Indiana Chamber of Commerce officials have taken a comprehensive look at academic standards in the state and beyond, producing suggestions to help elevate Indiana’s well-regarded standards to an even higher level, said Rebecca Patrick, public relations and government communications vice president.
Early this year, the chamber commissioned a detailed comparison of Indiana’s current standards (approved in 2010) and previous standards, along with those from Massachusetts – which added state-specific adjustments to the Common Core State Standards base – and from two states (Virginia and Texas) that did not adopt Common Core. The new Indiana Department of Education draft standards, released as this analysis was being completed, did not look at the standards from these three states.
“We felt researching what other states were doing was vital to the standards writing process, and if their standards were of high quality, why not draw from that framework,” begins Derek Redelman, Indiana chamber education and work force development policy vice president.
“We never said the current standards were perfect and couldn’t be made better. Like Gov. Mike Pence, legislators, educators and parents, what we want is for Indiana to have among the highest, if not highest, K-12 academic standards in the country.”
Dr. Schauna Findlay, who led the Indiana chamber’s comparison, is senior faculty at the Center for College and Career Readiness and president of the Indiana Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
The majority of the chamber’s top recommendations would be new additions to the K-12 draft standards.
“The goal of these recommendations is to offer primarily alternative content that can be incorporated into the revised draft standards,” Redelman offers. “We hope they will be considered and approved by the State Board of Education before Indiana’s new draft standards are finalized.
“Some of these recommendations reflect good compromise on the most debated aspects of our current standards – particularly in the math arena. An example is our suggested return of the standard algorithm at the grade levels in which it appeared in Indiana’s standards prior to 2010. This is proposed in the IDOE’s draft standards for third grade but not in fourth grade. We believe it should be in both.”