ROCHESTER, Indiana (December 12, 2006) - Governor Mitch Daniels today announced the award of sixteen $50,000 planning grants to help high schools better prepare students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
"Prosperity tomorrow depends largely on the science and math proficiency of today's students, and we've got a long way to go," said Daniels. "Redesigning Indiana high schools for excellence in science and technology is the single best step we can take to raise the income of future generations of Hoosiers."
The high school redesign grants were made possible by the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Indiana Secondary Market for Education Loans (ISM).
"We are pleased to support the work of these communities and institutions as they focus on student preparation for success in higher education, for employment in the Hoosier economy and as citizens of our state," said Steve Clinton, president of ISM.
Four grants were awarded to school districts to support planning for the New Tech High School model:
- Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation
- Metropolitan School District of Decatur Township (Marion County)
- Monroe County Community School Corporation
- Rochester Community School Corporation
This model utilizes a technology-rich environment and project-focused learning in addition to core curriculum content. In a survey of recent New Tech graduates, 89 percent went on to higher education; over 90 percent applied their new tech learning and experience in later education and work; and 40 percent were majoring in STEM subjects or working in STEM professions.
"We are pleased that these communities and high schools are ready to pursue the New Tech High model and results for students in Indiana," said Bob Pearlman, director of strategic planning for the New Technology Foundation. "We look forward to working with them to bring New Tech High Schools from concept to reality."
Ten grants were awarded to districts and charter schools to create early college model high schools that prepare students for post-secondary success in STEM study and work:
- Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation, partnering with Ivy Tech and Vincennes University
- Center Grove High School in Johnson County, partnering with Franklin College
- Connersville High School in Fayette County, partnering with Ivy Tech
- Metropolitan School District of Decatur Township in Marion County, partnering with Ivy Tech, Vincennes University and the University of Indianapolis
- Franklin Community School Corporation, partnering with Franklin College
- Herron High School in Marion County, partnering with Marian College
- Lawrence Early College High School for Science and Technologies, a charter school partnership of the Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township and Ivy Tech
- Monroe County Community School Corporation, partnering with Ivy Tech
- Richmond Community School Corporation, partnering with Ivy Tech-Richmond and Indiana University-East
- Charles A. Tindley Accelerated High School in Marion County, partnering with Anderson University
Early college high schools offer students the opportunity to take a curriculum in their junior and senior years that includes courses offered by institutions of higher education, helping them make gains on their post-secondary education.
"This benefits the students, who accelerate their learning; their high schools, who provide a rich mix of career-related learning opportunities of interest to the students; and the economies of our regions and the state, which receive a rising set of citizens ready for the opportunities of the 21st century economy," said Rod Rich, Ivy Tech's executive director of K-12 Initiatives.
Two grants were awarded to institutions of higher education in southwest Indiana to partner with neighboring school districts to move their high school designs toward more STEM-focused preparation:
- The University of Southern Indiana
- Vincennes University
Recipients of the planning grants pursued them by responding to a series of conferences presented by the Indiana Department of Education (DOE) and the Center for Excellence in Leadership of Learning (CELL) at the University of Indianapolis. Their schools and school communities engaged in planning with CELL and the Governor's Office that explored models and demonstrated a STEM-preparing focus; an evaluation process to choose and commit to the model each community chose; a confirmation that the model worked financially for the school post-transition; and, in the case of New Tech High, a commitment to the parameters and processes used in that model. The funds are to be used for design and preparation to implement new small high school environments that incorporate the model.
Lynn Lupold, high school redesign coordinator at the DOE, said, "It is gratifying to see resources helping high schools working with their communities to provide stronger STEM preparation opportunities and guidance for their students."