Common Core foes can't muster majority

2013-11-15T15:38:00Z 2013-11-15T19:30:09Z Common Core foes can't muster majorityBy Dan Carden, (317) 637-9078
November 15, 2013 3:38 pm  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | Six Republican state lawmakers were prepared to recommend Friday that Indiana permanently withdraw from Common Core educational standards, even though the legal deadline to make that recommendation was Nov. 1.

At a hastily called meeting of the Legislature's Common Core study committee, the Republican representatives and senators insisted Indiana must terminate its participation in Common Core to preserve the state's sovereignty and "maintain maximum control over educational standards."

"Hoosier students can be college- and career-ready, using the highest standards, but Indiana must maintain its independence and autonomy over our standards in order to improve and adjust our standards at our discretion," the measure said.

The proposal required seven votes to be approved as an official committee recommendation to the General Assembly and State Board of Education. The one Democrat who showed up, state Rep. Justin Moed, D-Indianapolis, voted no.

"The only parties that were working together on this issue were the Republican Party and the Tea Party," Moed said. "In order for us to sit down and work together it takes a willingness for folks to do that, and I don't think that was done here."

Republican Gov. Mike Pence signed a law in May requiring Indiana pause implementing Common Core, which was adopted in 2010 as the state's educational standards by the Republican-appointed State Board of Education.

That law Pence signed directs the state education board to decide by July whether to continue with Common Core, adapt it for Indiana or create wholly new state standards.

The study committee heard more than 20 hours of public testimony on the topic this summer and issued a final report in October that included no recommendations.

Common Core standards were developed on a multistate basis to set a shared understanding of what students should know and be able to demonstrate at each grade level with an eye toward being able to compete nationally and globally.

Republicans began to question the state-created standards after they were endorsed by President Barack Obama, a Democrat.

Completely withdrawing from Common Core would cost Indiana about $24 million, according to Pence's Office of Management and Budget.

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