News & Press: IASBO News

Graduation Pathways Program Passes

Thursday, December 7, 2017  
TO: IASBO Members

FROM: Denny Costerison


Yesterday, the State Board of Education passed the controversial plan for additional graduation requirements by a vote of 7-4. Objections (6 hours of testimony) were raised before the vote by the education community. IASBO thanks IAPSS, IASP and ISBA for their work on the new plan and their tireless efforts on behalf of the children of this state. Further, IASBO greatly appreciates the efforts of Dr. Jennifer McCormick as she attempted to bring reality into the discussion. One major concern that was never answered by the State Board of Education was the future costs of this plan. A plan was approved without any knowledge of the cost. The following is the information that J.T. Coopman, IAPSS Executive Director, sent to his membership yesterday afternoon. IASBO thanks J.T. for allowing IASBO to forward this message.

“I am generally the most positive person you will meet, but today I have much room to look for something positive. The State Board of Education just voted 7-4 to pass some of the worst public policy I can ever imagine with their vote on the Graduation Pathways. Throughout the course of a few short months and ten meetings, presumably with input from others, nothing changed in the recommendations. In the last two days of public testimony about the pathways, the overwhelming majority (4:1) sought more input and the opportunity to collaborate on the flawed recommendations for the benefit of our Indiana students. Again, when it was all said and done, all the comments were for naught and nothing changed and flawed recommendations were approved. IAPSS thanks State Board of Education Members Dr. Steve Yager, Mrs. Carrie Whicker, Dr. Maryann McMahon, and Dr. McCormick for voting against the recommendations and for seeking more time for additional input from the practitioners.

IAPSS thanks Dr. Jeff Butts, Dr. Phil Downs, and numerous other superintendents for the hours of work they have put into studying the policy and working with our members to better understand the recommendations and help us mount a unified front to oppose them. IAPSS thanks the numerous superintendents who took valuable time from their districts to come to Indianapolis and make very thoughtful comments to support the students in Indiana schools and to those who wrote letters, emails or made phone calls to voice their concerns.

IAPSS will consider our next steps and with whom we will partner to further collaborate for the benefit of the students we serve. I will keep you informed as we develop those steps.”


On December 12 at the Primo Banquet and Conference Center in Indianapolis, IASBO will hold their annual School Finance Seminar. The seminar will provide timely information on the state’s economy and budget; more information on HEA 1009; the ESSA reporting responsibilities; and future considerations from the Distressed Unit Appeals Board. The full agenda and registration form can be found on the IASBO web site.