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

    • Tax Planning: Now’s the Time to Tackle It!

      Year-end is still months away, but smart investors have already begun their tax planning. Spending time analyzing your capital-gain situation could benefit you come next April 15th, no matter what investment vehicles you use - individual securities, mutual funds, exchange traded funds, or others. Here's how…

    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

    • Wesemann Hall at the Valparaiso University Law School (photo courtesy Tony V. Martin/The Times of Northwest Indiana)

      Valpo School of Law Transfer Denied

      A proposal to transfer Valparaiso University's law school to another university has been shot down. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission has denied the transfer to Middle Tennessee State University, which would have led to the creation of a College of Law at the school. 

    • Harris Corp. employs nearly 500 at its Fort Wayne facility.

      Planned Defense Mega-Merger Involves Fort Wayne Operation

      A defense industry contractor with a presence in Fort Wayne has announced a merger agreement. Florida-based Harris Corp. (NYSE: HRS) and L3 Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LLL) in New York say the combination will create the sixth-largest defense company in the country. In early-2015, Harris completed the $4.75 billion acquisition of Exelis, a long-time manufacturer of military radio technology in Fort Wayne. Shortly after the acquisition, Harris consolidated...

    • Henkel Corporation Acquires Muncie-Based Company

      Muncie-based Magna-Tech Manufacturing has been acquired by Henkel Corporation. Henkel is the U.S. subsidiary of Henkel AG &Co. KGaA in Germany.
    • Daniels Envisions Purdue, Region as 'Cooler Place'

      Purdue University President Mitch Daniels says a more than $1 billion live, work, play development on the West Lafayette campus will be a magnet for attracting and keeping top talent in the region. The Discovery Park District is part of a 30-year vision to transform the west side of the Purdue campus and create a "preeminent environment" for educational, economic, cultural and community activities in the region.

    • More Indiana Sears, Kmart Stores to be Cut

      Multiple Sears and Kmart stores throughout Indiana will be victims of the latest round of closures prompted by the parent company's bankruptcy filing. Illinois-based Sears Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: SHLD) says a total of 142 locations will be shuttered as part of efforts to return to longterm profitability and competitiveness. Liquidation sales are slated to begin soon and the stores are expected to close by the end of the year. In its most recent earnings report, the company announced...