Indiana Senate Committee Reviews Common Core Bill

By Sean Powers

An Indiana Senate education committee heard testimony Wednesday about an initiative to remove the state from the Common Core State Standards national education initiative.

State Sen. Scott Schneider (R-Indianapolis) wants Indiana to do away the Common Core Standards, saying previous benchmarks were better - in part - because local communities had more control over schools.

“It was transparent,” Schneider said. “It was collaborative. It was a long, drawn out process that brought in a lot of different stakeholders, community leaders, parents, and teachers.”

Back in 2010, Indiana’s state Board of Education joined the set of uniform math and reading benchmarks, known as the Common Core Standards, which 45 states have adopted.

Common Core supporters argue the standards fix shortcomings in Indiana's previous benchmarks. State Sen. Earline Rogers (D-Gary) wants to keep the educational standards in place.

“I live in a border county in Lake County, right next to Illinois,” Rogers said. “So, it absolutely benefits the students in Illinois and the students in Indiana to have the same standards, so that they can continue their movements forward.”

Newly elected State Superintendent Glenda Ritz, who is a Democrat, said the state should take a closer look at the Common Core standards. She said she wants to put together a panel to review the educational policies, especially in math.

“Many career opportunities require extensive knowledge in the area of math, and many employers complain that students do not have the math skills need to directly enter the workforce from high school,” Ritz said. “To address this concern, we need to begin with a conversation around standards, and then determine the instructional delivery and the assessment of those standards.”

The Senate committee is expected to vote on the bill do away with the Common Core standards next week.

Story source: WILL