Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Statehouse Republicans Want Indiana Alternative To Common Core Standards

    Rep. Bob Behning, R-Indianapolis, left, and Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, co-chaired the interim study committee on the Common Core.

    Elle Moxley / StateImpact Indiana

    Rep. Bob Behning, R-Indianapolis, left, and Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, say statehouse Republicans will send a letter to the State Board of Education recommending Indiana write its own expectations for students.

    Indiana’s top Republican lawmakers say it’s time to move on from the Common Core standards initiative and write state-level expectations for students.

    House Speaker Brian Bosma called the fight over nationally-crafted education standards known as the Common Core a “distraction” and says it’s time for Indiana to develop its own expectations for students.

    “They need to incorporate, be compatible with the ACT and the SAT,” says Bosma. “We can’t ignore those tests despite, no kidding, some legislators telling me, ‘Why do we care?’  And we need to have a test that tests those standards…and it may not be off the shelf.”

    Hoosiers have been debating whether to stay the course with the Common Core since state lawmakers voted to pause rollout in the spring. But a legislative panel reviewing the standards couldn’t muster the votes last week to recommend to the State Board that Indiana leave the initiative.

    House Minority Leader Scott Pelath says the state shouldn’t use ideology to make decisions. He notes that the controversy over Common Core only arose after the Obama administration voiced its support for the standards:

    “There’s so much anger about the federal government that we can tell ourselves that just because the federal government mouthed the words that the words themselves are wrong,” says Pelath. “That’s a mindset that we need to get past.”

    Bosma would not rule out legislation affecting Common Core, either for or against, in the upcoming session.


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