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Indiana House Repeals Common-Core Adoption; Bill Moves Closer to Gov.'s Desk

The Indiana House of Representatives voted on Feb. 28 to repeal its 2010 adoption of the Common Core State Standards, following the state Senate's approval of the bill.

The House's 67-26 vote to approve Senate Bill 91 means that the legislation now heads to a conference committee, writes Scott Elliott of Chalkbeat Indiana. If approved by that committee, the bill goes to Gov. Mike Pence (R), who seems likely to sign in, given his previous statement that he wanted Indiana's standards to be written "by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers."

The Senate bill was authored by GOP Sen. Scott Schneider, who tried to repeal the common core in Indiana last year. While he failed in that effort, he did ultimately push the state to conduct a formal review of the standards and to draft a new set of standards. The state introduced a preliminary version of these new standards earlier this month, and held three public hearings this week to gather input on them, which I wrote about from Indianapolis on Feb. 25. 

So if Pence signs Senate Bill 91, does that mean common core will completely evaporate from the Hoosier State? No. That's because those draft standards I just mentioned include elements of the common core, along with previous standards in math and English/language arts that the state has adopted. In fact, as I wrote, these preliminary standards (developed by K-12 teachers and higher education faculty in the state) drew a hostile reception from from several common-core opponents at the hearing in Indianapolis. These critics said that the standards were much too similar to the common core to be considered Indiana's own standards.

In fact, some supporters of the common core in Indiana aren't terribly upset about the Senate bill, because they think the common core will ultimately continue in the state in some form. 

Various Indiana K-12 officials have told me that they're very pleased with the process through which the new standards have been crafted. So it may be difficult for common-core opponents to successfully demand the kinds of revisions that largely or entirely eliminate those common-core elements. 

These draft standards will undergo further revisions based on public comments at the hearings and those gathered online. The state board of education is slated to vote on the draft standards April 9, following a recommendation by the Indiana Education Roundtable, which is chaired by Pence and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz. Stay tuned.

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