On Wednesday, June 7, 2023, the Indiana State Board of Education (SBOE) approved streamlined K-12 Academic Standards in English/language arts, mathematics, social studies and science and computer science. The adoption of these prioritized standards follows the Indiana Department of Education’s (IDOE’s) statutorily-required work to update standards in key content areas to align with the essential skills and traits necessary for students to be successful after high school graduation.
“Indiana’s Future-Focused Academic Standards represent months of collaboration and feedback from educators and parents about what truly matters for students both today and in the future,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education. “The streamlined academic standards complement our state’s ongoing work to ensure our K-12 system prepares every student with the knowledge and skills, as well as the connections to college and career pathways they need for long-term success, and are just one example of how Indiana is re-envisioning K-12 education.”
Following the enactment of House Enrolled Act 1251 in 2022, IDOE led a comprehensive research effort, concluding in January 2023, to identify the skills and traits needed for students’ lifelong success, including a focus on knowledge and skill development. IDOE engaged a broad range of stakeholders in this work, including representatives from K-12, higher education, parents, industry, military, workforce development and labor organizations. The results of the independent research analysis aligned with the skills and traits of the Indiana Graduates Prepared to Succeed characteristics and guided the streamlining of Indiana’s Academic Standards.
From February to April 2023, IDOE worked alongside educators, families and community members to streamline existing academic standards, in addition to inviting public comment on the updated standards in March.
As next steps, IDOE will provide updated guidance, resources and professional development for educators as they prepare to operationalize these streamlined standards.
IDOE will also work alongside educators on the statutorily-required realignment of Indiana’s Learning Evaluation and Readiness Network (ILEARN) assessment to reflect the updated standards, no later than March 1, 2025. ILEARN is the state’s summative accountability assessment, which measures student achievement and growth according to Indiana Academic Standards for English/language arts (grades three through eight), mathematics (grades three through eight), science (grades four and six) and social studies (grade five).
In addition to the streamlined standards in English/language arts, mathematics, social studies and science and computer science, SBOE also approved:
- New Integrated STEM standards – Aligned with ongoing integrated STEM initiatives, Indiana’s new Integrated STEM Standards are intended to be embedded within instruction across content areas and courses, specifically focused on real-world problem-solving using inquiry-based learning and engineering design practices, which require critical thinking and collaboration skills.
- Health and Wellness, Physical Education and Fine Arts standards – This review was conducted pursuant to Indiana Code (IC) 20-31-3, which requires all standards to be reviewed at least once every six years. Standards for these subject areas were last reviewed in 2017.
- Early Learning standards – Formerly known as Indiana’s Early Learning Foundations, these standards were updated to ensure early learning settings are adequately preparing students for success in kindergarten and beyond and will now be reviewed on a six-year-cycle, similar to the academic standards for grades K-12.
The Indiana Academic Standards are designed to help educators, parents, students and community members understand the necessary knowledge and skills for each grade level, and within each content area domain, to access employment, enrollment or enlistment leading to service post-high school graduation. The standards will meaningfully inform the curriculum adoption decisions of local schools.