Bill to Pull Common Core Out of Indiana Clears Senate Education Committee

The Indiana Senate Education and Career Development committee voted in 7 to 3 in favor of SB 193, the Common Core State Standards Bill.

Those voting in favor: Senators Dennis Kruse (R – SD 14), Carlin Yoder (R – SD 12), Jim Banks (R – SD 17), Jim Buck (R – SD 21), Luke Kenley (R-SD 20), Peter Miller (R – SD 32), and Scott Schneider (R – SD 30)

Against:  Senators Earline S. Rogers (D – SD 03), John Broden (D – SD 10), Frank Mrvan, Jr. (D – SD 01), and Greg Taylor (D – SD 33).

State Sentaor Jean Leising (R-SD 42) was absent for the vote.

Update: This represents a step forward.

This represents a high-profile step forward for foes of the common core, although of course it has several legislative hurdles to clear before it even reaches the desk of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a Republican. It’s not clear at all whether the GOP leaders in the Indiana House would let the bill get much traction with its members, who control the chamber. In a Feb. 13 statement, American Principles in Action, a conservative nonprofit in Washington opposing the new standards, applauded the vote on the bill “reversing” the common core, although that seems like an optimistic interpretation, given that the bill doesn’t require the state to drop the core altogether like it used to.

The bill has been revised to slow, but not stop the Common Core entirely.

Instead of requiring an outright rejection of Common Core, Indianapolis Republican Scott Schneider’s bill now puts the new standards on hold until the State Board of Education conducts nine hearings around the state. The Education Committee voted 7-4 along party lines to send the bill to the full Senate.

The board would be required to compare Common Core to Indiana’s existing standards. And the state would have to conduct an analysis of the cost of implementing Common Core.

Indianapolis parent Heather Crossin, an early organizer of the fight against Common Core, applauds the bill even in its revised form. She says it’ll give teachers and parents a chance they haven’t had to be fully heard on what she says are academically unsound standards.