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Focused on the Future


Focused on the Future


You all have heard of the old adage, “Failure to Plan is Planning to Fail!” That has never been truer than it is these days. All aspects of education are changing at an alarming rate. Here in Indiana, we have just experienced a complete new set of academic standards for all subjects in July of 2023.


Also in Indiana, the ILEARN Assessment is changing, with the new academic standards, with pilots for the new Checkpoints and Summative ILEARN Assessments this year and full implementation next year. Another major change is the new Digital SAT!


Do you know what all the changes are and requirements? Do you know what modifications need to take place in your curriculum and instruction to accommodate these changes and new requirements? Have you planned time for teachers and administrators to be informed and make necessary changes to prepare for these new requirements?


Focused on the Future

Right now, staying on top of all of this is a monumental task! NO ONE can do it alone! Everyone needs some help and resources to be able to try and keep up with all the changes.


Resources

Here in Indiana two of my go-to resources are subscribing to the daily Chalkbeat report (about Chalkbeat) and subscribing to the Indiana State Department of Education’s Weekly Update (subscribe here). Just knowing about all the changes taking place is just the first step. Next you must have a thorough and well thought through process in place to start addressing all the changes taking place.


Focused on the Future

Managing Change

When I started researching “Managing Change” it was very interesting. The same steps were listed in article after article I read. They all start with “Identify the Changes that Need Be Made.” Then, “Develop a Plan and Set Reasonable Goals”. Know that change is always slow and will take much longer to be fully implemented and totally integrated into daily practices. The next step was emphasized the most! “Communicate, Be Transparent, Be Honest, and Listen to the People Making the Changes!” 


This step also included, “Identifying and Discussing Possible Roadblocks and Resistance to Change.” The step after that is what so many times is left out of changes that are being made! “Provide High Quality Training and Support Those Who Are Making the Changes!”. All too often, it is just expected that the people who are responsible for making and implementing the changes are totally aware and capable of making the changes on their own. This is not true!


Good leaders make sure the people making the changes have the tools and the support they require to integrate and implement the changes that need to be made. This is a key factor in making sure the changes are sustained. Finally, “Monitor, Measure, Review, Adjust, Pivot, and Continuously Evaluate Progress!”. Don’t forget to “Celebrate Successes” along the way! Change is always a long and difficult journey!


Now let’s talk about how managing change relates to the three major areas I listed at the beginning of this blog. 


Standards


Focused on the Future

How are all the new academic standards adopted in 2023 going to affect the classes teachers are teaching? This is not just as simple as cutting out a few standards and calling everything good. When the Indiana Department of Education embarked on the task of fulfilling Indiana Code (IC) 20-31-3, they didn’t just delete standards. They condensed, combined, reworded, and adjusted the standards.


Teachers must go through all the newly adopted standards, word by word, to make sure the changes are identified and the proper steps for implementation are taken. Subtle word changes can completely change how the standard should be taught and how it should and can be assessed. This will require training and support for teachers, especially new teachers who have never been through the process of curriculum mapping or creating a Scope and Sequence for a course. 


Have the proper resources been provided for your teachers? I have gone through all the new Indiana Academic Standards for Mathematics and created resources for teachers that compare every math standard in every grade and every math course Kindergarten through Algebra 2 and show if the standards are exactly the same, just similar, include more, include less, or were deleted entirely.


This makes it easy for anyone to quickly compare the 2020 Indiana Academic Standards for Mathematics and the new 2023 Indiana Academic Standards for Mathematics and address what changes need to be made. Teachers should be provided with a resource like this to effectively make the necessary changes that need to be made.


ILEARN


Focused on the Future

Here are a few questions to ponder:

  1. In grades 3 – 8, how is the ILEARN Assessment changing and how do those changes relate to the changes necessary for teaching the standards as I addressed above? 

  2. Are teachers aware that the 2020 Indiana Academic Standards for Mathematics are being assessed this month on the 2024 Indiana ILEARN Assessment? If teachers have not included the standards that were deleted in the new 2023 Indiana Academic Standards for Mathematics students will have missed 25% of the material being assessed on the 2024 Indiana ILEARN Assessment. 

  3. Are teachers aware of the changes for the 2024 – 2025 school year pilot program for the new Checkpoints and Summative ILEARN Assessments that is the precursor for the full implementation of these improved assessments in the 2025 – 2026 school year? 

  4. Are teachers aware of which standards, at each grade level, are going to be assessed, on which of the 3 Checkpoint ILEARN Assessments, and when the dates for each of these assessments can be given? This could bring about major changes to the scope and sequence to a course and how it is taught! Adjustments will need to be made to the curriculum so students are prepared for each of the Checkpoints they will be taking and for the time frame they will be taking each assessment. It is not fair to students, teachers, or schools for students to be assessed over material they have never been taught. Again, this will require quality professional development that thoroughly goes through each of these key aspects. 

  5. Do teachers have one document, like the ones I have created, for their grade level that clearly lists which Checkpoints each standard at their grade level will be assessed and if each standard is required to be on the Summative ILEARN Assessment? 

  6. Does that document show how the wording for the new 2023 Indiana Academic Standards for Mathematics changed and how that might affect how that standard is assessed? 


These are topics teachers need quality professional development to help them make the necessary changes in their instruction to be successful.


PSAT/SAT


Focused on the Future

The SAT Assessment was very different this year starting January 1, 2024. There are changes in both what is being assessed and how it is being assessed. 

  1. Are teachers aware of these changes to the new Digital SAT Assessment? 

  2. Are they proficient at using and explaining the DESMOS Calculator and the BlueBook App? 

  3. Do teachers have the resources needed to share important test taking strategies for allowing students to do their very best on the SAT Assessment? 

  4. What has been done to help facilitate the change? 

  5. Are teachers being given an outline of the overall changes on the Digital SAT Assessment? 

  6. Do they have guidelines that show and discuss how the changes to the Digital SAT Assessment can integrate into the standards?

Teachers must know that with the changes to the math standards now required for Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 2 there are topics no longer addressed in the 2023 Indiana Academic Standards for Mathematics that cover the skills students must have to be the most successful they can be on the new Digital SAT Assessment. How can you manage these changes and let teachers and students be successful? If you have read my previous blogs, you will know that all these resources already exist, and you can download them for FREE! (My new Digital SAT Assessment Blog.)


Conclusion

This blog is about being focused on the future. To be focused on the future you must manage all the changes that are taking place at lightning speed. You must plan, plan, plan! But most importantly you must listen to and support the teachers who are entrusted to make the changes. Teachers cannot be expected to be experts at curriculum, curriculum mapping, resource creation, and keeping track of all the changes constantly taking place!


On top of all that, create lesson plans, stay apprised of all the best teaching practices, instruct their students, handle discipline, and make sure parents are informed every step of the way on what is happening in the classroom. Teachers must have quality professional development that help and support and assist them in accomplishing many of their duties and requirements for students and the school to be successful! Is your school and district investing in the ultimate and overall success of the students and teachers? Are students and teachers provided with a plan, resources needed, guidance, and support to be the most successful they can be?


Contact INcompassing Education and we can help you Focus on the Future with everything needed for students, teachers, administrators, schools, and districts to be successful. People are very impressed with all the wonderful specialists and resources we must keep things moving in the right direction and in a positive way.












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