INDIANAPOLIS | Students attending Indiana elementary and high schools will learn material different from what's taught in nearly every other state in the nation, starting this fall.
On Monday, Republican Gov. Mike Pence signed into law Senate Enrolled Act 91, requiring the State Board of Education rescind its adoption of the Common Core educational standards used by 45 other states and replace them with new, Indiana-only college- and career-ready standards by July 1.
"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," Pence said.
Common Core advocates and critics already are blasting the proposed new Indiana standards that state education officials began working on a year ago after the Republican-controlled Legislature "paused" implementation of Common Core.
Backers of Common Core say the pending Indiana standards are disorganized, difficult to understand and lack rigor. Common Core foes say the standards contain too much Common Core to be trusted.
Pence shrugged off those concerns saying he trusts the standards-writing process — jointly led by his Center for Education and Career Innovation and Glenda Ritz, the Democratic state superintendent of public instruction — will make Hoosiers proud.
"As the task of writing our new academic standards continues, I am grateful to the more than 100 Indiana educators who have put thousands of hours into a comprehensive, transparent, and rigorous process of academic review and am confident that our state will produce Indiana standards that will prepare our students for success in college, careers and life," Pence said.
The final version of Indiana's new standards is due to be released April 14. The state's Education Roundtable, an advisory body of school, business and community leaders, will review it April 21.
If endorsed by the Education Roundtable, the State Board of Education could adopt the new standards at its April 28 meeting.
Local school boards then would begin adjusting their curriculum, and teachers their lesson plans, to match the new standards.
The Common Core standards the state education board adopted as Indiana's standards in 2010, based on the recommendation of then-Gov. Mitch Daniels and former State Superintendent Tony Bennett, both Republicans, are voided when the new standards are approved.
Many Republicans flipped their position on Common Core, which was developed by the national associations of governors and state school superintendents, after the standards were endorsed by President Barack Obama and Tea Party groups began suggesting Common Core is part of a federal scheme to control local schools.