Skepticism surrounding the Common Core Curriculum has grown in the past few months, but no state had decided to forgo the curriculum and pull out of the program – until now.
Last month the Indiana State Senate voted 36-12 to advance a bill that would void all Common Core Curriculum standards, and the anti-Common Core stance is gaining traction as more Republican politicians find fault with the program.
Indiana was one of the first states to happily sign on to Common Core, with popular governor Mitch Daniels and state superintendent Tony Bennett at the helm. But after Daniels left office, the affection for the program died down, with current governor Mike Pence taking the smaller government approach to education (which is nothing new – as a U.S. congressman Pence voted against the No Child Left Behind Act). Bennett lost his seat in 2012 to Glenda Ritz, whose ambivalence toward Common Core has weakened its support even more.
Indiana State Senate president David Long shares that ambivalence. While he says he isn’t against the Curriculum, he wants Indiana to have control over the state’s education practices.
“I don’t think the Common Core discussion is a step backward,” Long said. “I think it’s an issue of sovereignty. We’re talking about trying to have the highest standards in the country, but making sure Indiana controls those standards and it isn’t dictated by the federal government. It’s a state’s rights issue. Indiana is going to stay in control of its standards and what’s being taught in its classrooms.”
The state is working on new program that they hope will garner more public support than Common Core.
“We are deep into a completely transparent and public process to do that,” Pence said. “We are undergoing maybe an unprecedented effort for any state in the country for developing our standards with broad public input.”