Senate Sends Ban On Common Core To Governor
March 12, 2014 — TheStatehouseFile.com
INDIANAPOLIS – The Senate sent a bill to the governor that prohibits the State Board of Education from using Common Core standards in Indiana schools.
Under Senate Bill 91, Indiana would revert back to education standards in place prior to June 30, 2010 – when the State Board of Education first approved and started phasing in Common Core – until officials create new ones. That process is currently underway.
Three years ago, Indiana adopted the standards for math and English but opted out of the science, social studies and history standards set by the Common Core. Since then, the standards have become increasingly controversial.
Senate Education Chairman Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, said the bill is “excellent for our students.”
“I think this is excellence in Indiana,” said Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn. “I think it is good for our state to be in charge of our academic standards and not have a copyrighted common core that we have to adhere to that is a national norm copyright set of standards.”
According to the bill, the new education standards must meet international benchmarks, use the highest standards in the United States, comply with federal standards, prepare students for college, maintain Indiana sovereignty and protect student data.
Last year, lawmakers voted to pause Common Core and ordered state education officials to study whether to continue the implementation or switch to Indiana-written standards. Superintendent Glenda Ritz and the state board have been working through that process. SB 91 would end the study and order Indiana-written standards.
Common Core is a group of curriculum standards developed by a group of state policy makers and since embraced by the federal government. Forty other states also adopted the Common Core standards.
Sen. Tim Skinner, D-Terre Haute, said no matter what decision the body makes, lawmakers needed to have made a decision.
“As a former teacher, I would love to have some direction from this body,” Skinner said. He said teachers around the state do not know what curriculum to follow because they “took the Common Core as gospel” three years ago.
“It’s costing the state $24 million to change” the standards, said Sen. Earline Rogers, D-Gary. Rogers also said it will be difficult to purchase educational books that are not written to coincide with Common Core standards.
Sen. Scott Schneider, R-Indianapolis, has worked on revoking Common Core for two years after two concerned mothers came to him with concerns about their children’s education. However, he spoke out against the bill Wednesday in the Senate.
“The consensus of the state is that we are moving beyond the Common Core,” Schneider said. “(The new standards) look eerily like Common Core, troubling to me and many others.”
Schneider presented a motion Monday to remove his name as author of the bill.
“If (standards) come out at the end of the process, remains Common Core under a different name, under a different guise, in my opinion, that would be a monumental violation of the public trust,” Schneider said. “I just don’t think it’s necessary to continue to reference our involvement with the federal government, the federal department of education, and for that reason I will not be supporting SB 91.”
After the original author spoke against his bill, it still passed the senate 35-13 and will now be sent to Gov. Mike Pence.