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New Indiana Academic Standards Bring Changes in Instruction and Assessment

The new Indiana Academic Standards for College and Career Readiness engage students in high-quality, rigorous learning outcomes. Daily instruction and performance expectations will become more noticeable through a variety of instructional shifts in Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy. These shifts in English Language Arts involve reading as much nonfiction as fiction, reading more challenging material closely, discussing reading using evidence, writing non-fiction using evidence, and increasing academic vocabulary. The shifts in Mathematics include learning more about fewer topics (focus), building skills across grade levels (coherency), developing fluency in performing math through speed and accuracy (fluency), knowing and doing math (deep understanding), using math in the real world (application), and thinking fast and solving problems (dual intensity). Here is a "backpack" overview of the instructional shifts for parents regarding what the shifts look like, what will be expected of students, what parents can expect to see come home with their student, and what parents can do to help their childrten with the shifts.

In addition to the instructional changes taking place in your childs classroom, students in grades 3 through 8 are being administered Acuity Readiness assessments. These assessments are based on the new academic standards and serve in two capacities. First, the assessments help teachers and students understand how their skills are progressing toward the standards and identify instructional next steps through the curriculum. Secondly, the assessments provide students with practice on the new item types they will see on the ISTEP+ multiple choice/select response assessment in the spring of 2015. Parents may view the Indiana Department of Education's Experience College and Career Ready website and take the Experience CCR Assessment to gain a better idea as to the level of rigor the new standards present for students and experience the item types.
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