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Indiana academic standards draft released

Final version ‘substantially different’ from last round

– The third and final draft of newly proposed Indiana Math and English/Language Arts academic standards were released Tuesday.

Two votes are upcoming on whether to approve the standards; the first is Monday by the Indiana Education Roundtable. The second is April 28 by the Indiana Board of Education.

After the second draft was posted, the state received more than 2,000 public comments and conducted three public hearings, in addition to receiving feedback from 10 national evaluators.

As a result, the final draft is a “pretty substantially different document,” said Claire Fiddian-Green, co-director of the Center for Education and Career Innovation.

That agency has been working alongside the Department of Education to craft new standards.

Fiddian-Green said there has been no analysis yet on how much different the third draft is from the second. And she said there has been no analysis on how much of the final draft mirrors the controversial Common Core standards the state is abandoning.

“We are focusing on the outcomes,” she said.

There was a lot of criticism after the second draft was made public that many of the math and English standards were Common Core with slight tweaks.

“Every Hoosier also should be grateful to the more than 100 teachers from across the state who participated in the drafting process. They, along with experts in higher education and business, spent more than 6,000 hours to develop standards that will be both unique to Indiana and will prepare our students for success in college and the workplace,” Gov. Mike Pence said in a statement.

He said he looks forward to review by the Education Roundtable – which he co-chairs – and the State Board of Education.

“Because of the hard work of our educators and parents, Indiana is leading the way on state academic standards that will challenge our students, guide our teachers, and give parents the confidence that our Indiana standards reflect the high expectations Hoosiers have for all our schools,” Pence said.

An estimate on costs that schools will bear with the new standards is expected next week. School districts create their own lesson plans based on the standards.

The new standards process has involved Indiana experts and educators across the state, with a goal of identifying the standards most closely aligned with the skills Hoosier students need for success in college and career.

Those involved chose specific standards from versions used by the state in recent years or identified as high quality, including Common Core.

The standards are posted online at in.gov/sboe/2505.htm. Public comments, national evaluator reports and supportive fact sheets can also be found online.

New standards must be in place by July 1.

“We’ve been told significant changes have been made to address some of the common themes expressed by all parties regarding the initial draft. Specifically, the Indiana Chamber will be looking for improvements to the continuity in the math section and the volume of standards added to the English/language arts portion – most notably in the reading and literature area,” said Kevin Brinegar, Indiana chamber president and CEO.

The chamber will review the standards before offering specific comments on the revisions.

“We are cautiously optimistic that the standards ultimately decided on by the state board will meet the mark,” he said.

nkelly@jg.net

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