2014 started with great optimism for thousands of concerned parents, grandparents and many educators from around the state. The governor spoke of his support for “uncommonly high standards written by Hoosiers for Hoosiers”; the General Assembly was moving toward dropping the highly controversial and swiftly adopted Common Core Standards from 2010; the State Board of Education and Department of Education announced they would work cooperatively together to produce a new set of standards that would be fair and exceed the requirements mandated in HEA1427.
Now, it is early March, and after three days of public testimony on the new draft standards, the only area of agreement between the advocates of Common Core from 2010 and the opponents of Common Core is that the draft standards are “remarkably similar” to Common Core. This cut-and-paste result is a huge betrayal to the hundreds of citizens and supportive legislators who have worked for months to not only retain our state’s educational sovereignty but to produce educational standards that are “uncommonly” high and truly prepare children for their careers or college.
The State Board of Education is the first state board in the country that has committed to a better set of standards, but time is running out. The education industry has historically fallen prey to jumping on the bandwagon of unproven, untested ideas such as Common Core. None of us would expose our children to medications that haven’t gone through years of trials and FDA approvals. Why are we willing to continue to use our children as “educational lab rats” when it comes to ideas such as Common Core? In the coming months the SBOE, DOE, the governor and General Assembly are going to have to decide which side they plan to serve, the educational industry or the concerned citizens and the children of this state. We trust they will make the right decision but we will also verify.