Board approves new education standards to replace Common Core

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INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana State Board of Education voted to approve new academic standards Monday morning, as part of the state’s withdrawal from the national Common Core standards.

Board members approved new math standards by a vote of 10-1, and also approved new English and language arts standards by the same margin.

The vote comes one week after the Indiana Education Roundtable approved the new 2014 Indiana College and Career Ready Standards in math and English language arts.

Before that meeting, protesters held a rally at the Statehouse to voice their objections, and many of those same opponents came to the Board meeting on Monday to make their voices heard.

“You have the power to be more than a rubber stamp, you have the power to do more than last week’s decision,” said Stephanie Engelman. “Let’s go back to our previous standards (and) take time to come up with better standards.”

Opponents said they felt the new standards were nothing more than Common Core with a new name, with many of the same standards simply re-worded or re-phrased.

“If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck,” said Wes Myronson. “Call it whatever you want, it’s still Common Core and it’s not right for the people of Indiana.”

Earlier this year, Indiana lawmakers voted to throw out national Common Core standards, favoring instead a “For Hoosiers, By Hoosiers” approach.

Teachers, administrators and others drafted three versions of Indiana’s own standards.

The new exams would be based off the new standards, as Indiana plans on replacing the current assessment, ISTEP, after spring 2015.

“I couldn’t be more pleased that once again we have strong standards in Indiana,” said state superintendent Glenda Ritz. “I feel like we have excellent strong standards.”

Senate president Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, issued the following statement today about the newly adopted standards:

“Today’s adoption of new education standards marks the completion of a process called for by the General Assembly to ensure our school kids have the highest standards possible and our education policy remains in the hands of Hoosiers. Unlike Common Core, and unlike our previous standards, these standards were painstakingly vetted by teachers, parents and other public input, school administrators and higher education experts.  My greatest concern with keeping the Common Core standards was that they created the potential for the federal government to intervene and ultimately control our school curriculum and decision making. The adoption of these standards prevents that. These are truly Hoosier standards that leave Indiana in control of our children’s educational future. I appreciate the enormous amount of time and effort that so many dedicated education leaders in our state have put into crafting these new Indiana standards.”

And House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, also offered a statement on today’s decision:

“I sincerely appreciate the hard work of so many dedicated Hoosier educators and policy makers to establish independent Indiana standards.  As we move forward, we will continue to monitor their implementation to ensure that Indiana’s standards are the best in the nation and that our students are prepared to compete in a global economy.”