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Common Core challenged

I wrote yesterday about the Indiana Department of Education's push for Common Core Standards and the national backlash from conservatives to what they view as the threat of a national curriculum. ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council) and its minions are unhappy.

As if on cue, one of the Indiana Senate's most conservative voices – in a chamber moving further and further to the right -- has proposed a Common Core study.

Superintendent Tony Bennett is probably wishing that a few more lawmakers were distracted by the Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood.

From the Senate GOP caucus:

Sen. Schneider Proposes Legislative

Study of Common Core Education Standards

Senate Education Committee Sends Resolution to Full Senate

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 22, 2012) – Members of the Senate Committee on Education today unanimously approved a resolution authored by Sen. Scott Schneider (R-Indianapolis) urging a more in-depth study on Common Core State Standards and the impact on Indiana's nationally recognized education benchmarks.

"Indiana has long been acknowledged nationally for having high education standards and many are concerned that moving to Common Core State Standards would be a significant step away from the expectations we currently have in math and English," Schneider said. "It's my hope the study committee will thoroughly examine national standards compared to locally developed state standards to ensure we are not going backwards."

Senate Resolution 38, which passed out of committee by a vote of 10-0, calls on the Legislative Council to establish an interim study committee to examine:

  • Implementation of the recently adopted Common Core State Standards in Indiana
  • Appropriateness of adopting future Common Core State Standards for Hoosier students
  • Whether or not the Common Core State Standards are at least as rigorous as Indiana's nationally recognized standards
  • If there is any impact from national standards to locally developed standards
"Many national subject matter experts in math and English agree Indiana's current standards, established as a result of input from parents, teachers and education leaders in their respected fields of expertise, are higher than the Common Core State Standards'," Schneider said. "But with very little public input or knowledge our education leaders voted to lower the bar by switching to the Common Core. I find this unacceptable and believe Hoosiers expect more of our education system."

SR 38 now moves to the full Senate for further action. Hoosiers can access a full, updated copy of the resolution online by visiting

Karen Francisco, editorial page editor for The Journal Gazette, has been an Indiana journalist since 1981. She writes frequently about education for The Journal Gazette opinion pages and here, where she looks at the business, politics and science of learning as it relates to northeast Indiana, the state and the nation. She can be reached at 260-461-8206 or by e-mail at