February 7, 2024

Indiana looks to in-demand labor skills ahead of graduation requirements overhaul

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The National Center on Education and the Economy representatives said Indiana should prepare students to use in-demand skills and look into implementing more conversational assessments that better demonstrate knowledge of those skills. - Lauren Chapman/IPB News

The National Center on Education and the Economy representatives said Indiana should prepare students to use in-demand skills and look into implementing more conversational assessments that better demonstrate knowledge of those skills.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

The state is preparing to overhaul graduation requirements in an effort to better prepare students before they enter the workforce.

The State Board of Education received guidance at its monthly meeting Wednesday ahead of the rulemaking period for the new diploma requirements begins next month.

The board listened to an analysis from the National Center on Education and the Economy, a nonprofit that focuses on education research and advocacy.

Representatives from the NCEE discussed the fastest growing global job markets like artificial intelligence, machine learning and sustainability.

They also discussed the importance of students having in-demand worker skills like analytical thinking, creativity and flexibility. They said educational assessments will likely shift from multiple choice questions to AI discussions in the future to better demonstrate skill competency.

The NCEE representatives said Indiana should prepare students to use in-demand skills and look into implementing more conversational assessments that better demonstrate knowledge of those skills.
 

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SBOE member Scott Bess said the board does not take the responsibility of changing graduation requirements lightly.

“I think this really underscores some of the issues we’ve faced, but it also I think really establishes the window of opportunity we have going forward,” he said. “This could be a generational change that we’re looking at here.”

Indiana Secretary of Education Katie Jenner said, for the sake of Indiana’s students, the state can’t waste any more time on making these changes.

“It’s like we’re peeling back an onion, in that education has been the same in our country for over 100 years,” she said.

Jenner said she thinks high school graduation requirements in Indiana will look different from every other state’s once they are revised.

Kirsten is the Indiana Public Broadcasting education reporter. Contact her at kadair@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @kirsten_adair.

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