— Indiana teachers and students starting the new school year will have to
quickly get up to speed on the state's new academic standards, drafted
only months ago to replace the national Common Core standards.
the new standards in April after becoming the first state in the nation to
pull out of Common Core. Some conservatives and Tea Party members had
argued that Common Core standards cede too much power to the federal
Department of Education held 19 summer training sessions on the standards
and produced teacher resource guides to help them adjust to the change,
said Lou Ann Baker, spokeswoman for the Center for Education and Career
consultant Schauna Findlay Relue, who was one of the experts who evaluated
Indiana's new standards, said teachers and students will face a fast
turnaround to teach and learn this year, including preparing for a new
statewide student-assessment test.
"We don't even
have samples for a new test that will be given in the spring. It will be a
short turnaround window for what students have to do and how they will
have to demonstrate what they've learned," Relue told The Times of
State Board of
Education member Andrea Neal, who cast the lone vote against the new
standards, said the Indiana Department of Education has issued guidance to
schools for implementation during this school year.
Neal said the new
standards are similar to Common Core, so it may not be too difficult for
most teachers. The new assessment test given in spring 2015 will be
aligned with those standards.
schools Superintendent Youssef Yomtoob said he has reviewed Indiana's
standards and that they are not vastly different from Common Core.
"It is good to
have a standard that everyone agrees is the right thing and I hope they
are the highest and if they are, then we are responsible for teaching
them," Yomtoob said.
president and CEO of Indianapolis-based GEO Foundation that operates 21st
Century Charter School, called this one of the most frustrating times in
Indiana's history as concerns curriculum and testing.
"We are providing
a great deal of professional development in improving rigor and
higher-level thinking in the standards and focusing on improving reading
and comprehension as well as writing. This will help no matter what
standards and testing are put in place," he said.