As a member of the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development, one of my goals is to ensure that our education system is up-to-date with modern-day workforce demands. Unfortunately, studies show that currently this is not the case.
Four in five employers report that recent public high school graduates have gaps in preparation and have an increased need of additional training and education. Employers aren’t the only ones noticing the lack of readiness—surveyed students also feel that they are unprepared for college and/or entering the workforce.
Traditionally, our time-based education system advances students based primarily on their age, not necessarily on their depth of understanding. Some students may not be ready to advance to the next grade, but they move on in order to stay on schedule to graduate. On the other hand, students that are excelling are often held back when they have potential to advance to stay in line with the traditional graduation progress.
Setting our students up for success is a top priority, and lawmakers are always looking for new ways to improve our education system and to prepare Hoosier students for today’s workforce demands. One of the new options we are considering is House Bill 1386, which is a competency-based education pilot program.
Competency-based education is a system where students advance to higher levels of learning when they demonstrate proficiency of concepts and skills regardless of time, place or pace.
Similar to the Ohio Competency-Based Education Pilot, the program would promote innovative learning, give support to struggling students before they advance, and graduate students with deeper college and career ready skills.
We need to make sure that students graduate high school with the knowledge and qualifications to be matched up with workforce needs. Implementing a competency-based education pilot program is a reasonable and actionable first step in tackling this issue and I’m optimistic about this approach.
As always, you can contact my office directly with your questions by email at Senator.Bassler@iga.in.gov or by phone at 800-382-9467.
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