Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

April 5, 2014

Seeking common sense in Ind.'s Common Core move

Now that the state of Indiana has put the Common Core fiasco behind it, it can turn its attention to replacing those academic standards with some new, homegrown ones ...

... that look a lot like Common Core.

As ridiculous as that sounds, it should make perfect sense to anyone who has been following the story of the beloved-until-it-was-reviled initiative that the National Governors Association and state superintendents developed.

Indiana adopted the standards in 2010 with a push from then-Schools Superintendent Tony Bennett, a Republican and an enthusiastic Core supporter. Back then, Common Core enjoyed widespread support within the GOP.

But time — and tea party pushback — changed things. Last year, the General Assembly put a “pause” on Common Core implementation; in the recently completed session, it voted to make Indiana the first state to adopt then drop Common Core, so the state could develop its own standards.

As state Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, told the Wall Street Journal, “Indiana should be in charge of its own education system so we maintain Indiana sovereignty.”

But those new standards being drafted by the State Board of Education aren’t likely to be vastly different from the ones they’re replacing. The dreaded “Common Core” label is gone, but critics say the benchmarks — spelling out what students should be learning in math and reading at each grade level — remain in place.

The board is scheduled to vote next month on the proposed standards, which an Indiana Department of Education spokesman says are “about half” Common Core.

Dropping Common Core and devising new standards and a test to measure achievement will cost an estimated $25 million to $30 million. And school districts that had already spent money on Common Core training for its teachers will have to find the money for additional training.

But who can put a price tag on the satisfaction of getting rid of that awful Common Core?

Or roughly half of it.

— South Bend Tribune

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