The State Board of Education is scheduled to adopt Indiana College and Career Ready (CCR) standards at a special meeting on April 28. These standards represent critical knowledge and skills Hoosier students most need to be successful in college or in a specific career pathway they choose upon graduating from high school.
Academic standards comprise the foundation of teaching and learning. From these standards, Indiana will develop a new statewide assessment and local school districts will align or adopt textbooks and other instructional materials to best prepare our children for a future where innovation and creativity results in individual and collective prosperity. In December 2013, the State Board of Education resolved to create a comprehensive and transparent process that involved highly qualified and well-respected Indiana K-12 classroom teachers and university subject matter experts from our institutions of higher learning, as well as parents and concerned citizens who understand the importance of having well-constructed math and English/language arts academic standards.
Over the last several months, the State Board of Education has received thousands of public comments, several hours of public testimony, and even sought the wise counsel of several independent math and English/language arts experts from within Indiana and across the nation. Panels of Hoosier subject matter experts and business leaders are now certifying our own Indiana College & Career Ready Standards. When finished, Indiana will achieve Gov. Pence’s call for “uncommonly high” standards that are rigorous, clear, free of bias, and do not prescribe specific teaching methods.
The academic standards evaluation and adoption process directed by the State Board of Education and supported by the governor is a model for the rest of our nation. It respects Indiana’s right to evaluate and affirm its own academic standards, while ensuring that Indiana remains competitive nationally through the adoption of standards that will best prepare our children to be successful in life.
Dr. Brad Oliver is State Board of Education member, 6th Congressional District, Muncie.