Indiana: Gov. Pence Signs Legislation to Abandon Common Core Standards

Posted: Mar 24, 2014 4:45 PM
Indiana: Gov. Pence Signs Legislation to Abandon Common Core Standards

Indiana was one of 45 other states to adopt the national Common Core standards when it was fashionable to do so. Now, however, Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN) has done away with the standards altogether with the stroke of a pen -- and some help from Indiana's state legislature, of course:

Gov. Mike Pence signed legislation today requiring Indiana to adopt its own academic standards and opt out of Common Core — making Indiana the first state to opt out of the controversial national standards.

The law basically solidifies action already in the works to redesign Indiana’s academic standards by the Department of Education and the Center for Education & Career Innovation, the agency Pence created to coordinate all education levels and job training.

“I believe our students are best served when decisions about education are made at the state and local level,” said Pence in a release about Senate Bill 91.

“By signing this legislation, Indiana has taken an important step forward in developing academic standards that are written by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers, and are uncommonly high, and I commend members of the General Assembly for their support,” he said.

Common Core opponents will hail this as a victory -- both politically and for Indiana’s children, too. But at least one education expert who opposes Common Core on the merits isn’t happy with the recommended replacement standards that will supplant Common Core, either:

An education expert sought by Gov. Mike Pence to review part of the proposed academic standards intended to replace Common Core says the draft is a warmed-over version of the national standards.

Sandra Stotsky, a retired University of Arkansas professor and well-known Common Core opponent, has told Pence she won’t take part in the state’s drafting process unless a new version of the standards relies little on Common Core.

Still, Gov. Pence’s signature puts Indiana on the map as the first state in the nation to do away with the standards they once embraced. Meanwhile, other states are beginning to question their decisions to adopt Common Core. The Heritage Foundation has constructed a useful graph charting the 15 states that either refused to adopt the standards in the first place, or are now beginning to have second thoughts about them:

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Problems with Common Core have been well documented. But it remains to be seen if other states will follow Indiana's lead, or just keep the standards in place.