State board shelves diploma graduation upgrade

The Indiana State Board of Education has approved the growth table to be used as part of the state’s new A-F grading formula during its monthly business meeting in Indianapolis.
 “Indiana’s new A-F accountability system will now recognize more than just the number of students who pass statewide exams,” said Sarah O’Brien, vice chairwoman of the State Board of Education.
“This new system will also acknowledge teachers and schools that help grow students academically from year-to-year and award bonus points for students who grow more than one year in their school work.”
 The board voted unanimously to give preliminary approval to growth table number 24. It will now be available for public comment for 30 days. Comments can be sent to sboe_comment@sboe.in.gov. The table will return to the Board for final approval during the April Board meeting.
 The board also voted unanimously, State Superintendent Ritz abstained, to indefinitely pause efforts to raise the requirements for Indiana’s General, Core 40, and Core 40 with Honors high school diplomas.
The board noted the percentage of Indiana high school graduates requiring remediation in college has dropped by 13 percent between 2011 and 2014.
Board members also highlighted that students in the Class of 2016 will be the first to graduate under the State’s new College and Career Ready academic standards and the requirement that a student earn 6 credits in math and enroll in math all four years during high school.
“Hoosier teachers and schools are doing great work helping prepare students for success in college and a career,” said Dr. Vince Bertram, president/CEO of Project Lead the Way and state board member.
“The board will continue monitoring data on this issue, but should wait to take the serious step of increasing the requirements for an Indiana high school diploma until we receive information from students graduating in the next few years under our new more rigorous standards.”
 In other action, the board approved making $12,500,000 available to public schools in construction loans and $12,500,000 for technology improvement loans in 2016 from the Common School Fund.