Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

April 1, 2014

THEIR VIEW: Indiana has chance to be an education leader

When Indiana became the first state to bid farewell to the Common Core, most educators across the U.S. criticized the action.

Last week, Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill that does away with the 2010 standards set by then-Gov. Mitch Daniels and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett in OK’ing Common Core State Standards.

Common Core sets the benchmarks for math and English skills in readying students for college or after-graduation work.

Pence’s decision does keep Hoosiers guessing, as they still try to sort out the havoc wreaked by Bennett and the early infighting between his Democrat replacement, Glenda Ritz, and the governor-appointed Indiana State Board of Education.

But Pence’s signing of Senate Bill 91 might offer a different twist on education. Indiana could become a model for other states in detailing what students are taught. Other states are bound to follow Pence’s lead.

Now, Pence and the Board of Education, which must vote on new standards, have to ensure that educators, parents and legislators have a vested commitment in implementing standards. This has to be a team effort, or it will end up as controversial as Pence’s rejection of national standards.

And SB 91 does not ban Indiana from implementing parts of Common Core. On July 1, new math and English benchmarks are to begin for public schools.

Standards must be high, but they also must be within reach of Hoosier students. And, the Council of Chief State School Officers, a Common Core proponent, has said it has, from the start, supported states in choosing “higher, clearer standards” that help prepare students for career and education choices.

Education officials will be looking for a state that can clearly define its education goals and set standards that positively influence graduates.

Now Indiana has to prove it can be the state to do just that.

— Herald Bulletin, Anderson

THE ISSUE Indiana's rejection of Common Core education standards THEIR VIEW Indiana has to prove it can be a leader.

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