Senate Panel Votes to Slow, But Not Yet Stop, Common Core
Revised bill would force months of hearings before implementation
A Senate committee has scaled back a bill ordering the state to steer clear of the national "Common Core" education standards, but opponents of the standards are still hailing the bill as a step toward blocking them.
Instead of requiring an outright rejection of Common Core, Indianapolis Republican Scott Schneider's bill now puts the new standards on hold until the State Board of Education conducts nine hearings around the state. The Education Committee voted 7-4 along party lines to send the bill to the full Senate.
The board would be required to compare Common Core to Indiana's existing standards. And the state would have to conduct an analysis of the cost of implementing Common Core.
Indianapolis parent Heather Crossin, an early organizer of the fight against Common Core, applauds the bill even in its revised form. She says it'll give teachers and parents a chance they haven't had to be fully heard on what she says are academically unsound standards.
The education reform group Stand for Children argues the delay would just cause confusion for schools trying to implement the standards, and notes the state board reaffirmed its support for Common Core last week.
Schneider notes Indiana's standards have been nationally praised as among the nation's most rigorous. Stand for Children spokesman Jay Kenworthy says that's at odds with high remediation rates in Indiana schools.
Common Core is a compact among state superintendents nationwide to establish higher and more uniform standards for what students need to know. Former Indiana superintendent Tony Bennett was a leader in the effort, a role which contributed to his surprise election loss last fall to current superintendent Glenda Ritz.