Changes to Graduation Requirements Imminent

ISTEP will soon change into ILEARN, per House Enrolled Act 1003 which was signed into law this spring. However, an important part of the legislation is often overlooked. There will soon be changes to graduation requirements; instead of having end-of-course assessments be counted as the graduation exam, graduation pathways will be determined by the State Board of Education (SBOE). These options could include:

  • passing end-of-course assessments;
  • SAT or ACT scores;
  • Armed Services Vocational Aptitude exams;
  • industry-recognized credential; or
  • earning of advanced placement, international baccalaureate or dual credits.

Obviously, employer input is key to ensuring that these graduation pathways have currency for students/future employees. Governor Holcomb has appointed the Chamber’s Caryl Auslander, vice president of education and workforce development, to sit on the Graduation Pathways Panel along with representation from the SBOE, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Commission for Higher Education, Department of Workforce Development and chairs of the House and Senate education committees.

This panel will meet in late summer/early fall; we will keep you updated on the process.

Indiana Chamber-Ball State Study: Student Performance Suffers in Smaller Districts

School corporation size has a direct impact on student achievement. And more than half of Indiana school corporations are too small to produce the most effective outcomes, according to research commissioned by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Foundation and conducted by the Ball State University Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER).

Numerous earlier studies, both nationally and by CBER, found that school corporations with fewer than 2,000 students are not able to operate at optimal efficiency to maximize resources going into the classroom. This new study – School Corporation Size & Student Performance: Evidence from Indiana – (full report and Appendix available at www.indianachamber.com/education) also documents significantly poorer academic performance, on average, for students from these smaller corporations. Comprehensive analysis and modeling reveals the following improved outcomes if school corporations contain between 2,000 and 2,999 students:

  • SAT test scores (+20.5 points)
  • Advanced Placement (AP) pass rates (+14.9%)
  • Eighth-grade ISTEP scores (+5%)
  • Algebra and biology end of course assessment (ECA) pass rates (+4%)

“This is not about closing buildings or eliminating schools,” says Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar. “It’s about reducing per-pupil administrative costs to put more money into classrooms, increasing pay for deserving teachers, making more STEM classes available and, most importantly, helping ensure the best possible student outcomes.

“That will drive per capita income and is especially critical for smaller communities,” he continues. “Greater student achievement is the biggest thing we can do for rural economic development and those local residents.”

In 2014, 154 of Indiana’s 289 school corporations had total enrollments of less than 2,000 students. Eighty-five of those corporations experienced enrollment declines of 100 or more students between 2006 and 2014.

Only 21 of Indiana’s 92 counties have a single school corporation. Twenty-two counties have three corporations, 19 have two corporations and 13 have four corporations. The most corporations in a single county are 16 in Lake County and 11 in Marion County.

“With today’s fierce competition for talent, too many young people in our state are suffering due to inadequate preparation for postsecondary education or the workforce,” Brinegar adds. “The data show smaller corporations are getting smaller. In many instances, it’s already too difficult for them to overcome the challenges of limited resources.”

Ball State researchers took into account demographic and socioeconomic factors. For example, the average SAT score of 949.5 in the smallest corporations (between 240 and 999 students) compares to a 989.8 average in corporations with between 2,000 and 2,999 students. Even when economic differences between corporations are factored in, that 40-point raw gap remains at more than 20.5 points.

AP course offerings are one indicator of preparation for higher education, with higher-level math and science courses often a pre-requisite for pursuing STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) majors. Corporations with fewer than 1,000 students offered an average of 2.69 AP courses with enrollment of 8.53 students in 2015. That compares to 5.95 offerings and 22.26 students for corporations with between 2,000 and 2,999 students and even more courses and student participants in larger school districts.

The research reveals “94% of Indiana’s small school corporations (fewer than 2,000 students) are contiguous with another small corporation.”

North Central Parke Community School Corp. was created in 2013 by the merger of the Rockville and Turkey Run school districts. Parke County continues to lose population and district enrollment for the most recent school year was only 1,200. In April, the school board voted to combine (within two years) into one high school and one middle school.

“It’s hard to operate a comprehensive academic program” with so few students, district superintendent Tom Rohr said at the time of the most recent vote. “That’s really … a driving force. Our teachers have gotten behind this. They are saying, ‘Let’s do what is best for kids.’”

Thoughts on Sen. Luke Kenley’s Pending Retirement

Earlier this summer, Sen. Luke Kenley (R-Noblesville) announced his plans to retire from the Indiana Senate on September 30 after a quarter century representing constituents in Hamilton County.

Kenley is the longtime chair of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, which is responsible for that chamber’s budget-writing proposal.

Governor Eric Holcomb said of the news: “Few understand the intricacies of Indiana’s finances like Luke Kenley. He has been an essential state-budget architect for years and years, and he is widely respected for both his expertise and his no-nonsense approach to lawmaking. Even though he is moving on to the next chapter in his life, many will continue to seek his counsel – including me. So, even though he won’t be in the Senate Chamber come January, and he’ll have a little more time to spend at his ranch in Texas, he will continue to contribute to our state’s success in countless ways.”

Indiana Chamber President Kevin Brinegar, himself a Noblesville resident and constituent of Kenley’s, offered these remarks:

“We were sorry to learn that Sen. Kenley has chosen not to serve his full term; it is undoubtedly a loss for Senate Republicans and the collective body. Senator Kenley brought his vast experience as a lawyer, judge and small business owner to his service and has been an outstanding and model public servant.

“He has been a strong conservative force on fiscal policy matters and that has served our state very well. Senator Kenley has also proven to be an attentive legislator and during his tenure was involved in virtually every important piece of policy and legislation to move Indiana forward and enhance our prosperity.

“It’s been my pleasure and honor to work with him over these many years. I’m proud to call Luke Kenley my friend and wish him the best in his retirement.”

On a related note, Sen. Ryan Mishler (R-Bremen) was appointed in mid-July to take over chairmanship of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

IODD Now Accepting Applications for Defense Industry Adjustment Grant Program

The Indiana Office of Defense Development (IODD) is now accepting applications for the Indiana Defense Industry Adjustment grant program. An IODD release has more:

This grant program, funded by the U.S.Department of Defense (DOD) Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA), assists small and mid-sized companies reduce their dependency on DOD procurement activity by helping them to diversify into new markets. By diversifying their revenue streams, potential cuts or changes in federal defense spending will have less detrimental impact on Indiana-based contractors. The grant helps companies withstand reductions, allowing them to increase economic activity and create jobs in the State of Indiana.

“This is a great opportunity for defense firms in Indiana to diversify their revenue streams and strengthen their business as a whole,” said Brandi Hughes, IODD Director of Operations .

Companies are eligible for up to $50,000 of consulting services in the following four areas: strategic planning, strategic communications, lean product development, and quality certifications. There are no cost requirements for participating companies other than time. Companies must meet the following four requirements to apply:(1) have been in operation in Indiana for a minimum of one year prior to application; (2) have at least one full-time employee; (3) be a defense contractor or subcontractor to a defense contractor; and (4) have experienced a loss of revenue due to reduced DoD expenditures.

IODD has engaged kglobal, a strategic communications firm with extensive OEA grant experience in three other states, to spearhead consulting and diversification efforts under the grant program. kglobal is working in collaboration with several other service providers, four of which are Indiana-based companies; Simon Everett, Indiana Strategic Research Group, Maple Hill Engineering, Mary Romeo and Associates, and QAI.

To inquire about the program, contact Randy DeCleene, kglobal Partner, at randy.decleene@kglobal.com or 202-295-7931.

Indiana Chamber Key to Opening Door for 5G in Indiana

AT&T Indiana President Bill Soards spoke to Inside INdiana Business about the 5G Evolution. Soards has been an integral part of the Indiana Chamber’s Technology & Innovation Council.

You likely saw the big news from AT&T last week touting 5G service coming to central Indiana. What you might not know is that the Indiana Chamber played a significant role in making that important advancement possible.

“Improving digital infrastructure has always been a top priority for the Indiana Chamber,” says Bill Soards, president of AT&T Indiana. “The Chamber’s new Technology and Innovation Council has helped elevate the growing significance of 5G and other emerging technologies in Indiana and played a critical role this year in helping pass Senate Bill 213.”

This legislation clears the way for a shift in Indiana’s mobile broadband connectivity to the next generation of technology and will enable a more rapid rollout in communities across the state. We lobbied hard for Senate Bill 213 in the Indiana General Assembly and will continue to push for important policies that advance innovation, technology and entrepreneurship in Indiana.

The Indiana Chamber achieves victories like this by bringing a wide spectrum of voices and perspectives to our elected representatives. You can help our state go further and do it faster by becoming a member of the Indiana Chamber or increasing your investment if you are already on board. Additionally, please consider taking part in our grassroots efforts to educate state leaders about important public policy issues that impact your organization.

Chamber Unveils Podcast: EchoChamber is Now Live!

EchoChamber is a new informal discussion with Indiana leaders in business, education, technology, politics and much more. We’ll begin with the following three outstanding guests in as many weeks before reverting to a biweekly format:

  • Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of the Lumina Foundation and one of the foremost minds in the world on education and workforce policy and initiatives
  • Lee Hamilton, an 17-term U.S. representative who remains a thoughtful voice on state, national and global issues
  • Graham Richard, the innovative one-time Fort Wayne mayor who is now guiding efforts at a national organization called Advanced Energy Economy

Subscribe at iTunes, GooglePlay or wherever you get your podcasts to be notified about the latest interview.

IHS to Honor 70 Years of Indianapolis Southside Harley-Davidson with New Exhibition

George and Ann Schulteti enjoy a fine day for a Harley ride. (Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Southside Harley-Davidson)

The Indiana Historical Society’s (IHS’s) newest exhibition gives guests a chance to celebrate history – and Harleys. The exhibition, “The Harley Shop: Seventy Years of Indianapolis Southside Harley-Davidson,” runs July 22 – Sept. 9 at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center in downtown Indianapolis. An IHS release has more:

The Harley Shop features artifacts, collectables, photographs and vintage motorcycles as it showcases this iconic American treasure through the lens of a Hoosier family who has been in the business for almost a century.

When George Schulteti began working for Harley-Davidson Motor Company in 1922, his first job was to sweep the floors of the factory’s service department. Later, he worked in research and development. Schulteti was also one of the company’s test riders. During World War II, he took inventory of all the Harley-Davidson motorcycles in military service and rode more than 50,000 miles per year.

While Schulteti enjoyed his work at the factory, he wanted to become a dealer. Schulteti and a partner bought the Indianapolis dealership in 1947, and he and his wife, Ann, moved from Wisconsin. She was the office manager and worked the parts counter. The couple lived above the dealership at 701 S. Meridian St. Ten years later, Schulteti bought his partner’s share of the business. The family welcomed customers to that location for the next 51 years.

By the time the dealership moved in 1998 to its current location, 4930 Southport Crossing Place, the number of employees had risen from 17 to 32. Future plans include raising a fifth generation of the Schulteti family to carry on the tradition.

“I get great pleasure sharing each day with family and watching them grow and carry on a family tradition,” says Bob Schulteti, George Schulteti’s son and second generation owner of Indianapolis Southside Harley-Davidson. “We feel honored to be recognized by the Indiana Historical Society and given the opportunity to display some of our family history.”

Guests can visit The Harley Shop during the History Center’s regular operating hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Admission includes parking, which is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Harley Shop is presented by Indianapolis Southside Harley-Davidson. For more information about the dealership, visit www.southsideharley.com.

For more information about the exhibition or other IHS offerings, call 232-1882 or visit www.indianahistory.org.

ProTrans Awarded 3PL of the Year at Automotive Global Awards North America

(left to right) Sam Ogle, editor of Automotive Purchasing & Supply Chain Magazine, John Woods, executive vice president of sales for ProTrans, and Peter Wooding, CEO of Three6Zero.

Indianapolis-based ProTrans was selected as 3PL of the Year (an award for third party logistics companies) at the Automotive Global Awards North America 2017, held in April during the Automotive Leaders’ Summit in New Orleans. ProTrans reports:

“These awards reflect the enthusiasm for development and innovation across the whole industry. Encouraging and developing individuals through creativity of ideas, through adaptation and flexibility, through planning and pioneering new ways, through new thoughts and new ideas,” said Peter Wooding, CEO of Three6Zero who organized the awards.

“We are very proud to receive such a prestigious award within the industry. From the tiered suppliers to the OEM manufacturers, ProTrans continues our commitment to meeting the automotive industries’ challenges and delivering technological and cost-effective innovations.” said Shawn Masters, Chief Commercial Officer for ProTrans.

Masters further commented “Over the last year, to meet the specific business needs of our customers, ProTrans has enhanced its proprietary TMS platform, Optimiz, has committed to a new state of the art business intelligence platform and has expanded its North American footprint in strategic areas within North America. Again, thank you to Three6Zero, to our customers and to our employees for helping ProTrans win this exceptional award.”