STATEHOUSE (Feb. 23, 2017) — State Rep. Bob Behning’s (R-Indianapolis) legislation aiming to build a stronger math and science foundation in elementary students passed out of the Indiana House of Representatives Thursday with a vote of 88-1.
Under Behning’s bill, the State Board of Education would be directed to create more than 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. Behning said the goal of House Bill 1383 is to better prepare students for high school classes, extending their success to college or the workforce.
“During an international study that I participated in, we found that most educators in top performing countries had specialized in a specific subject, like math or reading,” said Behning, chair of the House Committee on Education. “The early years of a child’s education are extremely important for laying the groundwork of their academic career. Having elementary school teachers with a content area specialist license would help our Hoosier students become more academically competitive, both nationally and internationally.”
Over the last few years, the U.S. has ranked low in math and science on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) exam. In Indiana, Behning said that students have exhibited low passage rates on algebra and biology end-of-course assessments. According to Behning, this legislation is one of many essential steps needed to reverse this trend and prepare young Hoosiers to compete in the ever-changing global economy.
House Bill 1383 now moves to the Senate for consideration. Visit iga.in.gov to learn more about this legislation.
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.