Lawmakers say they have reached a deal to halt implementation of Common Core, a set of nationally-developed education standards.
House Education Committee Chair Bob Behning, a supporter of the new academic standards, says legislation poised for passage Friday will pause, not stop the Common Core in Indiana. The agreed-upon bill requires the state Department of Education, a legislative study committee and the state Office of Management and Budget to review Common Core and hold public meetings on the standards, then report their findings to the State Board of Education.
Senator Scott Schneider (R-Indianapolis), who has led the charge against Common Core this session, says he is very pleased with the outcome.
“Shining the light of day on this and opening it up for folks to have a lot of input, for teachers and parents to have input, for educators to have input, I think is a positive step,” Schneider says.
Opponents of the Common Core argue the new standards are not as strong as what Indiana had before. Many do not like that the Obama administration has linked Common Core adoption with federal education initiatives. But Behning says he thinks the state will retain most of Common Core in the end.
“I think if the truth gets out there that it doesn’t mandate socialism and all the other things, the fears that are out there, that it will be shown that it’s not as bad as people think,” he says.
The state board will have to use the Common Core as a base model when it develops Indiana’s next set of academic standards or risk running afoul of a flexibility waiver from the federal Department of Education. Indiana could also keep its waiver if it develops standards rated higher than the Common Core.
For more on the Common Core and what Thursday’s deal means for education standards, visit StateImpact Indiana, an NPR and WFIU collaboration focusing on education policy.