Indiana has established a strong foundation for improving student achievement. The state’s common sense approach includes:
- Clear and challenging K-12 academic standards in English/language arts, mathematics, science and social studies. Developed by Indiana educators, business and community leaders and parents, and benchmarked to ensure they are as rigorous as any in the country, Indiana’s academic standards spell out what students are expected to know and be able to do as they advance through school. Ranked among the very best in the country, these standards help schools and communities ensure that students learn the skills and knowledge they need to pursue their future interests successfully.1
- Statewide assessments that measure whether students are meeting the standards. The Indiana Statewide Test of Educational Progress (ISTEP+) measures student performance annually grade 3 through 10 in reading, writing, and mathematics, with science and social studies to be added.
- Accountability for what really matters: student learning. Schools are expected to continue to improve, and students are expected to show they can meet the standards as they move grade-to-grade and before they graduate. Indiana law provided the framework for the state’s rigorous, but fair, system of holding schools accountable for student learning and providing rewards, sanctions and assistance accordingly.
Next Steps to Improve Student Achievement:
- Ensure that Indiana’s academic standards, assessments, and accountability system remain among the best in the nation through scheduled review and national benchmarking.
- Align K-12 curriculum, instruction, and high school requirements with college and workforce expectations and clearly communicate these expectations to students, parents, and educators.
- Provide teachers with tools to more frequently measure student progress toward meeting Indiana’s standards.
- Link and report data electronically across P-16 systems to inform the systems in ways that improve student achievement, by enabling:
- Teachers to challenge all students to achieve at high levels and to identify and address learning gaps.
- Educators to identify and share promising practices in teaching.
- School leaders to assess the performance of their school in terms of later success of its students.
- Postsecondary leaders and faculty to assess the performance of their institution in terms of later success of its students, including their effectiveness in preparing teachers and school leaders.
- Policymakers to assess system-wide performance in order to find paths for improvement.
- Parents to access student, K-12 school, and higher education data allowing them to be active partners in improving learning.
- Implement an accountability system and public report card for the state’s higher education sector and for state-supported workforce training programs.