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Learning Curve

  • An F for transparency
    “Look at this shiny thing over here!” – Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma, Oct. 14, 2014.

Mystery of the missing data

Figures released by Indiana school districts after last Friday's enrollment count day sent me searching the Department of Ed website for student transfer reports. Before its data redesign, it was possible to look at a school or district and find out where its students were transferring from and to. I didn't expect to find information from this fall's enrollment, but it would illustrate the point that students transfer.

In an administration that hails school choice and champions competition as a key to school improvement, it seems like such a report would be particularly helpful. Are students transferring from one particular school to a nearby charter school? Are they leaving one charter school for another charter school? Is one public school drawing large numbers of students from another?

But the department apparently has no interest in that information. When I asked where I could find the data, DOE's Alex Damron replied that the department no longer compiles the reports. I'm still waiting on an explanation of why that's the case.

Karen Francisco, editorial page editor for The Journal Gazette, has been an Indiana journalist since 1981. She writes frequently about education for The Journal Gazette opinion pages and here, where she looks at the business, politics and science of learning as it relates to northeast Indiana, the state and the nation. She can be reached at 260-461-8206 or by e-mail at