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Legislators Might Remove Common Core Education Standards

Teacher Helps Student

Photo: Kyle Stokes/StateImpact Indiana

A teacher assists a student at Christel House Academy in Indianapolis.

State lawmakers get their first look at a bill that would remove Indiana from a list of states that have adopted the Common Core set of standards for K-12 schools.

The Senate Education Committee will hold a hearing on Republican Senator Scott Schneider‘s bill that would remove Indiana from the list of 46 states who have adopted the standards. Developed in 2009, Indiana‘s Department of Education approved them for the state‘s schools in 2010 with the support of many Republicans, including then-Governor Mitch Daniels and the state school superintendent at the time, Tony Bennett.

Since then, members of both parties have joined together to oppose Common Core – some Republicans who believe it is a federalization of education standards, and some Democrats who believe it will lead to more standardized testing and “teaching to the test” as Glenda Ritz put it during her successful run for state superintendent over Bennett.

Schneider says he worries that Common Core will lower standards, which he says are already high in Indiana. He also fears it will affect school choice in the state, saying it would essentially make school curriculums the same, regardless of whether it was a public, private or charter school.

Erin Tuttle is a parent who organized opposition to the Common Core after she said her child had trouble learning the way some subjects were being taught. Tuttle says she also fears Common Core will weaken how local school districts tailor their curriculum to their needs.

Supporters of Common Core, like Larry Grau with Democrats for Education Reform, say it will do the opposite. Grau says it will give Indiana schools a solid base curriculum while allowing individual districts to build whatever standards they wish. He says it will also better prepare students for college.

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