Manchester University professor Tim Brauch wasn’t always sold on the Common Core — at least not at first.
While working on his doctorate in industrial and applied mathematics at the University of Louisville five years ago, Brauch participated in a fellowship program teaching elementary math.
Though the program predated the Common Core, Brauch says he was expected to use many of the strategies and ideas in the nationally-crafted standards.
“My initial reaction when I saw what we were going to be doing in the classroom with these fourth, fifth and sixth graders was, ‘I don’t think this going to work,’” says Brauch. “But spending two years doing this in the classroom, I really saw that many of the ideas in Common Core were working.”
Today Brauch teaches all of the math education courses at Manchester University, as well as other courses such as discrete mathematics. His day job earned him a seat at the table during Indiana’s exhaustive standards rewrite last month.
The state used to set new expectations for what students should know and learn at each grade level every few years with little fanfare. But in recent months, academic standards have become a topic of fierce statehouse debate in Indiana. Now the State Board is on track to vote on new academic standards to replace the nationally-crafted Common Core expectations.
A Note On ‘Forced Consensus’State education officials took feedback on the proposed expectations for Indiana schools at a series of public meetings last week.
Many Common Core opponents expressed dismay that so many of the proposed standards came from the nationally-crafted expectations for schools. But State Board of Education member Brad Oliver says that’s to be expected because any standard the K-12 educators and experts agreed met Indiana’s definition of “college- and career-ready” was included in the draft.
“You’re going to see a certain percentage of the standards come through,” Oliver told StateImpact. “That’s what forced consensus is about. It’s about a group of subject matter experts saying, ‘We agree. This meets that criteria.’”
Public comment on the proposed standards continues online through March 12.