Board Also Advances Updates to Special Education Licensure
Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Deputy Director of Communications
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana State Board of Education (SBOE) today approved a resolution affirming the state’s new Indiana Graduates Prepared to Succeed (Indiana GPS) school performance dashboard characteristics. In addition, the SBOE also advanced updates to licensure for special education in Indiana, including establishing the requirements for transition to teaching programs in special education.
“By recognizing that our students are so much more than just a single data point, the Indiana GPS characteristics and dashboard provide an opportunity to re-envision how we’re strategically measuring school performance and, most importantly, helps us focus our work across all grades on preparing our students for what’s next,” said Dr. Katie Jenner, Indiana Secretary of Education. “Regardless of whether a student’s plans after high school involve enrollment, employment or enlistment leading to service, it’s important that every student is building the knowledge and skills necessary throughout K-12 to pursue future success.”
Indiana Graduates Prepared to Succeed (Indiana GPS)
Following public engagement with stakeholders across the state, the SBOE determined a student’s ability to display these five characteristics, which best indicate a student’s preparation for success after high school, will comprise the framework for the Indiana GPS dashboard:
- Academic mastery;
- Career and postsecondary readiness: credentials and experiences;
- Communication and collaboration;
- Work ethic; and
- Civic, financial, and digital literacy.
This resolution follows the passage of House Enrolled Act 1514 during the 2021 legislative session, which directs the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) and the SBOE to develop a school performance dashboard that promotes transparency and multiple student measures, including longitudinal measures.
The board approved these five key characteristics, which will be reflected on the school performance dashboard, following public comment from and focus groups with families, students, teachers, school administrators and business leaders across the state.
Feedback emphasized the need to track school performance by measuring more than just academic mastery, with a system that more comprehensively reflects how students are building the knowledge and skills necessary for lifelong success. The feedback also highlighted the need to focus on pathways for all students, with measures that are actionable, fair, and increase access and opportunities for all. Respondents also stressed the need to develop system-wide alignment with these characteristics, student expectations and dashboard metrics.
As next steps, IDOE will solicit public comment and stakeholder input on indicators to measure each Indiana GPS characteristic, which the SBOE will consider at its December meeting. These indicators will then inform the development of Indiana’s school performance dashboard.
Special Education LicensureThe SBOE also provided initial approval of amendments to Indiana rules on special education licensure. The new rules, in compliance with federal requirements, provide a path for teachers seeking full special education licensure by creating an alternate route license in special education that allows teachers to stay in the classroom while completing requirements. In alignment with federal requirements, one-year emergency permits will no longer be issued following the end of the current school year (2021-2022).
Per this proposed new state rule, the alternative route license in special education, which would be valid for three years, would require an educator to hold a bachelor’s degree, be employed by a school and be enrolled in an approved alternative education program. Over these three years, the educator would have time to complete a professional educator special education license or a special education addition to their existing educator license. Indiana special education educators currently teaching on an emergency permit may be issued an alternative route license if they are working toward completing licensure requirements in an approved alternative program.
To support this alternative pathway, IDOE is actively working to expand the number of federally-compliant transition to teaching programs available in Indiana. Seven transition to teaching special education programs are currently identified, with an upcoming deadline later this year for identifying additional transition to teaching programs for approval.
These changes follow feedback from Indiana educators earlier this year that identified an existing gap between Indiana’s practice of issuing one-year emergency special education teaching permits and federal regulations in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. IDOE proactively collaborated with stakeholders across the state to develop shared solutions to align with federal requirements, while also supporting the growth of Indiana’s special education educator pipeline.
Video from today’s SBOE meeting is available here.