Rise & Shine: State officials don’t know why some teacher exams have passing rates as low as 18 percent

GRADUATION RATES: New federal rules will remove the general diploma from counting toward the graduation rate. Now, educators are facing the conflict between preparing all students for the increasing demands of college and careers and making sure struggling students have opportunities after graduation.

STATE DOLLARS: As Chalkbeat reported last year, more than 99 percent of Hoosier students who received vouchers attended religious schools, in part because hardly any secular schools participate. At least one new school is joining the club: The International School’s high school will accept vouchers this year.

FAILING TEACHER TESTS: Indiana still doesn’t know why many new teachers are repeatedly failing the CORE licensing exam. State officials began looking into it six months ago after WTHR reported that CORE exams have pass rates as low as 18 percent. Indiana has issued hundreds of emergency licenses to prevent young teachers from abandoning the state, which has suffered from teacher shortages for years. Read more from WTHR.

EXCEL CENTER EXPANDS: A school for high school drop-outs is coming to Hammond, Indiana. This Excel Center charter school, run by Goodwill Industries, will be one of eleven in the state. Read more about Excel Centers in the NWI Times and Chalkbeat.

MINDFUL MOMENTS: A Beech Grove school is combining discipline with social and emotional learning to help students who have anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Central Elementary now has a “mindful moment room,” where teachers can send students to calm down and talk to a counselor. Read more in WISH. Find out about a Washington Township school that’s trying a similar approach in the Chalkbeat archives.