House advances Cook’s bill focused on career education

House advances Cook’s bill focused on career education

Posted by: Allison Vanatsky  | Friday, February 22, 2019

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 22, 2019) – The Indiana House of Representatives voted in support of legislation authored by State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero) to provide flexibility for high school students enrolled in technical and career-oriented classes.

Indiana offers graduation pathways so students can customize their education to best meet their academic and career goals, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach that relies on passing qualifying exams. These pathways allow students to select from multiple routes to earn their diploma while aligning strengths and interests with skills and future ambitions.

Building off these pathways, Cook’s legislation would allow high schools to count a student’s nontraditional courses, like work-based learning programs or career and technical education classes, toward academic honors diplomas.

“It’s important to support students as they explore different career opportunities and prepare those looking to enter the workforce immediately after high school,” Cook said. “Oftentimes, these technical classes are as rigorous as traditional academic classes teaching the same skills just in a different way. These students should be recognized for taking these courses.”

Cook said the classes would still meet state requirements, and the new graduation standards would not go into effect until 2022.

To ensure these graduation pathways are aligned to Indiana’s accountability standards, the State Board of Education would establish new metrics for measuring a high school’s performance. Cook said these methods would shift emphasis away from high-stakes testing and focus on students’ progress throughout high school and their preparedness after graduation.

House Bill 1404 now moves to the Senate for consideration. Visit for more information.


State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero) represents House District 32, which includes all of

Tipton County and portions of Hamilton, Madison, Delaware, Howard and Grant counties.

PHOTO CAPTION: State Rep. Tony Cook (R-Cicero) presents his legislation Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019, at the Statehouse in Indianapolis, to provide flexibility for students enrolled in technical and career-oriented classes to ensure they leave high school with the skills and experiences necessary to succeed both in higher education and finding a job. This legislation can now be considered by the Senate.