Academic standards changing in Indiana schools

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Academic standards are changing in Indiana schools and with those changes, come some challenges.  Those new education standards come into play as early as the fall.

It comes after a long review, taking into consideration thousands of hours of discussion between more than 150 educators in Indiana, along with higher education experts and members of the business community.

According to the authors of the new standards, they also took into consideration more than 2,000 public comments. The new standards are shorter and clearer than the old ones, but they have higher expectations for students.  They spell out what students are expected to learn in every grade K through 12.

The standards focus on math, English, reading and writing, but they will effect other classes using those skills, like science, for instance.

A parent will probably have a difficult time seeing the differences between the current and new standards. Although students will be learning the same skills, these new standards make them put those skills to work.

Danielle Shockey is with the state's Department of Education: "A big part of this process that has never happened in the past is having the college and career panel look at this from an after 12 perspective, meaning looking backwards from 12 to 1st grade to say that our students graduate at this skill set, are they going to enter into the workforce or college classroom prepared, so I would say as a parent that's important and to realize at this grade level what they need to know and what they learned in second grade before it and fourth grade after it."

These new academic standards face two tests before they are finalized. First, an Education Roundtable including Governor Mike Pence, education officials, business leaders and teachers will vote Monday.  After that, the State Board of Education has until July to approve them in order to meet a 2013 legislative mandate to either adopt or replace the national Common Core standards.

The intend of these new standards is to make better prepared for college or careers.  If approved, they take effect next school year.