Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette: For Indiana Common Core is a Step Backward

In August I shared how the Ft. Wayne News-Sentinel wrote an editorial in opposition to Indiana adopting the Common Core State Standards.  Sunday they were joined by the Ft. Wayne Journal GazetteThey write:

Both President Obama and Mitt Romney have supported tying federal education dollars to high standards and testing, but pressure from conservatives has prompted the Republican challenger to distance himself from the Common Core plan.

“To financially reward states based on accepting the federal government’s idea of a curriculum is a mistake,” Romney said last week, noting there “may be a time when the federal government has an agenda it wants to promote.”

The same arguments are growing among some Indiana residents, who are questioning the state’s enthusiastic embrace of the standards. Rather than basing participation on the Common Core’s political supporters, Hoosiers should view the new academic requirements in terms of how they will affect Indiana students. By that measure, the Common Core and the national test that will support it are a step backward. (emphasis mine)

They also brought up our friend Heather Crossin:

The Indiana State Board of Education, an appointed panel, unanimously adopted the standards in August 2010. Implementation is under way, but the new standards have caught the attention of parents like Heather Crossin, whose son came home from school with worksheets she quickly pegged as “fuzzy concepts.”

When administrators at her son’s parochial school boasted they were ahead of the curve in using curriculum based on the Common Core, Crossin researched the standards and their provenance.

Now Crossin, a former aide to U.S. Rep. Dan Burton, is rallying opposition, finding support among tea party members and the General Assembly’s most conservative members in what is increasingly an intra-party squabble. Sen. Scott Schneider, R-Indianapolis, authored a bill in the last session to void adoption of the standards, but his bill died in committee.

They point out others who opposed the standards and questioned the Indiana State Board of Education’s decision to adopt them:

In the meantime, the real question for Indiana voters is how the Common Core holds up to the state’s previous, highly acclaimed standards.

Not well, by several accounts.

Fabio Augusto Milner, a professor and director of Arizona State University’s Math for STEM Education, offered Indiana lawmakers a comparison of the math standards.

“I can unequivocally recommend that Indiana not adopt the (Common Core math standards) if the state wants to require high school graduates to excel by design to a higher level than average,” he testified in January.

The conservative Thomas B. Fordham Institute also criticized the standards, giving Indiana’s language arts standards an A; the Common Core standards a B+.

“It is not clear why Indiana’s board of education chose to trade in a silk purse for a sow’s ear – that is to give its secondary English teachers an inferior set of standards to aim for,” testified Sandra Stotsky, professor of education reform at the University of Arkansas, in remarks to the Senate Education Committee in January.

Be sure to read the whole thing.