Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

New Life For Proposal To Pause Indiana's Common Core Implementation

    Elle Moxley / StateImpact Indiana

    Sen. Scott Schneider, R-Indianapolis, speaks at an anti-Common Core rally at the statehouse in January.

    A plan to temporarily halt implementation of the new Common Core academic standards is back on after the Senate Education Committee added language to a House bill Wednesday, reports Indiana Public Broadcasting‘s Brandon Smith:

    The Senate passed legislation earlier this session that would pause implementation of the Common Core, a nationally-crafted set of academic standards adopted by 45 states. But the bill stalled in the House, leading the Senate Education Committee to amend the language into a House measure.

    Under the amended bill, the state would halt implementation of the standards until a series of public hearings is held at the Statehouse. A legislative study committee would develop a recommendation and submit it to the state Board of Education, which still has the final say on Common Core’s fate.

    House Education Committee Chair Bob Behning says he is not opposed to holding public hearings on Common Core.

    “But don’t stop implementation because we’re two and a half years into implementation,” Behning says. “I don’t think it’s fair to educators to play politics with things like standards.”

    Sen. Scott Schneider, R-Indianapolis, who authored the original Common Core bill, says despite Behning’s objections, he thinks the full House will back his plan.

    “The majority of folks that I have talked to on both sides of the building, and on both sides of the aisle, for that matter, are in support of doing that stops further implementation and gives us a thorough review and an ability for us to look at everything,” Schneider says.

    Schneider says he is confident the House will simply concur with the amended bill and avoid a conference committee where Behning might have more influence.

    Originally, Schneider filed a proposal to withdraw Indiana from the Common Core at the urging of two Indianapolis parents who are opposed to the new standards. But with input from state superintendent Glenda Ritz, lawmakers modified the plan. That bill is stalled in the House.

    Critics of the Common Core say they aren’t as strong as Indiana’s old academic standards. They also say the new standards lack input from Indiana parents, teachers and administrators, which is why Ritz suggested a series of statewide meetings to gather input on the Common Core.


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