Indiana’s Bennett defended the common standards during a couple of sessions at the ALEC convening, including one at the education task force. He told me after the meeting that while he is uneasy with the federal role in the standards, their overall value outweighed those misgivings.
“I told them that for us, this was a state-driven process,” Bennett told me. “We believe it is better for Indiana students. We built the common core into our comprehensive education reform agenda. We utilized it to rewrite our teacher preparation standards.”
A self-described “strong states’ rights guy,” Bennett reminded me that Indiana declined to participate in the Race to the Top competition, but the state board—which Bennett chairs—voted unanimously to adopt the common standards.
The Goldwater resolution rubs him the wrong way, he said, because he believes it overreaches in its own way: it restricts state legislatures by insisting that they refuse to go along with any common-core-related action.
“States should have the right to choose the common core if they so desire, and we so desired,” he told me. “Just as I don’t believe the federal government should overreach, I don’t like the idea of think tanks telling me I should or shouldn’t engage in the common core.”
Ok, the state decides to opt out of Race to the Top, but yet the state board decides to approve them anyway. Just so you know this board is not elected, they are appointed by the Governor. This “state’s rights guy” was ok with an unelected board adopting something the executive branch and legislative branch took a pass on, you know the group that the people of Indiana actually elected to make decisions like these. Then he says he doesn’t want think tanks telling him that he shouldn’t engage in the common core, but its ok for educrats to foist it onto the people without their elected representatives approval?