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Indiana first state to drop Common Core

April 09, 2014 | 09:21 AM

Indiana lawmakers unhappy with the current national Common Core education standards gave the federal government the ultimate showing of their growing distaste at the highest level last month as Gov. Mike Pence signed new legislation that made Indiana the first state in the country to opt out of the national program.

In late January, Senate Bill 91 — which would allow the Common Core curriculum currently in use to be disregarded and the State Board of Education to adopt its own college and career readiness standards before July 1 — passed the Senate Education and Career Development Committee and in early February continued to charge ahead, gaining support from the full Senate.

Common Core standards are academic guidelines for classroom instruction created by an association of state governors, and all but five states had agreed to follow them. The repeal does not prevent portions of Common Core from being adopted for classroom use but allows the SBOE to decide which standards would supplement any new ones.

The Common Core program isn't a federally-mandated curriculum; it was developed by the National Governors Association, and Indiana was one of the first states to adopt the standards, under then-Gov. Mitch Daniels.

That was in 2010 and, initially, 45 states and the District of Columbia agreed to sign on to the new standards. Now, several states are reconsidering their participation in the program, with approximately 100 bills to slow, stop or reverse Common Core requirements being introduced to state legislatures across the country this year. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, that is an 85-percent increase over repeal requests from last year.

However, under the tutelage of Pence and the current state superintendent of public instruction, Glenda Ritz, there have been questions, and the pair have said it is their intent to create standards that are unique to Indiana.

While the state no longer has to comply with the national Common Core program, the new legislation doesn't mean Indiana students will receive a dramatically different education than those from neighboring states.

The legislation strikes references to Common Core and requires the SBOE to adopt what it calls "college and career readiness" standards that meet national benchmarks and comply with federal standards while maintaining Indiana's power over its educational programs.

Some schools have done well under the repealed measures.

Crawford County Community School Corp. Supt. Dr. Mark Eastridge has said, since the Common Core's implementation in 2010, there have been improvements corporation-wide but that he isn't sure those can be attributed to Common Core standards. The school has been improving for a number of years, although the constant changes in state and federal benchmarks make it somewhat difficult to plan from year to year.

Some educators are worried the repeal may have unintended ramifications.

Crawford County Community School Corp. — along with all of the other schools in the area — receive federal dollars from its adoption of the Common Core standards.

"We will work diligently to implement whatever the state of Indiana decides to do in order to comply with the state of Indiana," Eastridge said earlier in regard to the changes to educational standards, adding that his job is to do what is best for the students within his corporation.

For now, the worry that Indiana schools could lose federal funding dollars seems to be under control as the bill still requires the state to meet federal education standards in order to preserve educational funding.

Twitter: @LeslieNicole5

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    Indiana Dropping Common Core
    April 13, 2014 | 04:37 PM

    Indiana has to drop the common core standards because they can not find a was to rise up to that level. The children here in the South Harrison school district are not being given a college prep education. I would compare a graduate of Corydon Central to have the equivalent class studies of a sophomore at the school I attended (Louisville Male High). I have been very disappointed at every level of education here in Corydon. Here are just a couple of examples. Most every student in the Corydon Central High School has a study hall period every year. This eliminates almost an hour of teaching from the limited amount of time the kids have in school. I did not even know study halls still existed until I moved to Corydon. The children at Corydon Central almost never come home with any home work or have to study for tests. Most of the time they do not even bring their books home. I had to study my tail off in high school for every test and yet the kids here never study and still bring home A's. Corydon Central's science department is terribly understaffed leaving only a few basic science courses to chose from. Chemistry 2 is not even an option at Corydon Central. An example of true college prep at Louisville Male is when I took Chem 1 and 2 there my professor gave the exact same lectures he gave to the classes he taught at U of L Speed school. After graduation I attended Speed and could use my high school notes. I can tell you after reviewing the chem 1 material from Corydon Central that they only cover about half of what chem 1 should. Without chem 2 even being available Students in Corydon are only prepared for about a quarter of what they will see in college. I could go on all day but I will stop my rant for now. I just wish the children here in Corydon had the opportunity to succeed with a school that truly preps them for the future.

    Chad Pulliam
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    April 14, 2014 | 02:15 PM

    If you want college prep, you can get it at South Harrison. You simply have to apply yourself. FREE college level classes to the point where if you were on the ball you could have a freshman year of college under your belt before you even graduated high school. That's not lacking, in my opinion.

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    April 15, 2014 | 01:35 PM

    There's a BIG difference between Male and CCHS....obviously if you went to Male then you know you have to apply and there are different paths that people take, traditional or what not....You live in Corydon now, not Louisville...They are different towns, in case you didn't catch on to that at the I64 exit. CCHS only has only so much money, unlike Male...send your kids there or homeschool like us. Then your kids will get the education YOU want them to have and not just giving them over to the government...they are your kids. Educated them yourself and quite blaming everyone else for failures you can help alleviate.

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    April 19, 2014 | 06:46 AM

    I don't think people should be attacking this man for giving his opinion. Male is an excellent school and it would be nice if Corydon had options such as this for our children. I would be happy if our children were ready for college as well. I have four, and they all have taken the college classes that are available to them, and every single one of them, called me crying their first years of college, over and over, literally crying because Corydon had not prepared them for college. They went from making A's to feeling totally lost! One of my children called from college and said "Please get my brother out of there (he was the only one left), because I don't want him to go through what I am right now", and before you make a comment on their intelligence, yes I have very intelligent children. Almost every college student right now from Corydon says that they were not prepared and had problems with their first years in college. If you choose not to believe us ask some. You'll see the man is correct. Or ask an exchange student what they think of the education system in place at Corydon. If your child graduates from Corydon you will then find out, too late, that Corydon does NOT prepare our children for college.

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Corydon Democrat, 301 N. Capitol Ave., Corydon, IN 47112 • 1-812-738-2211 • email