Indiana has “hit the pause button” on implementing Common Core to conduct a thorough review of the educational standards supported by nearly every state to retool and increase rigor in public education.
Common Core is facing criticism in a number states, including Idaho and Utah, were groups question the standards’ effectiveness, are leery that they represent federal intrusion into state and local educational issues and are fearful student data taken from testing will be dispersed to government offices and invade privacy rights. At public meetings of Gov. Butch Otters task force to improve education, Common Core critics have spoken against using the standards in Idaho.
Tom Luna, Idaho superintendent of public instruction, supports Common Core instruction and disputes claims by critics.
Mike Pence, Indiana governor, says the legislature will do a study assessing the standards and the costs. “I have long believed that education is a state and local function and we must always work to ensure that our students are being taught to the highest academic standards and that our curriculum is developed by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers,” he said.
Indiana is doing what Idaho has already done when it vetted Common Core standards through public meetings and a comment period in 2010 said Melissa McGrath, Luna’s spokeswoman.
Idaho’s State Board of Education and the Idaho Legislature have already adopted the standards, which will be implemented in schools beginning in fall.
“I think Indiana now has to go back and conduct this type of process,” McGrath said.
But Stacey Knudsen, an Eagle mother of five with kids in public school, says Idaho also should slow down Common Core’s implementation to give Idahoans a chance to vigorously debate the measure’s pros and cons.
“This might be a good step for Idaho to take,” she said.
Indiana’s State Board of Education must decide on the standards by June 30, 2014.
Indiana’s Common Core opponents were delighted with Pence’s signature on the law over the weekend.
“We believe this is a historic day, not just because it marks what we hope will be the beginning of the end for Common Core in Indiana, but because it proves that our American system of government still works,” said Heather Crossin, co-founder of Hoosiers Against Common Core, in a press release. “Against all odds, the will of the People prevailed. It prevailed against hundreds of thousands of dollars of paid advertising, a slew of paid lobbyists, and numerous powerful organizations like the Chamber of Commerce.”