EDITORIAL: Keep moving on Common Core implementation

2013-07-28T00:00:00Z EDITORIAL: Keep moving on Common Core implementation nwitimes.com
July 28, 2013 12:00 am  • 

While people like U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita and Indiana lawmakers push back against Common Core standards, schools are going forward with implementation. The schools are right to do so.

The Common Core standards have been adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia. They are not federal standards, but rather standards agreed upon by all of these states. Every state should adopt them.

Indiana has been praised for its current standards, but the Common Core standards also are rigorous.

And comparing the two sets of standards obscures the main selling point of the Common Core standards. They set standards followed not just within a state, but the nation. After all, students won't compete just with their peers within one state but also across the nation.

Common Core offers consistent expectations among the states. Universities, employers and parents should support national standards with state and local decisions on curriculum adjustments aimed at achieving those standards.

The Indiana State Board of Education adopted the Common Core standards in 2010, but new Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz and some state lawmakers wanted to pause implementation of the new standards.

Indiana educators have already been at work on implementation. Some schools, like Munster, have already put them in place.

Until a state review of the new standards is completed within a year from now, Indiana schools are expected to use the state standards as well as Common Core.

This is a controversial issue.

"My position has always been that I am fine with having a dialogue and review about the standards," Ritz said.

But state Sen. Earline Rogers, of Gary, a fellow Democrat, seems to disagree.

"Whether you liked (former state school superintendent) Tony Bennett or not, he, (former) Gov. (Mitch) Daniels and the Education Round Table did a good job of thoroughly going through the standards and making sure they were on a par — or better than — what we were using," said Rogers, a former teacher.

Hebron school Superintendent George Letz and Lora Bailey, dean of Indiana University Northwest's School of Education, have voiced their support for Common Core standards because they will bring the nation together.

Even as legislators take a year's pause to second-guess the State Board of Education's decision, educators should push forward with implementation.

Like it or not, Common Core standards will provide a common yardstick for the nation's students.

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