INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
A panel of Indiana business and education leaders were met with boos and
jeers from attendees after they voted overwhelmingly Monday to support new
math and English standards set to replace the Common Core in classrooms this
Indiana was one of
the first of 45 states to adopt the national benchmarks in the Common Core
in 2010 in an effort to create consistently high standards across state
lines. The adoption sped through under former Superintendent of Public
Instruction Tony Bennett, and it wasn’t until later that opponents
criticized the lack of local input.
passed a bill in 2013 pausing the standards’ implementation, and Pence
signed legislation in March to make Indiana the first state to formally
abandon them. Indiana is blazing ahead of other states with interest in
ditching the Common Core. About 100 bills have been introduced this year to
repeal or pause the use of it in classrooms, according to the National
Council of State Legislatures.
State law requires
Indiana to adopt “the best standards in the United States” by July.
The approval from
the Education Roundtable - co-chaired by Pence and Superintendent for Public
Instruction Glenda Ritz and flush with lawmakers, business leaders and
education officials - means the standards passed one of the last hurdles
before adoption. They will go before the State Board of Education on April
28 for final approval.
Members voted 21-2
in favor of the English benchmarks with one member abstaining. The math
standards were approved 21-3.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Danielle Shockey said a supplemental
glossary with definitions of what critics called vague terms in the
standards will be available for interested school corporations, along with
recommended reading lists numerous national evaluators requested.
members said developing tests to accurately assess the standards is a
pressing concern considering school ratings and teacher evaluations both are
tied to testing.
A cost analysis by
the Legislative Services Agency estimates the transition to new standards
could cost the state about $10.5 million next school year, $23-32 million in
2015-2016 and $17-26 million annually beginning in the 2016-2017 school
Roundtable’s strong vote in support of the guidelines, some expert
evaluators and members of Hoosiers Against Common Core were unconvinced the
planned replacement for the national standards are much different.
Analysis of earlier
drafts of the English standards for sixth through 12th grade show about 90
percent were either directly from the Common Core or edited versions of
those standards. Those benchmarks were used as a baseline to craft the
proposed standards, along with previous standards in place in Indiana.
last week said no formal analysis is planned to evaluate how much of the
Common Core is left in the final draft.
About 200 people
filled a Statehouse hallway before the Roundtable meeting to hear Terrence
Moore - an assistant professor of history from Hillsdale College who opposes
Common Core and reviewed an earlier draft of the standards.
“If these standards
were to come to me as a paper, I would put an F on it and write one word:
plagiarism,” Moore said. “They want us to believe these are entirely new
standards. Well, they’re not.”
One audience member
watching the Education Roundtable meeting let out a chuckle when the
governor repeated his call for “uncommonly high” benchmarks written “by
Hoosiers, for Hoosiers.” His praise for the transparency of the evaluation -
there were three public hearings and more than 2,000 comments submitted
online on the first draft - brought laughter.
Many held up signs
that read, “Governor Pence, are you listening?”
State Sen. Dennis
Kruse, R-Auburn, was one of the few who voted against the draft. He declined
to comment on why he opposes those standards.