Indiana Bill Will Mandate Assessment and Public Input of Common Core

The Indianapolis Star spun yesterday’s vote on SB 193 in the Indiana Senate Education and Career Development committee as a sign that the state will likely keep the Common Core State Standards.

I disagree.  This coming Tuesday the full Indiana Senate will vote on the bill.  This is an extraordinary vote because no such vote on the Common Core has taken place.  If the bill passes the Senate, the House and then signed by Governor Mike Pence it will send a message that further review of these standards are needed.  That will send a message throughout the country.

It isn’t a knee-jerk response.  While I would like to see the standards go this bill will in effect implement the process that should have taken place to begin with.  SB 193 if passed will mandate that the Common Core State Standards are assessed without limitation.  It will also require that the Indiana State Board of Education have public sessions in every congressional district so that parents can share their concerns and desires about Indiana’s standards and their alignment with the Common Core.   It will require that the SBOE and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction receive advice from subject-area teachers and experts. Basically the bill requires the expertise, transparency, and public discussion that are hallmarks of good governance and  a democratic republic –hallmarks that were completely circumvented when Indiana adopted the Common Core in 2010.

Believe it or not, leading up to the vote yesterday, some of the opponents to this bill were arguing that this was a bad bill because the public input aspect of it would be disastrous for education policy.  Wow – think about that they’re saying it is bad for education policy to have parents weigh in!!!!  Those of us who oppose the Common Core are not afraid of the public.  The truth is on our side: the Common Core standards are a bucket of junk, and overall the Common Core system will marginalize parents and denigrate the teaching profession.

Heather Crossin of Hoosiers Against Common Core, along with Erin Tuttle have been leading the charge against the Common Core’s implementation in Indiana.  She said in an email to me this morning:

We are not afraid of a public review of the standards. We are confident that this is the beginning of the end for the Common Core in Indiana. We are so heavily armed with the truth, facts, and research that we welcome the thirteen month review, and the opportunity for teachers, parents, and content experts from Indiana to be part of the process, since they were not when the Common Core was initially adopted. You have to wonder why groups like Stand for Children, and others, are continuing to oppose the amended bill and working so hard to silence the voices of those who are affected most, namely Hoosier parents and teachers. I can only surmise that they are afraid to have a re-airing of this decision, because they know how sorely they are lacking in evidence and truth.  Yesterday’s vote proved that we still live in an America where individual citizens can make a difference, and can triumph over those with paid lobbyists and those with millions of dollars in special interests.

So bring it on!

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About the Author ()

Shane Vander Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Caffeinated Thoughts, a popular Christian conservative blog in Iowa. He is also the President of 4:15 Communications, a social media & communications consulting/management firm, along with serving as the communications director for American Principles Project’s Preserve Innocence Initiative.  Prior to this Shane spent 20 years in youth ministry serving in church, parachurch, and school settings.  He has taught Jr. High History along with being the Dean of Students for Christian school in Indiana.  Shane and his wife home school their three teenage children and have done so since the beginning.   He has recently been recognized by Campaigns & Elections Magazine as one of the top political influencers in Iowa. Shane and his family reside near Des Moines, IA.  You can connect with Shane on Facebook, follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Google +.