Pence Says He Won't Prejudge Common Core, But Favors Pause
Gov. Mike Pence (WIBC.com photo: Eric Berman)
Governor Pence says he won't prejudge the Common Core curriculum standards as the state begins a 14-month review of whether to modify or scrap them.
Pence says his administration crafted much of the language passed on the legislature's final day to pause implementation of Common Core while legislators and education and budget officials review the standards. The governor points to some critics who contend Common Core's standards for math are looser than what Indiana already has. But Pence doesn't rule out the possibility of reaffirming Common Core or something similar -- he says he just wants to make sure Indiana's State Board of Education makes the decision itself, rather than being railroaded into it by the federal government or other states.
And Pence says there needs to be a full public discussion while there's still time to make changes if necessary.
Pence notes implementation of the standards for students below third grade will continue. The bill awaiting Pence's signature calls for the state board to use Common Core as the "base model" for new standards to be approved by next July, retaining at least enough of Common Core to ensure the state doesn't lose federal funding.
Pence cautions he still needs to review the final version of the bill hammered out on Thursday to make sure the wording is in line with the goals he set out for legislators.
Pence could shape the direction of the standards when he makes his first appointments to the state board over the next two months. The governor deflected questions about whether the Common Core debate will be a factor in those appointments.