Under the questionable leadership of former state school Superintendent Tony Bennett, Indiana was duped into adopting the national Common Core State Standards. The program itself is a misnomer, as it is not a state program at all but a coordinated effort to standardize curriculum throughout the United States.
The states were more or less coerced to implement Common Core adoption by President Obama’s Race-to-the-Top initiative, which withheld billions of dollars of education money from states if they did not adopt the standards. This new nation-wide curriculum standard would lower standards for math and English education such that future 10th grade students will be expected to reach skill levels currently attained by 8th graders in Indiana.
University math professors have said that the new standards would inadequately prepare students for entry level college mathematics courses.
This curriculum standard would be forced onto religious and private schools as well as home school students throughout the nation. Common Core wishes to achieve educational equality by weighing the top students down.
Additional controversy stems from the data collection requirements of the Common Core State Standards. Students will be asked to give highly personal private information regarding themselves and their families in order to take the testing. As has been witnessed by the recent revelations regarding personal data use by the IRS, NSA and other formerly trusted institutions, people are right to question giving sensitive information to anyone, even educational testing administrators.
Sen. Scott Schneider of Indianapolis introduced legislation in the last session that would have removed Indiana from the Common Core scheme.
Unfortunately, his original bill did not make it out of the Senate Education Committee, but emerged as a one-year halt in implementation of Common Core to allow for additional study and public comment before the nine-member state board of education would vote on whether to go forward with the national standards in Indiana. This version passed both houses, and was signed into law by Gov. Mike Pence.
The major problem with this law is that it does not stop Common Core implementation; it just delays it a year as it will surely be implemented by the same board of education that chose to adopt it in the first place.
This leaves Hoosiers with no other choice but to demand their legislators pass law that would withdraw Indiana from Common Core. With state representatives such as Kathy Heuer (Rep.-District 83), who voted against the pause and for immediate implementation of the national program with no further study, it is certainly not assured that a vote to withdraw would pass. Rep. Heuer and others have received campaign donations from supporters of Common Core such as the Chamber of Commerce.
While support for Common Core defies logic and reason, you can count on certain politicians to choose personal aggrandizement over what makes common sense for their constituents.