10934129_972269949467505_7970005201726946982_o[1]Family members of a missing Bloomfield woman are using social media to track down more information about her disappearance. Meanwhile, state police say they are still working on several leads. We have that story for today ‘s WFHB community report.


Bring It On! – February 9, 2015


Clarence Boone and Leila Randle welcome Mike Diekhoff.

On tonight’s show, Clarence and Leila welcome Bloomington Police Chief Mike Diekhoff. He joins us to share his perspectives on how the BPD is making Bloomington a safe place to live, work and thrive.

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

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

Books Unbound – “Benito Cereno” by Herman Melville, Part Three


“Benito Cereno” is based on the memoir of the real-life Captain Amasa Delano, who during his voyages in 1805 came upon a Spanish merchant-ship in distress. Melville preserves the main elements of the story—the ship is manned by a skeleton crew of Spaniards under the haggard and enigmatic captain Benito Cereno, and carries Africans for the slave trade—but provokes interpretation by altering some historical facts. He sets the story in 1799, and renames the ship San Dominick. In this and other details, Melville evokes the Haitian Revolution of 1791–1804 in the French colony of Saint-Domingue.

Haiti is the only republic founded as the result of a slave revolt. But white Americans, despite their own revolution only a couple of decades earlier, sided against black Haitians fighting for freedom, and feared that slave revolts would spread throughout the Caribbean and into the slavery-based southern United States. Melville’s story captures this unease.

In the third of a four-part program, Captain Delano finally discovers the true nature of the enclosed society on board the San Dominick. The painstaking interiority of the first half of the story switches abruptly to violent action.

This episode features guest Maisha Wester, an associate professor at Indiana University and author of African American Gothic: Screams from Shadowed Places. Wester discusses the Haitian Revolution as background to Melville’s story, and Babo as a figuration of the white inability to “read” the black slave.

The episode was produced by Doug Storm and Cynthia Wolfe with Sarah Torbeck, and written by Cynthia Wolfe with Doug Storm, who is the reader and interviewer. Special music comes from River of Light by Richard Danielpour, as recorded by Tim Fain and Pei-Yao Wang.

Announcer: Berklea Going
Host: Sarah Torbeck
Theme music: The Impossible Shapes

bloomingOUT – February 5, 2015


Tonight, hosts Jeff Poling and Ryne Shadday discuss America’s view of the gender spectrum and sexuality as a whole, as well as some ways we can continue to cut down on the amount of homeless LGBT youth in the community. Host Jeff Jewel interviewed guest Laura Ingram of Prism Youth. If you would like more information about Prism Youth, you may email Laura at prismyouthcommunity@gmail.com or visit them on Facebook at Prism Youth Community – Bloomington. We also heard a weekly segment of Out on Campus, discussing the relationship between being LGBT and being religious with Arielle Soussan. Our other weekly segment, First Year Out featured Nick Tumino talking with friend, Brice, about finding a community, in Bloomington and elsewhere, social media norms, dating on social media, and self-confidence issues stemming from social media. The bloomingOUT team would like to give special thanks to our guest Laura Ingram.

Hosts Ryne Shadday, Jeff Poling, Jeff Jewel
Executive Producer Joe Crawford
Producer Olivia Davidson
Script Coordinator Hayley Bass
Board Engineer Carissa Barrett

Voices in the Street – “Backing or Attacking the Anti Vaxxing Movement”


The anti-vaccination movement has been in the news a lot lately, with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie drawing fire for stating parents should have a measure of choice when it comes to deciding whether or not to vaccinate their children. Voices in the Street hit the street to ask your friends and neighbors what they think about the movement, whether you feel vaccinations contribute to higher rates of autism in children, a parent’s right to choose and what are some of the ramifications of this movement.

Bloomington is at gold standard for community biking


Bloomington’s status as a bicycle-friendly community has been elevated to gold-level by the League of American Bicyclists. Vince Caristo, the city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, spoke to the City Council last night.
Caristo says this places Bloomington in the top 25 cities to accommodate for bicycle enthusiast. He is also very proud of Bloomington’s promotion in the award from 4 years prior.
Bloomington has seen an 88% increase in bicycle facilities overall according to Caristo.

Caristo said that the honor was due in large part to the Council’s own initiatives, which have changed Bloomington’s infrastructure in ways that have increased ridership in Bloomington.

Caristo said the city’s painted bike lanes and a free, updated bike map have made bike-riding more accessible. He also highlighted the civil streets education campaign’s multiple transportation partners. Caristo said that the percent of bike commuters have quadrupled since 2013

The percentage of bike commuters is determined using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Council member Steve Volan asked how close Bloomington is to receiving the highest possible designation for bike friendliness.
Bloomington council members still says we have awhile before Bloomington can receive a platinum bicycle rating, considering it took them four years to receive a gold since their last award.

Council member Marty Spechler asked if the city was considering a bike rental program, which he had enjoyed as a tourist in other cities. Caristo said that is has been discussed in the past and will also be on the agenda for the next meeting of the bicycle pedestrian safety commission. That meeting is Monday February 9th.

Alyce Miller: Granting Legal Rights to Non-Human Animals


In today’s Ecoreport feature, Alyce Miller talks about the movement to grant legal rights to non-human animals.

EcoReport is a weekly program providing independent media coverage of environmental and ecological issues with a focus on local, state and regional people, issues, and events in order to foster open discussion of human relationships with nature and the Earth and to encourage you to take personal responsibility for the world in which we live. Each program features timely eco-related headline news, a feature interview or event recording, and a calendar of events of interest to the environmentally conscious.

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