The IDOE gave an example of how the proposed academic standards differ from the Common Core. In math, the Common Core reflects algebra 1, parts of algebra II and geometry. By contrast, Indiana’s new academic standards would include math components for students who choose to take trigonometry, finite math, probability and statistics, pre-calculus and calculus.
Students will again take the ISTEP in 2015. Work is underway on a new assessment aligned with the new academic standards, with the goal to have an updated test approved for 2016.
Ritz said it’s time to move away from the pass/fail measure of the ISTEP and begin monitoring students’ individual progress.
“What we need to have is an assessment to show us where our kids are performing,” she said. “We have no way of the data following the child in Indiana. [Students] fall through the cracks when they go from place to place to place. We should pull up their information, know where their reading level is, know what their math is and get busy.”
The standards are posted online at www.in.gov/sboe/2505.htm. Public comments, national evaluator reports and supportive fact sheets also can be found online.
Ritz also discussed literacy, early learning and career and technical education with members of the Rotary Club. She fielded questions about the state’s preschool pilot, teacher evaluations and how parents can be involved in school turnaround.
She then took a tour of Peru High School, starting with the Peru Community Schools Art Gallery. School administrators also showed Ritz the library, career development center and several classrooms.
“I wanted her to see how proud we are of our kids at Peru,” said Superintendent Chuck Brimbury. “Superintendent Ritz coming up to see first-hand what’s going on at Peru High School is a big boost to morale.”