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Understanding & Adjusting to Indiana Academic Standards

Written by: Keep Indiana Learning

June 2, 2023

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) is currently evaluating Indiana academic standards in an effort to reduce the number of standards Indiana K-12 students are required to learn by 25%. These standards drive the content students are taught and tested on—having a direct impact on their future. As a result of HEA 1251 the “IDOE conducted a research study to define essential postsecondary skills needed to promote future success in employment, enrollment, and enlistment leading to service and will use these findings to inform the standards reduction and prioritization process.” The ultimate goal of this evaluation is to streamline and clarify the content teachers must cover within an academic year—ensuring students are equipped with the essential skills they need to excel. By June 2023, the IDOE will present the new list of standards to the Indiana State Board of Education, anticipating the launch in the 2023-2024 school year, as well as revamped assessments by 2025-2026.

Understanding Indiana Academic Standards

Below are frequently asked questions that have been answered by IDOE Chief Academic Officer Dr. Charity Flores in an informative letter sent to superintendents and principals in October 2022. Please note this information is subject to change throughout the legislative process. To access all the latest information on Indiana’s academic standards, please visit the IDOE website and sign up for their weekly newsletter.

How are the essential standards identified?

“IDOE’s stakeholder committees will use research findings regarding postsecondary skills for the future to recommend standard reductions and identify no more than 33% as ‘essential.’”

When will the new standards be adopted?

Pursuant to IC 20-31-3-1(c-d), IDOE must present recommended standards reductions and essential prioritizations for grades kindergarten through 12 by June 1, 2023, to the Indiana State Board of Education for review and approval prior to adoption.

What implications do the standards reductions have on statewide assessments?

According to the information released in October 2022, “IDOE will redesign ILEARN assessments to reflect the approved reductions and prioritizations at each tested grade level and content area. These redesigned assessments will measure the reduced standards on the timelines reflected below:

  • High School: 2024-2025 school year
  • Grades 3-8: 2025-2026 school year

Essentially, the ILEARN assessment will not change for all schools until Spring 2026. This allows time to prepare and alter the curriculum to match the new standards. The I AM assessment will also be realigned to measure the reduced Content Connectors for all grade levels beginning with the 2025-2026 school year.

How to participate in public comment

The window to provide public comment online for this 2023 evaluation is currently closed, and the finalized results are pending. If you would like to share any input, you can directly reach out to your state representative, the education chair representative, or the senator. The State Board of Education will hold its next monthly business meeting on Wednesday, June 7th, 2023 at 9:00 A.M. EDT. Conference Room B at the Indiana Government Center South. It may be viewed here. Additionally, public comment may be submitted to SBOE_Comment@sboe.in.gov. It’s important to note that IDOE values the voices of educators as they develop the standards by providing public comment. Participating in public comment allows you to provide feedback on multiple standards. Through this process, you can compare the new prioritized standards to the former prioritized standards, check if any standards have been removed or reduced, and provide commentary on those changes.

Keep Up, Keep Learning! Know How to Grow with the Changing Standards

At Keep Indiana Learning, we believe in teachers, their students, and their ability to learn and adapt. Our team is here to support teachers in navigating their work to increase efficacy in both learning and teaching. Although there is limited capacity for what can be taught under the Indiana academic standards, there is leeway to teach in the most impactful ways for students. Therefore, it’s up to the teachers and their schools to provide opportunities to continue learning about the best pedagogical moves for their students. Regardless of the changes in Indiana’s academic standards, Keep Indiana Learning believes in quality instruction to provide students with the best education possible. We are here to be your guide through it all to help you find the best path as a teacher. That’s why we offer professional learning opportunities covering a variety of focus areas. Keep Indiana Learning supports educators around the clock. We frequently update our Home Grown Blog covering hot topics for educators, and power three different podcasts that serve school leaders, educators, and thought leaders. For live events, check out our events page to see upcoming professional learning and development opportunities. For more flexible professional learning, we offer an OnDemand video library for extra skill training as well as DIY Personal Development Guides that you can complete at any time, from anywhere. Additionally, you can access our Big Math Ideas documents which teach instructors a mathematician’s approach to the Indiana Academic Standards—covering math curriculum from Kindergarten through Algebra 2. Please note that as the Indiana academic standards change, the Big Math Ideas will be revamped and better than ever. Additionally, more learning progressions will be available to help teachers continue to increase their mathematics content knowledge.

An Anticipated Timeline of the Indiana Academic Standards Shift

The 2023-2024 school year is the time to learn the new academic standards, note how they have changed, and understand what is expected of teachers. As the year progresses, teachers will create a system for documenting observations of what standards are missing and how that will impact student learning of all required concepts. According to a presentation done at Title Con earlier this year, a new ILEARN test will be piloted in the 2024-2025 school year and all schools will participate in the new design in the 2025-2026 school year. The 2024-2025 school year will tend to the vertical articulation of the new academic standards, how they impact curriculum maps and adopted resources, and prepare teachers for full implementation during the 2025-2026 school year.



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  • Keep Indiana Learning

    Keep Indiana Learning was created to support educators by sharing resources and best practices in online and continuous learning activities for individual educators, schools and districts looking to design or refine remote learning plans.

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