The Indiana House passed SB 91 on a 67 to 26 vote. SB 91 authored by State Senators Scott Schneider (R-Indianapolis) and Dennis Kruse (R-Auburn) in effect repeals the Common Core State Standards.
Here is the bill digest:
Adds a definition of "college and career readiness". Provides that before July 1, 2014, the state board of education (state board) shall adopt Indiana college and career readiness educational standards. Provides that during the 2015-2016 school year, the state board shall authorize the department to administer either the ISTEP assessment or a comparable assessment program that is aligned with the educational standards. Provides that before the state board may authorize a new assessment program, the state board shall submit the proposed assessment program to the budget committee for review. Makes technical and conforming amendments.
Even with this new bill we have to wonder how much Indiana is surrendering control over their standards.
SB 91 originally stated that the new Indiana standards must “comply with federal standards to receive a flexibility waiver under 20 U.S.C. 7861.” Proponents believe that “college and career ready standards” means adopting Common Core or something practically identical to the Common Core State Standards in order to stay within compliance of the state’s conditional waiver.
The bill also says the standards must “Prepare Indiana students for college and career success, including the proper preparation for nationally recognized college entrance examinations such as the ACT and SAT.” While that seems good, ACT and SAT have said their tests will be aligned to the Common Core.
So I’m leery about the outcome, and as I wrote earlier today, the review process and the new draft standards do not look promising. So I don’t want to throw a wet blanket on what should be seen as a great victory, but I also want to make sure that the wool is not pulled over our eyes.
I certainly don’t believe this is the intent of the Indiana legislators who voted for this bill. We’ll have to wait to see what the final product ends up being. It would have been my preference that they would have gone back to the previous standards.
SB 91 passed the Indiana Senate on 2/4/14, and since it has been amended it will go back to the Senate for their approval before heading to Governor Mike Pence’s desk.
Photo credit: Massimo Catarinella (CC-BY-SA 2.5)