Indiana Gov. Mike Pence announced last month that he had signed legislation voiding the state board of education’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards back in 2010.
The legislation was written by a member of the governor’s party, GOP Sen. Scott Schneider, perhaps the most public and persistent voice against the common standards in the Hoosier State.
The state is in the process of drafting and reviewing new standards in English/language arts and mathematics to “replace” the common core. But the standards under development are based in part on the common core. The new standards will be a combination of the common core as well as previous content standards that the state had developed and used in classrooms.
State schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz, a Democrat, has said, for example, that it’s always been her understanding—one that other education officials in Indiana seem to share—that the common core would continue to be a part of the state’s content standards going forward. They are due to be adopted by the state school board in roughly a month.
A press release announcing a conference call this month with Stand for Children CEO Jonah Edelman and Michael J. Petrilli, the executive vice president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute—both strong common-core supporters—to discuss what Indiana’s up to, says that “key elements of the common core are included in the existing [Indiana] draft standards and that the recent legislation in no way prohibits Indiana from using elements of common core.”
Sandra Stotsky, a retired University of Arkansas professor and a common-core opponent, has said that the drafted English/language arts standards released to the public in Indiana are merely a “warmed-over version of common core’s standards.”
Brad Oliver, a member of the state board, has argued that in some places, it becomes difficult to say whether a certain standard is a common-core standard, since some grade-level expectations of various standards will inevitably overlap.
In his State of the State speech in January, Gov. Pence declared that the new standards under development would be written “by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers.” His actions last week buttress that declaration, but his proclamation that the bill he just signed is taking Indiana “out of the common core” is questionable.
A version of this article appeared in the April 02, 2014 edition of Education Week as Indiana Governor Voids Common-Core Adoption