Board of Ed OKs High School Graduation 'Pathways'

Posted: Updated:
INDIANAPOLIS -

By a 7-4 vote, the Indiana State Board of Education has approved new high school graduation pathways. The board took several hours of testimony Wednesday from dozens of stakeholders who mostly asked the 11-member body to vote no. The pathways are designed to give students "tailored" options for a diploma that doesn't necessarily involve passing standardized tests, but allow students to gain in-demand skills. It is part of a larger effort by state lawmakers and officials to better align education outcomes with needs of the work force.

Most of those who testified Wednesday opposed the plan and asked for the board to delay the vote while the effects of implementation were reassessed and more input was gathered from K-12 educators. Board Vice-Chair and Southern Wells Elementary School Principal Cari Whicker joined board members Maryanne McMahon, who is an assistant superintendent with Avon Community School Corp., Steve Yager, who previously served as superintendent for Northwest Allen County Schools and Southwest Allen County Schools and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick, former Yorktown Community Schools superintendent, in voting against the proposal.

"I look at the unintended consequences of too little time, or too little reflection, or too little discussion, or too little details, and the harm that could come to the very students that we seek to benefit," Whicker said just before the final vote. "In the six years I've been on the board, I think of how very rarely this many people come together in agreement from across the state. And when I look at the superintendents and principals and teachers who are the experts in the field asking us for the respect for the extra time -- and asking us to fill in the blanks -- they deserve that."

Board Member Vince Bertram, who serves as chief executive officer of Indianapolis-based STEM-focused education pathway advocacy nonprofit Project Lead The Way Inc., voted in favor of the measure so it wouldn't be sent back to state lawmakers. "I would rather us take control of it right now and deal with it then have it mandated by the Indiana General Assembly," he said. "It's not perfect, but I also think its going to be very important for us to come together on the implementation of it around flexibility and take full advantage of the opportunities in front of us. Because, I agree. If there's no action, there will likely be action, and it might not be as favorable as we could create it on our own."

In statements issued by the SBOE following the approval, a group of executives from Ball State University, Indiana University, Purdue University and the University of Southern Indiana said "in sum, we support the graduation pathway recommendations. They increase the rigor and expectations for our Indiana high school students. We conversely also recognize that implementation of these standards will be critical moving forward."

McCormick issued a statement after the vote that read: "although disappointed in the vote, I'm extremely proud of our K-12 colleagues. They continue to be tireless advocates for our children and have remained student focused throughout this process. It is clear our Indiana educators are committed to being part of a solution to workforce and higher education concerns. The Department will continue working with our legislators, concentrating on successful implementation of the Graduation Pathways, and collaborating with all those who work on behalf of our students on a daily basis."

The General Assembly charged the SBOE with creating a subcommittee to craft the pathways, which were then discussed and approved by the board. The board says it gathered input from hundreds of stakeholders over the past year. The approval means the new structure will be set in motion for incoming freshman statewide in 2019.

You can connect to more about the approved pathway framework by clicking here.

  • Perspectives

    • Indiana's Workforce is Mission: Critical

      Indiana is ranked the #10 Best Place to Do Business, #4 for Quality of Life, #1 for Regulatory Environment and #2 for Software Job Growth. Indianapolis is ranked #3 for Tech Jobs for Women. We have four of the top 25 Best Places to live in America, with my hometown of Fishers topping the list. Yet, in spite of these amazing rankings, we have some serious challenges to overcome within our economic development ecosystem, not the least of which is skilling up a workforce to meet demand.

    More

Subscribe

Name:
Company Name:
Email:
Confirm Email:
HTML
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections
INPower
Subscribe
Unsubscribe

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • 'Best Places' in Indiana Reaches Record

      The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has released the 2018 list of Best Places to Work in Indiana. A record 125 companies are being honored this year and more than 50 are first-timers or returning after a year or more off the list. Employers in over two dozen communities are represented and the chamber will unveil the rankings of the Best Places honorees during a May 3 awards dinner at the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis.

    • Cook Details Major Realignment

      The president of Bloomington-based Cook Medical says changes to the company's organizational structure will drive more rapid technology innovation and continued growth. Cook is restructuring from 10 business units to two divisions, a move that will impact sales, marketing, research and development, and customer service teams. It will also establishing new distribution channel management and medical education teams. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Pete Yonkman said...

    • Mira Award Nominees Cover Tech's Wide Spectrum

      More than 100 nominees have been announced for Techpoint's 2018 Mira Awards. More than 200 applications for individuals, companies and organizations -- a record total -- were submitted in categories including New Startup of the Year, Innovation of the Year and Rising Star. Inside INdiana Business creator and host Gerry Dick is a nominee in the Community Champion of the Year category.

    • Indiana's Workforce is Mission: Critical

      Indiana is ranked the #10 Best Place to Do Business, #4 for Quality of Life, #1 for Regulatory Environment and #2 for Software Job Growth. Indianapolis is ranked #3 for Tech Jobs for Women. We have four of the top 25 Best Places to live in America, with my hometown of Fishers topping the list. Yet, in spite of these amazing rankings, we have some serious challenges to overcome within our economic development ecosystem, not the least of which is skilling up a workforce to meet demand.

    • Mall GM: Big Renovations Reflect Commitment, Demo Shift

      The general manager of Circle Centre Mall says the largest in the nearly 25-year history of the downtown Indianapolis shopping destination will help deliver an "experience that people can't duplicate elsewhere." Audrie Thompson says the renovations demonstrate the commitment of managing partner Simon Property Group Inc. (NYSE: SPG) and stakeholders to maintaining what she calls the "best address downtown." Work is slated to begin in the spring and will take...