Chamber urges tougher K-12 standards

2014-03-09T20:29:00Z 2014-03-10T11:08:08Z Chamber urges tougher K-12 standardsTimes Staff nwitimes.com
March 09, 2014 8:29 pm  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | The Indiana Chamber of Commerce would add three math courses for high school students under academic standards it is proposing for state schools.

The chamber is offering suggestions to elevate Indiana’s standards for students in grades K-12.

Indiana initially adopted standards in 2009, then became one of 45 states across the country to adopt the Common Core State Standards in 2010. Common Core is a set of nationally crafted standards — common across states — on what students should be able to do at each grade level.

The new draft standards are designed to replace the Common Core, which was “paused” last year by state politicians and Indiana's new education leader.

Early this year, the Indiana chamber commissioned a detailed comparison of Indiana’s standards approved in 2010 and previous standards along with those from Massachusetts — which added state-specific adjustments to the Common Core base. It also looked at standards from Virginia and Texas, which did not adopt Common Core State Standards.

Derek Redelman, Indiana chamber vice president of education and workforce development policy, said in a news release, "We never said the current standards were perfect and couldn’t be made better."

The chamber’s top recommendations include:

• Add a reading literature anchor standard and grade level standards that build students’ knowledge and analytic skills of literature.

• Add “calendar time” to the measurement and data strand for kindergarten where this content has traditionally been taught in Indiana. Students would be taught that clocks and calendars are tools that measure time. Children also would learn to use calendar and time language appropriately and identify specific days and dates on a given calendar.

• Add two advanced mathematics courses with comprehensive standards for the courses: precalculus and advanced quantitative reasoning. These course additions would address concerns that have been raised that the draft standards did not include content beyond what is required in current Core 40 requirements, which is not sufficient for students majoring in science, technology, mathematics and engineering fields.

• Add a high school mathematics course on mathematical models and applications to give students additional time to master college and career readiness math standards. The course would ensure students who have struggled with math content in the past have the necessary content and skills before moving into geometry and algebra II.

An executive summary, a detailed listing of all the recommendations and supporting documents are available at www.indianachamber.com/education.

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