Panel leans away from Common Core, despite higher costs

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

A legislative committee studying controversial Common Core education standards is likely to recommend the state create its own curriculum rules and testing program despite higher costs, the group’s co-chairman said Tuesday.

But the study committee didn’t vote at its Tuesday meeting, which was scheduled to be the last for the group this year. Instead, Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, said the committee is likely to have a fourth meeting to consider a formal recommendation.

“There’s some sympathy for Indiana standards and an Indiana test,” Kruse said after the meeting. “But how that would be put down in writing, we’re not sure. The challenge is to get the wording right with a recommendation that we could vote on.”

The committee adjourned Tuesday afternoon following more than three hours of testimony from parents, educators and others – some who supported and many who opposed Common Core, a set of K-12 school standards created by a group of state education officials and endorsed by President Barack Obama’s administration.

The committee also received a report from the Indiana Office of Management and Budget, which found the state would spend roughly $20 million more in the next couple years if it opts against Common Core and instead develops its own standards and assessments.

The study also found there’s little difference between the ongoing costs of testing under Common Core or the state’s own program.

“The OMB report leaves no room for debate: Common Core is the fiscally responsible choice for Hoosier taxpayers,” said Justin Ohlemiller, executive director of Stand for Children, a group pushing for the national standards.

But opponents said lawmakers need to consider more than just the cost of developing an independent assessment. Suzanne Sherby, a parent of four children in Indianapolis, told lawmakers that she’s worried about the way her kids are now learning math.

Critics have complained that Common Core’s math programs are based too much on conceptual thinking and not enough on knowing how to add, subtract, multiply and divide.

“My child only gets one shot at third grade. And he only has one chance to master the mathematics he will need to be successful in any higher-level endeavors,” Sherby said. “I sincerely hope you will take these costs – which are somewhat difficult to quantify in terms of dollars and cents – into account.”

The legislative committee’s work is part of a larger effort to determine whether Indiana should stick with Common Core, which it adopted in 2010 and has already implemented statewide in kindergarten and first grade.

Earlier this year, the Republican-controlled General Assembly voted to pause implementation of Common Core to conduct a multi-faceted study of the standards. That study includes work by the legislative committee, the education department, the State Board of Education and other officials.

Kruse said after the meeting that the costs outlined by the state budget officials aren’t a reason for Indiana not to develop its own standards and testing program.

“I would have anticipated that,” he said. “And actually the cost seems to be a reasonable amount of money.”


  • No Need to Waster $20 Million
    Eric - The common core standards came from a study group initiated by state governors. It did not originate with the Federal government. If you review the background behind the standards as well as their content you will find that they are intended to bring some consistency in what is taught across the various school systems and the standards are also intended to bring critical thinking skills into the classrooms to better prepare students for the future. Indiana politicians have politicized the standards because the Obama Administration also supports the standards. Indiana students already lag many other states as shown in SAT and ACT scores. Spending an unnecessary $20 million to produce something that is "Indiana grown" seems very wasteful to me.
  • Can't be too careful
    I find the concept of common core to be a little spooky, and I'm glad to see the states starting to take a closer look. Allowing some centralized bureaucracy to decide what all children nationwide will learn gives an awful lot of power to a few people. Can't hurt to have a second set of eyes evaluate the curriculum.

Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. From the story: "The city of Indianapolis also will consider tax incentives and funding for infrastructure required for the project, according to IEDC." Why would the City need to consider additional tax incentives when Lowe's has already bought the land and reached an agreement with IEDC to bring the jobs? What that tells me is that the City has already pledged the incentives, unofficially, and they just haven't had time to push it through the MDC yet. Either way, subsidizing $10/hour jobs is going to do nothing toward furthering the Mayor's stated goal of attracting middle and upper-middle class residents to Marion County.

  2. Ron Spencer and the entire staff of Theater on the Square embraced IndyFringe when it came to Mass Ave in 2005. TOTS was not only a venue but Ron and his friends created, presented and appeared in shows which embraced the 'spirit of the fringe'. He's weathered all the storms and kept smiling ... bon voyage and thank you.

  3. Not sure how many sushi restaurants are enough, but there are three that I know of in various parts of downtown proper and all are pretty good.

  4. First off, it's "moron," not "moran." 2nd, YOU don't get to vote on someone else's rights and freedoms that are guaranteed by the US Constitution. That's why this is not a state's rights issue...putting something like this to vote by, well, people like you who are quite clearly intellectually challenged isn't necessary since the 14th amendment has already decided the issue. Which is why Indiana's effort is a wasted one and a waste of money...and will be overturned just like this has in every other state.

  5. Rick, how does granting theright to marry to people choosing to marry same-sex partners harm the lives of those who choose not to? I cannot for the life of me see any harm to people who choose not to marry someone of the same sex. We understand your choice to take the parts of the bible literally in your life. That is fine but why force your religious beliefs on others? I'm hoping the judges do the right thing and declare the ban unconstitutional so all citizens of Wisconsin and Indiana have the same marriage rights and that those who chose someone of the same sex do not have less rights than others.