Indiana state Sen. Scott Schneider's legislation to overturn the Indiana State Board of Education's decision to adopt the Common Core Standards must be defeated.
Schneider's Senate Bill 193 was supported by a rally in Indianapolis with some legislators, teachers and parents who don't want these standards in place. The Common Core Standards adopted in Indiana in 2010 are not yet fully implemented, but educators are working toward a target date of 2014-15.
Although Schneider said he doesn't believe the new standards are as rigorous as the previous standards, a number of local educators prefer the new ones.
"The Common Core Standards are more rigorous and demand more of students," Merrillville Superintendent Tony Lux said.
The new standards also are being put in place in nearly every state, so Indiana will be able to compare Hoosier students not only among themselves but also with their peers across the United States.
It's important to see how students measure up with students in other states because those are the people our students will be competing against for college admission and for jobs.
"Personally, I don't see anything wrong with having uniform expectations for students across the country to learn the same kinds of skills and have similar expectations for where they should be at the end of elementary, middle and high school," Lux said.
Munster math teacher Ryan Ridgely spoke of the transition to the new standards.
"Students struggled because of the difficulty they had trying to explain why they were doing things, instead of just answering a problem," Ridgely said. "The Common Core has also moved some standards into different grades. We are now asking students to become acclimated to and master many standards earlier in their education."
No, the transition isn't easy. And yes, the new standards are more rigorous, despite Schneider's assertion. It's good for students to not only have to solve problems but also prove they understand how to get the right answer. That shows mastery of a subject, which is what we should expect.
This is what Indiana's students need. It will better prepare them for the future.
Leave the Common Core State Standards in place.