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Indiana education panel approves new school standards

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A panel of Indiana business and education leaders were met with boos and jeers from attendees after they voted overwhelmingly Monday to support new math and English standards set to replace the Common Core curriculum in classrooms this fall.

Indiana was one of the first of 45 states to adopt the national benchmarks in Common Core in 2010 in an effort to create consistently high standards across state lines. The adoption sped through under former Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett, and it wasn't until later that opponents criticized the lack of local input.

The legislature passed a bill in 2013 pausing the standards' implementation, and Pence signed legislation in March to make Indiana the first state to formally abandon them. Indiana is blazing ahead of other states with interest in ditching Common Core. About 100 bills have been introduced this year to repeal or pause the use of it in classrooms, according to the National Council of State Legislatures.

State law requires Indiana to adopt "the best standards in the United States" by July.

The approval from the Education Roundtable — co-chaired by Pence and Superintendent for Public Instruction Glenda Ritz and flushed with lawmakers, business leaders and education officials — means the standards passed one of the last hurdles before adoption. They will go before the State Board of Education on April 28 for final approval.

Members voted 21-2 in favor of the English benchmarks with one member abstaining. The math standards were approved 21-3.

Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction Danielle Shockey said a supplemental glossary with definitions of what critics called vague terms in the standards will be available for interested school corporations, along with recommended reading lists numerous national evaluators requested.

Several Roundtable members said developing tests to accurately assess the standards is a pressing concern considering school ratings and teacher evaluations both are tied to testing.

A cost analysis by the Legislative Services Agency estimates the transition to new standards could cost the state about $10.5 million next school year, $23-32 million in 2015-2016 and $17-26 million annually beginning in the 2016-2017 school year.

Despite the Roundtable's strong vote in support of the guidelines, some expert evaluators and members of Hoosiers Against Common Core were unconvinced the planned replacement for the national standards are much different.

Analysis of earlier drafts of the English standards for sixth through 12th grade show about 90 percent were either directly from Common Core or edited versions of those standards. Those benchmarks were used as a baseline to craft the proposed standards, along with previous standards in place in Indiana.

Education officials last week said no formal analysis is planned to evaluate how much of Common Core is left in the final draft.

About 200 people filled a Statehouse hallway before the Roundtable meeting to hear Terrence Moore — an assistant professor of history from Hillsdale College who opposes Common Core and reviewed an earlier draft of the standards.

"If these standards were to come to me as a paper, I would put an F on it and write one word: plagiarism," Moore said. "They want us to believe these are entirely new standards. Well, they're not."

One audience member watching the Education Roundtable meeting let out a chuckle when the governor repeated his call for "uncommonly high" benchmarks written "by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers." His praise for the transparency of the evaluation — there were three public hearings and more than 2,000 comments submitted online on the first draft — brought laughter.

Many held up signs that read, "Governor Pence, are you listening?"

State Sen. Dennis Kruse, R-Auburn, was one of the few who voted against the draft. He declined to comment on why he opposes those standards.

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  • Datamining...
    If you use PowerSchool to view your child's progress, Pearson has all that data, NOW. Yes, let's stop pouring taxpayer $ in to a system which needs to focus on basic teaching our children NON-CommonCore curriculum.
  • The head of the nail has been struck
    Excellent Response!!! Common Core has a dirty little secret...data collection. There are four hundred points of data being collected, monitored and stored on every child in the American education system. Monitoring devices are being implemented in our children's classrooms. All of this is being done under the guise of education reform. The State Longitudinal Database System, is a comprehensive database compiled on each child. This data is not aggregate data, it is linked specifically to the child. Data that is collected will follow the child through to their adult years and beyond. In fact, that is the purpose of the SLDS, to provide a database that “grows” along with the child into their career years. The Workforce Data Quality Initiative's Mission Statement from the United States Department of Labor's website reads: "The long-term Workforce Data Quality Initiative and SLDS goal for States is to use their longitudinal data systems to follow individuals through school and into and through their work life." "Enable workforce data to be matched with education data to ultimately create longitudinal data systems with individual-level information beginning with pre-kindergarten through post-secondary schooling all the way through entry and sustained participation in the workforce and employment services system." The SLDS has been implemented nationwide in each state. It became fully operational in 2012. The funding for the SLDS was from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act in 2009. Oregon was awarded $10.5 million to create our SLDS.
  • Who Are We Kidding...
    Common Core's True Purpose....not about education or school evaluations but has a dirty little secret...data collection. There are four hundred points of data being collected, monitored and stored on every child in the American education system. Monitoring devices are being implemented in our children's classrooms. All of this is being done under the guise of education reform. The State Longitudinal Database System, is a comprehensive database compiled on each child. This data is not aggregate data, it is linked specifically to the child. Data that is collected will follow the child through to their adult years and beyond. In fact, that is the purpose of the SLDS, to provide a database that “grows” along with the child into their career years. The Workforce Data Quality Initiative's Mission Statement from the United States Department of Labor's website reads: "The long-term Workforce Data Quality Initiative and SLDS goal for States is to use their longitudinal data systems to follow individuals through school and into and through their work life." "Enable workforce data to be matched with education data to ultimately create longitudinal data systems with individual-level information beginning with pre-kindergarten through post-secondary schooling all the way through entry and sustained participation in the workforce and employment services system." The SLDS has been implemented nationwide in each state. It became fully operational in 2012.
  • Indiana Failed Students Again
    We currently send our kids to a Catholic school. When Common Core started over 50% of the parents were disappointed in the curriculum. The common standards the federal government put in place, dummy down schools who currently exceed state and national standards. It did for our school. I am very sad to see Indiana did not dump the Common Core altogether. We were given hope only to be disappointed by government re-branding common core or as I read somewhere recently commie crap. Indiana step it up and show the state government we are better than common core and our kids deserve more.
  • Common Failure
    Sorry Mike, but Common Core and high standards are on opposite sides of the aisle. We see consultants and policy makers creating guidelines and material where there should be parents and teachers. Common Core is absolutely failing our kids and our educational system. Indiana gets press as state to move away from the failure that is Common Core, yet instead all they did was rewrite the same principals and standards. WHATS WRONG WITH THE CORE>>> One: Standards shouldn’t be attached to school subjects, but to the qualities of mind it’s hoped the study of school subjects promotes. Subjects are mere tools, just as scalpels, acetylene torches, and transits are tools. Surgeons, welders, surveyors — and teachers — should be held accountable for the quality of what they produce, not how they produce it. Two: The world changes. The future is indiscernible. Clinging to a static strategy in a dynamic world may be comfortable, even comforting, but it’s a Titanic-deck-chair exercise. Three: The Common Core Standards assume that what kids need to know is covered by one or another of the traditional core subjects. In fact, the unexplored intellectual terrain lying between and beyond those familiar fields of study is vast, expands by the hour, and will go in directions no one can predict. Four: So much orchestrated attention is being showered on the Common Core Standards, the main reason for poor student performance is being ignored—a level of childhood poverty the consequences of which no amount of schooling can effectively counter. Five: The Common Core kills innovation. When it’s the only game in town, it’s the only game in town. Six: The Common Core Standards are a set-up for national standardized tests, tests that can’t evaluate complex thought, can’t avoid cultural bias, can’t measure non-verbal learning, can’t predict anything of consequence (and waste boatloads of money). Seven: The word “standards” gets an approving nod from the public (and from most educators) because it means “performance that meets a standard.” However, the word also means “like everybody else,” and standardizing minds is what the Standards try to do. Common Core Standards fans sell the first meaning; the Standards deliver the second meaning. Standardized minds are about as far out of sync with deep-seated American values as it’s possible to get. Eight: The Common Core Standards’ stated aim — “success in college and careers”— is at best pedestrian, at worst an affront. The young should be exploring the potentials of humanness.
    • Why care?
      Since Having high educational standards is the goal, who cares if the standards are the same ones stated in Common Core? Seems the only reason to go through the $25 million annual exercise is to put Hoosier in the title. We could be putting that money into supporting the high standards already present in Common Core by paying great salaries to have great teachers and great schools. The cost of political theatrics is mind boggling.
    • Indiana = amateur government
      Having gotten a mark for plagiarism in the 3rd grade, the memory is vivid and the lesson was learned. Why are our leaders pretending we don't notice the plagiarism, lies, and cover up? Do they really think we're all that stupid? Yes, yes they do. :(

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