State superintendent Jennifer McCormick released her priorities for 2018, and those strategies target three areas: student learning, operational effectiveness and school improvement. In this last category, she says she wants to make it easier for teachers licensed in one content area to teach an additional subject if they have the experience.
“Because we’ve had a lot of superintendents call saying ‘I have a great teacher who I know could teach algebra but because of their license they are restricted,” she says. “They’re tutoring our algebra kids. They’re doing a good job. They fill in when our algebra teacher is out.”
McCormick says districts should have the power to determine whether instructors are qualified to teach in an additional content area. She says reducing the number of hurdles teachers face to become licensed could help retain more educators and help address the teacher shortage.
The department’s priorities for next year also include lowering the compulsory school age to 5 – a conversation McCormick says will help at-risk students. Currently, the state requires children age 7 and up to be enrolled in some kind of structured education.
Revisions to the state’s diploma requirements also made its way onto the department’s priority list for next year. McCormick says she would like to see the Core 40 diploma as the baseline for Hoosier students, with the general diploma as an “opt-out” or alternative option.