New Indiana education standards approved

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Governor’s Education Roundtable adopted new academic standards for Indiana schools Monday. It was the key vote in a controversy that surrounds the Common Core.

Indiana is the first state to abandon the Common Core standards that were initially embraced by more than 40 states. We are now on the way to a unique set of standards but the Common Core controversy continues to thrive.

Hundreds of people opposed to Common Core rallied at the Statehouse because they believe the national academic standards are not going away. They believe that proposed new Indiana standards amount to little change.

“The proposed standards are simply a cloned version of the Common Core re-branded,” said rally organizer Heather Crossin.

The opponents then packed the Education Roundtable meeting at times mocking Gov. Mike Pence.

When he said, “Clearly these standards were written by Hoosiers and for Hoosiers,” there was audible laughter in the room.

But Pence, a Republican, was firm in his support of new standards developed with the help of Indiana teachers and administrators.

He said, “To those who would have preferred that we deferred more to out of state experts from Washington, D.C., to the East Coast to the West Coast, I ask, isn’t that the kind of elitist thinking that got us Common Core in the first place?”

Also in support was the Democratic state School Superintendent Glenda Ritz.

“I am once again proud of Indiana’s educators’ finest work on our new standards,” she said.

And when it came time to vote the controversy evaporated. Twenty-one of 24 Roundtable members expressed support for the new standards.

Opponents say they won’t give up. “Not a single one of our concerns about content was addressed,” said Crossin. “And that’s a real shame.”

The new standards must still be approved by the State Board of Education in a vote scheduled for next week.

If approved then, the standards will take effect at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year.

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