EDITORIAL: Make Indiana's K-12 standards rigorous

2014-03-16T00:00:00Z EDITORIAL: Make Indiana's K-12 standards rigorous nwitimes.com
March 16, 2014 12:00 am  • 

The Indiana General Assembly took a stand this year against education standards that would allow Hoosier students to be compared favorably with their peers nationally.

In dumping the Common Core standards, the state will pay $24 million to come up with its own standards.

"We could take that $24 million and put it into early childhood education," state Sen. Earline Rogers said last week. Rogers, of Gary, is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Education Committee.

Common Core standards, put in place in 2010 at the recommendation of Republican then-Gov. Mitch Daniels and former Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett, are the new standard being used for college entrance exams.

Students who aren't taught according to Common Core standards could be at a disadvantage.

A draft version of the replacement standards has been roundly and appropriately criticized. Those standards are remarkably similar to Common Core, but not as good.

"When you look at the draft, most of the content from Common Core still exists, but the examples and context for the standards has been removed, which lessens the rigor," said Schauna Findlay, who works for the Illinois-based Center for College and Career Readiness and is president of the Indiana Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Findlay reviewed a draft of Indiana's new standards at the behest of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and the Indiana Center for Education and Career Innovation.

The Common Core standards were perfectly good, and the perfect option for a state that should want to crow that its students are well prepared for college and career. Without those standards, comparing Hoosiers with their peers will be more difficult.

And $24 million will have been spent to protest good public policy.

But the die has been cast, so make the state's K-12 standards rigorous, as the Indiana Chamber of Commerce recommends.

Get educators' involvement in setting these standards, of course, but remember the business leaders will be those students' future employers.

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