Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Letters

March 31, 2014

March 30, 2014: Letters to the editor

Students pay price for pig-headedness

Partisan politics are the norm in Indiana and the rest of the nation, and Hoosiers are used to the shenanigans that sometimes allow poorly thought out bills to be passed by members of the General Assembly.

Hoosiers should be horrified, however, at the decision that led Indiana to become the first state in the nation to opt out of the Common Core standards for K-12 education that still apply in 44 other states. Beyond being horrified, Hoosiers should be deeply angered by the fact the opt-out decision was driven by arch-conservative tea party Republicans who were revolting against Common Core, mostly because President Barack Obama said it was a good idea.

Partisan politics should never be allowed to hurt the ability of Hoosier children to have the chance to be as well-educated as those in other states, but that’s what is happening. The Common Core standards were originally adopted by the bipartisan National Governors’ Association as a response to the growing realization that American education has been falling behind the rest of the world.

The NGA, along with the state education superintendents who helped develop the standards, were seeking to help students across the country improve their abilities in reading and mathematics. Ironically, Common Core was conceived in part as a response to the No Child Left Behind legislation adopted under President George W. Bush.

Many states resented federal intrusion into their education decisions, and the NGA saw the opportunity to have the states themselves adopt educational standards. As soon as President Obama said it was a good idea, however, many tea party Republicans balked and now Indiana students must pay the price for their unrelenting pig-headedness.

Ironically, though Indiana is moving away from Common Core, it is likely to simply paste a “Hoosier education” label on very similar educational standards.

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