Radio: CELL director on education reform

Dr. David Dresslar, executive director of UIndy’s Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning, will be a guest Thursday on No Limits, WFYI-FM 90.1’s weekly public-affairs talk show.


Host John Krull and his panel will discuss what’s in store for Indiana as Mike Pence becomes governor and President Barack Obama begins his second term. Education reform has been high on the national and state political agendas throughout the past four years, and it remains in the spotlight especially in Indiana, where challenger Glenda Ritz defeated incumbent Tony Bennett to become superintendent of public instruction.

The other scheduled guests are Brian Payne, president of the Central Indiana Community Foundation, and former city government official John Krauss, now director of Indiana University’s Public Policy Institute and Center for Urban Policy and the Environment.

The show will air live from 1 to 2 p.m. Thursday and will be archived later on the station’s website.

In the news: History and CELL


Associate Professor of History Edward Frantz was contacted by Deutsche Welle, Germany’s international public broadcasting service, for a few observations on the presidential election. He and senior correspondent Christina Bergmann first spoke during the 2008 campaign, when Frantz participated in a State Department media conference for international journalists. Her latest report is here.

Frantz also penned an essay on this year’s presidential race for the University Press of Florida, publisher of his 2011 book The Door of Hope. Read that piece here.


Elsewhere, David Dresslar, executive director of UIndy’s Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning, discussed the education proposals of gubernatorial candidates Mike Pence and John Gregg with reporter Elle Moxley of State Impact Indiana, the NPR/Indiana Public Broadcasting education news collaborative. Read the story here.

Statewide ed-reform conference Nov. 13-14

More than 500 education, business and community leaders will gather this month in Indianapolis for the state’s premier annual conference on education reform, organized by UIndy’s Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning with support from the Lilly Foundation.

The eighth annual Indiana’s Future conference will take place Nov. 13-14 at the Indiana Convention Center.

Under the theme “Advancing Change Through Action & Accountability,” the event will feature more than 50 sessions on pressing topics in the field, including STEM education, teacher effectiveness, school accountability, international education, workforce development, standards and assessment, and college access and attainment. 

Nationally known keynote speakers will include:

  • Cynthia “Mama J” Johnson, “The POWER to Lead 21st Century Schools”
  • Anthony Muhammad, “Moving the Bus Forward: Creating Healthy Learning Environments for All Students”
  • Jim Warford, “Today’s Students Really Are Wired Differently”

More information is available at

Teacher quality system sees first-year success

With support from CELL, TAP expands to 46 Indiana schools

A teacher effectiveness system launched in 44 Indiana schools last year — and administered by UIndy’s Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning — was linked to higher student test scores and won widespread support from teachers and administrators, according to a new study.

TAP™: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement is one option being explored in response to the new state law requiring every Indiana school to adopt a system of evaluation and performance-based compensation for teachers.

The Indiana Department of Education received $48 million in federal funding for a five-year TAP initiative and selected UIndy’s CELL to administer and support the program. CELL conducts training sessions, organizes site visits and employs a statewide network of coordinators who help schools implement TAP.

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CELL to support education/workforce network

Indiana Education Roundtable partners with UIndy reform center in statewide
effort to align education offerings with regional economic opportunities

Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded $800,000 to the Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning at the University of Indianapolis for a three-year statewide education and workforce initiative.

CELL will partner with the Indiana Education Roundtable to provide staffing and technical support for the proposed establishment of the Indiana Education and Workforce Innovation Network. The network will unite various regional education-business partnerships in eliminating barriers to effective workforce development and pursuing the nationally recognized goal that 60 percent of the workforce will hold college degrees or occupational certificates by 2025.

The network’s specific aim is to better align secondary and postsecondary education systems with specific growth industries and opportunities in each region of the state, using a three-pronged approach that includes developing new models of technical education; strengthening postsecondary math remediation programs; and promoting dual-credit courses that allow high school students to earn transferable college credits in academic and technical subjects.

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CELL leader predicts sweeping school change


Dr. David Dresslar, executive director of UIndy’s Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning, is the subject of an extensive Q&A in this week’s Indianapolis Business Journal.

Dresslar tells staff writer J.K. Wall that financial pressures, changing technology and an explosion of options for families will radically alter the way schools and school corporations do business — in a very short period of time.

“For a long time, education change was fueled by funding increases, and now education change is being fueled by policy changes,” he says. “Increased funding to do more and better education is in our past. Policy with greater accountability and greater expectations is in our future.”

The story begins on Page 3A of IBJ’s Sept. 3-9 issue. Subscribers can read it online here.

CELL is a leader in education reform throughout and beyond the state of Indiana. For more information, visit

In the news: CELL education conference

The opening event at the Indiana’s Future conference was a much-anticipated panel discussion featuring, from left, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett, Cummins Vice President Mark Gerstle, Fort Wayne Community Schools Superintendent Wendy Robinson and Indiana State Teachers Association President Nate Schnellenberger. CELL Executive Director David Dresslar was the moderator.

Education reform has never been a hotter topic, and that’s clear this week from the turnout and media coverage of the annual Indiana’s Future conference organized by UIndy’s Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning.

More than 800 attendees and presenters from 22 states are participating in the event, which began Monday and continues today at the Indiana Convention Center. Among them have been several journalists seeking local and national perspectives on issues including charter schools, school vouchers, teacher evaluation and the legal ramifications of Indiana’s new reform measures.

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CELL education reform conference Nov. 14-15

Teacher evaluation among hot topics at annual Indiana’s Future event

As sweeping new education reform legislation takes hold in Indiana schools, the state’s largest annual conference on the subject takes place Nov. 14 and 15 in Indianapolis.

School choice, teacher quality and other hotly debated issues are on the agenda for the seventh annual Indiana’s Future conference, organized by the University of Indianapolis Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning and presented this year by the Lilly Foundation. The event at the Indiana Convention Center will feature 81 sessions with nearly 140 presenters, including national and local education, policy and business leaders. 

Highlights include an opening panel discussion on Indiana’s reform efforts from 1:15 to 2:45 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14, moderated by CELL Executive Director David Dresslar and featuring Tony Bennett, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction; Nate Schnellenberger, president of the Indiana State Teachers Association; Wendy Robinson, superintendent of Fort Wayne Community Schools; and Mark Gerstle, vice president of community relations for Cummins Inc.

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