Great news for parents and teachers who are frustrated with Common Core—change may be coming sooner than you anticipated, and it all starts with Indiana. As of Monday, Indiana was the first state to formally withdraw from Common Core educational standards, out of the 45 states that have adopted Common Core in recent years.
Common Core is designed to provide educational standards for what students should learn in reading and math based on grade level. Critics of the program believe the pressure and rigorous standards to be unnecessary.
Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana agrees as he made the state’s refusal possible. Pence signed a law that will allow Indiana to create its own academic standards—essentially giving a big “Hell No” to the nationwide initiative that has received backlash from parents and teachers after its implementation in 2010.
I believe when we reach the end of this process there are going to be many other states around the country that will take a hard look at the way Indiana has taken a step back, designed our own standards and done it in a way where we drew on educators, we drew on citizens, we drew on parents and developed standards that meet the needs of our people.
If Indiana is any indicator, Pence might be right. There have been more than 200 bills on national standards introduced this year to slow or stop Common Core altogether—roughly an 85% increase from last year.
Even though Indiana said, “Don’t boss me” in the Common Core debate, the state’s new educational standards are not yet set in stone. Indiana’s revised standards are projected to be complete by April 14, 2014, and will be presented to the Indiana Education Roundtable. Some experts have pointed out that Indiana’s original educational standards were very similar to Common Core standards.
Regardless of the outcome, Indiana is making waves. Oklahoma is another state currently weighing the possibility of using different educational standards outside of Common Core. For those who believe Common Core to be over-the-top, you can consider Indiana’s opt-out a small victory.
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