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article imageIndiana drops the Common Core standards for students

By Simon Crompton     Mar 27, 2014 in Politics
In January, the Indiana Senate education committee approved a repeal of Common Core standards, the national benchmark for preparing students for colleges or careers.
Most states have adopted the standards, but on March 22 Indiana’s governor opted his state out.
The new legislation does not totally shun Common Core. It simply eliminates what Indiana doesn’t want from Common Core. Now, Utah is rallying behind.
In short, the goal of Common Core is to ensure students are ready for college courses or the workforce. One of the premises for its development came from the high expectations other countries set for students. Common Core is a set of blanket standards devised by teachers and school administration teams for all states. Because Common Core acts as an umbrella, states can collaborate on learning materials and assessments.
The federal government claims not to have a hand in Common Core, but it was the first to initiate the concept and remains a continuous promoter. Although Common Core is implemented by state and local governments, it follows the education standards of the federal government, which defines the standards as the level of achievement students must reach to be successful in life.
Indiana let Common Core into its schools in 2010. Last year, the curriculum was stalled from moving forward into higher grades until the state board votes this year. They will decide if Common Core will advance or if local standards will be used. The concern with trashing Common Core all together is the standards assist students in passing entrance exams. The bill was not opposed by lobbyists in support of Common Core because the state board will be allowed to implement some of the standards. One superintendent was quoted in saying that the curriculum needs to align with Common Core.
Parents against Common Core want to permanently abolish it. The parents were behind the temporary halt and repeal. One mother interviewed for a website opposing Common Core, said her child’s education is being dictated by the private sector, which owns Common Core copyrights. If a teacher, administrator or school board member found the standards should be changed, it wouldn’t be allowed because no one in Indiana has rights to the curriculum.
The mother first discovered the problem in her third grade student’s math worksheets. The worksheets required students to solve minute problems, but write full explanations of how they arrived at the answers. According to the mother, way more time was spent on writing than on problem-solving. The worst part was when the mother attended a meeting at school and listened to a pitch from a sales representative of educative materials. The parents abhorred the pitch, but were told by the principal there wasn’t a choice.
Alternatives include sending their children to an online school. There are many online colleges that offer laptops, and this could be a great benefit to them.
Parents in Utah have appealed to their governor in a public letter to follow Indiana’s lead. Like Indiana, the parents want control of their children’s education to remain local. Dr. Terence Moore, a professor at Hillsdale College, said the states which have adopted Common Core blindly entered into an inhumane scheme that controls thought, families, economics and beliefs. For example, students will study Frankenstein, but won’t be required to read it. Consequences to Common Core include boredom and no regard for literature, he said.
More about Indiana, Education, Tests, common core, Schools
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