STATEHOUSE (Feb. 6, 2018) — State Rep. Bob Behning’s (R-Indianapolis) legislation aiming to build a stronger math and science foundation in elementary school students advanced out of the House of Representatives on Monday.
Under Behning’s proposal, the State Board of Education would create at least one optional elementary school teacher content area license. Teachers who would hold one of these licenses would specialize in a subject like math or science. These licenses would be in addition to Indiana’s current general elementary teacher license.
“We’re seeing a greater focus on STEM skills in the workforce, but that is not necessarily translating to our schools,” said Behning, chair of the House Committee on Education. “Currently, most Hoosier schools put an emphasis on language arts and reading, unintentionally letting critical subjects like math and science fall to the wayside. With content-area specialists in math or science, educators with a passion to teach STEM subjects will be able to actively engage elementary students and prepare them for higher level courses later in their academic career.”
Over the last few years, the U.S. has ranked low in math and science on the Programme for International Student Assessment exam, with students ranking 39th in math and 25th in science out of 72 participating countries in 2015. Behning, who participated in an international study on education with the National Conference of State Legislatures, said one of the key reasons other countries surpass American students in these subjects is having content-area specialist teachers in their elementary schools.
House Bill 1399 now moves to the Senate for consideration. Visit iga.in.gov to learn more.
State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) represents House District 91,
which includes portions of Hendricks and Marion counties.
A high-resolution photo of Behning can be downloaded by clicking here.
PICTURED: State Rep. Bob Behning (R-Indianapolis) presents his legislation aiming to build a stronger math and science foundation in elementary school students to the House of Representatives on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, at the Statehouse in Indianapolis. Behning’s legislation can now be considered by the Senate.