INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
One of the first states to adopt Common Core standards became the first
state to formally abandon the national benchmarks, as Indiana’s State Board
of Education voted overwhelmingly Monday for a replacement that will guide
student learning for years.
The board voted
10-1 to endorse the new benchmarks to guide what students in kindergarten
through 12th grade should learn in math and English, which were created by a
panel of faculty from Indiana universities and representatives from science
and technology industries. The vote came ahead of the state’s July deadline
and could end months of heated debate.
“I hope that with
this conversation behind us, we can stick with these standards and make sure
we’re not continually moving the goal posts on our students and educators,”
board member at-large Gordon Hendry said. “The reasons academic standards
have been successful in places like Massachusetts is because legislators and
policymakers picked a direction and stayed with it.”
Common Core in 2010 along with 44 other states. But states’ rights advocates
and tea party members later vocally opposed the Common Core standards,
saying they were created without adequate local input.
Indiana lawmakers passed legislation pausing Common Core’s implementation
and requiring a statewide review to find a replacement. Gov. Mike Pence in
March signed legislation making Indiana the first state to drop the national
standards, which are not federally required but became the de facto
But the replacement
standards, which include requiring second-graders to “add and subtract
fluently up to 100,” have also drawn criticism from national education
experts and the grassroots group Hoosiers Against Common Core, who say they
too closely resemble the tossed-aside benchmarks. For more than an hour
before the vote Monday, members of the public ripped into the new standards,
at times calling them a “rebranded” version of the Common Core.
Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz have defended the newly
“I couldn’t be more
pleased once again that we have strong standards in Indiana,” Ritz said
Pro Tem David Long also spoke in favor of the standards Monday.
Core, and unlike our previous standards, these standards were painstakingly
vetted by teachers, parents and other public input, school administrators
and higher education experts,” he said in a news release. “These are truly
Hoosier standards that leave Indiana in control of our children’s
Board member Andrea
Neal was the only ‘no’ vote. She called the standards “inferior and less
rigorous than the Common Core.”
before us today are not uncommonly high,” Neal said. “There’s lots of doing,
but very little knowing.”
Board member Tony
Walker voted for the standards, but cautioned that they only meet the
“minimal” state requirement of preparing children for college and careers.
He said it’s now up to local schools and parents to make sure students also
are prepared to compete globally.
another board member, said that “you can’t get millions of Hoosiers to all
agree,” but that the early approval means teachers have more time to prepare
lesson plans for this fall.
“The principals and
administrators in the state of Indiana are ready to move forward,” said Tim
McRoberts, the principal of Speedway High School who spoke for the Indiana
Association of School Principals. “In the last few years, there have been a
lot of changes in education. Educators have always stepped up.”
Ten of the board
members are appointed by the governor and the 11th member is the school