Indiana News

Senate to Vote on Bill Abolishing Common Core

State board already working on new standards due by July deadline

1/29/2014


State Board of Education members at their December meeting (WIBC.com file photo: Eric Berman)

The Senate will vote next week on a bill to put the final nail in the coffin of the Common Core education standards.

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Last year, legislators ordered the State Board of Education to pass new academic standards by July of this year. The Senate Education Committee has approved a bill along party lines, spelling out guidelines for what those standards should look like.

The guidelines parallel those issued by Republicans on a Common Core study committee last summer, calling on Indiana to pursue the nation's highest standards and comply with federal requirements while preserving Indiana's authority over its own curriculum. The bill also abolishes the old, Common Core-based standards after the July deadline.

Common Core opponents have attacked both the substance of the standards and the idea of conforming to national standards drawn up by a collaboration of state superintendents around the U.S.

The Indiana Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development has supported Common Core. President Schauna Findlay says Common Core can't help but be the foundation for the new standards. But she says that still leaves room for Indiana to put its own stamp on them.

Erin Tuttle, the co-founder of Hoosiers Against Common Core, says parents will be watching the result of the state board's work when the new school year begins this fall, and warns they'll feel "outraged" and "tricked" if lessons still resemble Common Core.

Legislative leaders had warned they might go beyond guidelines to write the standards themselves if tensions between the board and state superintendent Glenda Ritz threatened the deadline. But Senator Scott Schneider (R-Indianapolis), the bill's author, says the standoff has eased over the last couple of months. He says the board expects to issue draft standards in April and hold public hearings on them.

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