Posted: Monday, August 18, 2014 6:00 am | Updated: 6:20 am, Mon Aug 18, 2014.

By Chelsea Rood-Emmick Guest columnist

This guest column was written by Chelsea Rood-Emmick, executive director of civic engagement at Ivy Tech Bloomington.

Recently, several articles have been published in The Herald-Times regarding Fairview Elementary School and the challenges it faces.  

“District’s demographics add to challenges facing Fairview” reports that 90 percent of Fairview students receive free or reduced lunch, and children in the bottom 20 percent of income are a year behind those in the top 25 percent. However, home lives are not the sole factor behind poor student achievement. Schools in low-income areas are more likely to lack funding for up-to-date labs, computers, shiny facilities, innovative programming, and the best teachers. Low-income and minority students are also more likely to be victims of low expectations.

Across Indiana, there are whole schools that are failing: 112 schools in Indiana received an F score in 2013 from the Indiana Department of Education.

When students fall behind in K-12, they are set up for an enormous disadvantage when they enter higher education. When students graduate high school and cannot begin college level work, they are relegated to remediation courses at the community college, paying for courses they received for free in high school, prolonging their time in the education pipeline, and increasing their chances for attrition. In 2011, 62 percent of Indiana high school graduates entering Ivy Tech-Bloomington required some form of remediation.

One-third of these students needed both math and English remediation. The more that can be done to keep students from falling behind at the K-12 level, particularly in elementary schools, the better prepared for college our students will become.

Ivy Tech-Bloomington will be hosting two community forums as part of National Issues Forums series developed by the Kettering Foundation. These forums will be 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10 and 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 12 and are open to the all those concerned about advancing achievement in the K-12 system.

The moderated and guided discussion will probe for ideas that can be implemented by Ivy Tech, by schools, by community agencies, and by state and local officials.

Free childcare will be provided for children ages 5 and older, but parents must register their children for childcare as spaces are limited.

To reserve a space for your child, please call 812-330-4400.


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About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.