Indiana lawmakers considering changes to HS graduation requirements


INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana lawmakers are considering making changes to K-12 school curriculum requirements.

House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) recently told reporters the goal is to better prepare students for today’s workforce.

“How do we do more applied courses, whether we do personal finance courses, mathematical requirements, coding courses, science requirements,” Huston said.

Officials at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce say many employers have been struggling to find skilled candidates for open jobs.

“The availability and quality of workers has been a real challenge,” said Jason Bearce, vice president of education and workforce for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

Some schools have added programs in recent years to help meet those needs.

“We hear about welding and how we’re short on welders for manufacturing, and recently our career center has expanded those opportunities,” said Patrick Spray, superintendent at Clark-Pleasant Community Schools.

Republican lawmakers say workforce development is a big priority this session, and they want to expand upon those efforts by changing some K-12 curriculum and graduation requirements.

“Not only thinking about the students themselves, but thinking about the preparation for what’s next in the economy, what’s going to be hot,” said State Sen. Jeff Raatz (R-Richmond), who chairs the Senate Education committee.

Raatz said he and other lawmakers are reviewing the current curriculum requirements and trying to find ways to potentially add new ones, especially in areas like financial literacy and computer science.

“Making sure that we are on the edge in technology for students exiting K-12 and helping them prepare even more for higher ed,” Raatz said.

But State Sen. Fady Qaddoura (D-Indianapolis) said he is skeptical about the idea.

“We need to be sure that we are investing in the critical thinking abilities of our students and not just preparing students to succeed at a test or only succeed just to get a job,” Qaddoura said.

Spray said he hopes to see an emphasis on early literacy and foundational math skills to keep children from falling behind as they get older.

“I think sometimes it’s not adding to, but it’s making sure we put the focus on the right things,” Spray said.

Lawmakers are still in the process of drafting legislation ahead of the start of the new legislative session in January.

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Comments / 55


bring back shop & home ec, start teaching health better (add in teaching about mental health), bring in a basic life skills course for helping w everyday things people encounter, start helping the kids who are bullied & making bullies attend special classes to learn how to be nicer people (seriously, bullies r learning it's ok to b jerks & becoming the ppl n the world no one wants to deal w but have 2 cuz their inflated egos become dangerous), resources for kids who need help at home but can't let parents know. there's a lot we need to do, we need to get started like 10 years ago.

Dilly Pickles

lets see what would help students, hmm. Teaching some critical thinking, bringing back home economics and shop courses. Bringing in more agriculture classes and horticulture classes again. Maybe getting back to basics. Want to know another thing that would help out our students a lot? Not shutting their schools down for fake covid BS. Homeschooling doesn't sound too bad at this point either. I don't want to depend on any government for much of anything at this point.

Yeetus the Fetus

Qaddoura is correct. Our focus, first and foremost, should be on raising well educated kids capable of critical thinking. Churning out worker bees sounds like a dystopian nightmare. Society doesn't need drones - we need adaptable people capable of figuring things out for themselves.


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