Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

February 20, 2014

MICAH CLARK: Did legislators place a bad bet on Common Core?

Did legislators place bad bet on Common Core?

A com­edian once ob­­served the reason they call it “horse sense” is because horses don’t bet on people.

With passage of Senate Bill 91 and its moving through the House, many may think our withdrawing from the federal Common Core education program is a sure bet.

After all, Common Core has become so controversial across the nation that Gov. Mike Pence said in his State of the State address, “When it comes to setting standards for schools, I can assure you, Indiana’s will be uncommonly high. They will be written by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers and will be among the best in the nation.”

Senate Bill 91 voids Indiana’s education standards that were modeled after the Common Core and requires the State Board of Education to adopt new ones. This was welcome news to opponents of Common Core worried about lower academic standards, political indoctrination of students, state sovereignty, and a move away from Indiana’s past standards that had received wide acclaim from various educational groups.

Some opponents of Common Core are beginning to wonder if some politicians and the education establishment are simply moving the shells around the table. They worry that SB 91 could become a way to confuse parents with “new” standards that are actually Common Core by another name.

Notice what Chamber of Commerce lobbyist Derek Redelman, one of the Common Core’s leading advocates, wrote: “It is unfortunate that SB 91 is being misreported in this way. In reality, it does NOT dump Common Core but allows the State Board of Education to continue the review of our state standards that is already underway. Per legislation that passed last year, that review will result in a set of recommended standards that could be identical to Common Core, an Indiana version of Common Core, or something completely different ... So in other words, SB 91 changes nothing.”

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