WESTVLLE | A group of Purdue University North Central students enrolled in the PNC Education program offered their thoughts on the new Indiana state standards after comparing them with the Common Core Standards.
Indiana is the first state of 45 to officially withdraw from Common Core and develop its own standards. The Indiana Education Roundtable approved the standards at its meeting Monday.
The Indiana State Board of Education is expected to get the recommendation and make a decision on the standards at its April 28 meeting in Indianapolis.
The PNC students looked at the math standards for students in grades K-5, and concluded that in many cases the new standards retained Common Core, and added additional standards at different grade levels.
Professor David Feikes, who is also interim department chair of Education, said teachers need to know "what the heck" we are teaching. He said the review was done by college juniors in the class, many of whom would be student teaching in the fall.
He said some of the new standards did not align with Common Core and they added several new ones in some grade levels.
Student Karen Sylvia evaluated second grade and said the new standards focus on the concept of a number line rather than focusing on creating an actual number line. She said students would learn the concept anyway through the process of creating a number line. She also said some of the standards seem more appropriate for a higher grade level.
Sylvia and Theresa Manta said the new standards retained most of Common Core and in a few instances broke Common Core down. They felt some of the standards at third grade were questionable. They also said there are 17 new standards at the third grade level. Students said there are 11 more standards at the kindergarten level and about nine more for second graders.
Feikes said one of the problems is that because 45 states had originally adopted Common Core, most textbook companies will gear their books to those standards.
"Indiana has added various standards and teachers will have to figure out how to incorporate that and teach students," he said. "In some cases, it's too much to ask kids to do on top of what they already have to do. Common Core did what we wanted it to do and shrank some of those standards down, emphasizing problem solving and critical thinking."