Education, From The Capitol To The Classroom

Utah Governor Says Indiana Standards Too Similar To Common Core

Rep. Rhonda Rhoads shakes Gov. Mike Pence's hand as he takes the podium for a speech in Corydon.

Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana

Rep. Rhonda Rhoads shakes Gov. Mike Pence's hand as he takes the podium for a speech in Corydon.

Other states watching Indiana’s Common Core exit aren’t convinced the new academic standards written “by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers” will be a significant departure from the nationally-crafted expectations they replace, writes Stephanie Wang for the Indianapolis Star:

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, told journalists last week that new Hoosier educational standards still are almost mirroring exactly the national standards that Pence eschewed.

As Herbert talked about Utah controlling its decisions over academic standards, he was asked whether the state would legislate a split from Common Core, as Indiana did.

“I’ve talked to Gov.Pence about what they’re doing there,” Herbert said. “In essence, they’re saying they’re creating what’s called the Indiana Core. It’s not the Common Core … but their standards are almost mirroring exactly what is commonly referred to as the Common Core standards.”

A Pence spokeswoman said Monday that Herbert is clearly mistaken about his conversation with Pence.

“Governor Pence has been consistent in calling for new Indiana standards that are written by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers and are uncommonly high,” Christy Denault said in a statement. “Any effort to simply rebrand Common Core would not achieve the governor’s stated objectives.”

That said, state education officials who have been closely involved with the standards rewrite say some overlap with Common Core is to be expected. The process will wrap up next month when the State Board votes to adopt the proposed standards.

Whether other states will follow Indiana’s lead and drop the Common Core remains to be seen. In 2013, Indiana was the only state to pause rollout of the common expectations, though there were challenges in a half-dozen other states.

We explained the political landscape that led to Common Core backlash last summer in a half-hour radio documentary. Or, for the latest, check out last week’s Noon Edition discussion on academic standards.


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