Indiana approves new standards – More of the same?
Indiana Governor Mike Pence stole the national Common Core spotlight when he publicly denounced the standards last month and withdrew Indiana from them, beginning in the 2014 – 2015 school year. The Hoosier state, he said at the time, should have control over what students learn. He commissioned the State Board of Education to develop Indiana-specific standards by July 1 to replace the Common Core ones.
A roundtable of Hoosier education experts recently reviewed the proposed Board changes, developed over several months, and recommended on Monday that they be adopted for use starting next school year.
For all the hard work and resources that went into the development of these Hoosier-specific standards, though, critics say they are just the same as the Common Core ones but with a different name. During a speech Monday night, Gov. Pence said that he was proud of the effort that was “by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers,” which drew some vocal criticism and jeering. It seems that the groups who were anti-Common Core are still not happy with Pence because they also oppose the new standards. Common Core supporters are also unhappy with the Governor.
As the first state to withdraw support from Common Core standards, Indiana is the guinea pig, of sorts. The state-mandated replacements it puts in place could potentially blaze the trail for other states that also decide to abandon Common Core.
On the other hand, Indiana could also become a cautionary tale for other states of what NOT to do, particularly if the new Hoosier standards do turn out being roughly the same as the original Common Core ones.