Chamber President Brinegar Comments on ISTEP Scores

Indiana Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Kevin Brinegar comments on the state’s ISTEP scores:

The decline in English and math test scores is expected as a result of the significant enhancements to the college and career ready standards. In fact, Indiana’s scores were either on par or higher than other states which have recently gone through this process of moving to more rigorous tests.

“The good news is these needed changes ultimately will better prepare Indiana students for the workforce and sets a baseline so educators can pinpoint where improvements need to be made.

“We applaud both students and teachers for their strong efforts, and look forward to seeing the growth in student learning and college and career readiness in the coming years.

Franklin, Shakespeare Said What?

Peek into the windows of my home (that sounds kind of creepy) on a Sunday afternoon and you can find me reading Shakespeare. Out loud. By myself. (Is that weird?) For me, that’s the best way to truly “get into” the plays and experience the prose.

It’s always fascinated me how many common expressions originated or are contained in Shakespeare’s works. The same can be said for Benjamin Franklin. Talk about a jack of all trades! He invented the odometer, the lightning rod and bifocals, just to name a few.

Here are some of my favorite sayings penned (or uttered) by these famous wordsmiths:


  • Neither a borrower nor a lender be.
  • All the world’s a stage.
  • Sweets to the sweet.
  • The world’s mine oyster.
  • To thine own self be true.
  • Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.


  • A penny saved is a penny earned.
  • A place for everything, everything in its place.
  • Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.
  • The doors of wisdom are never shut.
  • Remember that time is money.
  • He that rises late must trot all day.

Hope you enjoyed this little “history lesson.” As Shakespeare said, “Parting is such sweet sorrow!”

Ivy Tech President Tom Snyder Discusses Your Tax Money at Work

For Tom Snyder’s Economic Club of Indiana speech Tuesday, it was largely a story of numbers (along with some video clips of Ivy Tech graduates telling their personal success stories).

Before going into the details of Ivy Tech’s growth, Snyder shared one statistic that affects all Indiana taxpayers – you are paying half of Ivy Tech students’ tuition. For that reason, Hoosiers need to know what’s happening with the community college, Snyder notes.

The school has seen an enrollment increase of more than 40,000 students since 2008. No longer can high school students decide between college and a high-paying factory job. Employers are calling for everyone to have some postsecondary education – whether it’s a four-year or two-year degree, Snyder states.

He offered this profile of the Ivy Tech student body:

  • Average age is 27
  • 25% are single mothers
  • 60% receive financial aid
  • 10,000 students are on food stamps
  • 25% transfer to a four-year school
  • 25,000 are enrolled at the Indianapolis campus (that’s more students than at Ball State University, Snyder asserts.)

Noting the high number of students who need remediation in math and English, Snyder turned to the audience to prove his point. Through an interactive demonstration, audience members took a five-question quiz based on math placement tests.

The audience used small remote control buzzers to answer questions such as: What is the smallest prime number? (Answer: 2) On most questions, about 60% or less answered correctly.

Snyder reminded the audience that while half of the tuition at Ivy Tech is covered by taxpayers, all of it is covered at the K-12 level. He shared his five steps to success in educating Indiana:

  1. Children are prepared for kindergarten
  2. Third grade students are reading at third grade level
  3. Students decide to go to college while in the eighth grade
  4. Students take math during their senior year of high school (helping prevent the need for remediation)
  5. Graduates continue on to earn a post K-12 credentials

Snyder concludes education is a shared responsibility; everyone is an educator.

After all, you’re footing the bill.

Language Training Center Can Help Your Workforce Learn English

If you’d like to diversify your knowledge base in these tough times or help your colleagues or staff improve their English skills, the Language Training Center in Indianapolis is offering a series of new classes. Here’s the info:

Our ESL instruction is characterized by its dynamic, energetic style. Customized language training at LTC will give you the skills to speak, listen, read and write in English. Utilizing highly trained language instructors, LTC’s functional approach focuses on learning in an environment that is both challenging and productive. Let the experts at Language Training Center help you with the complexities of language learning.

• January 27th-March 31st 
• Offered Tuesdays
• 10-11:30 a.m. or 6-7:30 p.m.
• Costs $295
• Build your vocabulary and idioms
• Deepen your understanding of American culture
• Acquire effective listening and speaking skills
• Improve pronunciation

If you’re learning a new language, all I can say is I hope you’re better at it than I am in French. I took four years of it in school, but the only phrases I can really say translate to "Where is the bathroom?" and "Do you like Bob Saget, too?"

Anyway, check out their web site and give the Language Training Center a shot. Contact them at (317) 578-4577. We’ve been proud to call them an Indiana Chamber member since 2001 and they’ve been a great asset in educating Indiana’s workforce.