(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Indiana’s new Superintendent of Public Instruction wants to review whether the state’s schools – public and private – should follow Common Core Standards.
The teaching standards being implemented in 45 states are intended to provide a national and consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn. It focuses on mathematics, English, and language arts.
Indiana adopted the Common Core in 2010 in a successful bid to win funds from President Obama’s “Race to the Top” education reform initiative. The Common Core Standards were a large part of the criteria in the “Race.”
So far, Indiana’s version of Common Core has been implemented in Kindergarten and first grade. The standards are scheduled to be fully implemented in all grades K-12 by the 2014-2015 school year.
This week, State Sen. Scott Schneider introduced a bill to have Indiana withdraw from the standards, The Indianapolis Star reports. He and other critics of Common Core assert that it has dramatically lowered education guidelines previously set by the Indiana Department of Education.
“I am worried that Common Core was pushed on Indiana without proper review of what it will mean for students and teachers,” said Schneider. “With my legislation, we are giving a voice back to Hoosier parents, teachers and educational leaders who feel lost in the national push for Common Core.”
There are also concerns that the standards take away local control of education decisions and will give the federal government a larger say in states’ education systems.
Opponents of Indiana’s participation in the Common Core movement rallied at the Indiana Statehouse Wednesday. They watched and listened as the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development gathered input on Schneider’s bill
State Superintendent Glenda Ritz addressed the committee to ask for time. Although she is not opposed to Common Core, she does want the opportunity to slow down and take a closer look.
“I’m not really wanting to void Common Core so much as I'm wanting to review them,” she told lawmakers. “It’s a good time to pause. That’s what I’m wanting to do, because we’ve started to implement it, and so many concerns are coming up.”
Ritz asked lawmakers to give her office until next year to review Common Core Standards and see where they can be improved.
A similar bill filed by Schneider in 2012 failed to pass committee. No vote was held on the legislation during Wednesday’s committee hearing.