Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Educators Want Decision on Common Core ; Some GOP Legislators Seek State Standards

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Educators Want Decision on Common Core ; Some GOP Legislators Seek State Standards

Article excerpt

INDIANAPOLIS - Southwestern Indiana educators are questioning reports Republican legislative leaders want to do away with Indiana implementing national academic standards known as Common Core. Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma reiterated his position last week he wants the state to move toward its own system of standards. Last Indiana General Assembly session, lawmakers paused the state's implementation of Common Core to study further the standards it adopted in 2010.

Warrick County School Corp. Superintendent Brad Schneider said the district has held off rolling out Common Core to all grades to see what the state decides. Common Core standards currently are taught in kindergarten, first-and second-grade classrooms in the school district, Schneider said.

"Let's make a decision and let's move forward," Schneider said. "I don't know how much longer they think they need to study the issue. The problem is Common Core has become a political football, and it's just being kicked around."

Educators say Common Core standards prompt students to exercise more in-depth thinking and are, at times, more rigorous than current state standards. For example, while the state's current standardized test, ISTEP+, is structured as a multiple-choice test, Common Core prompts students to explain the process and reasoning they used to get to an answer.

Indiana is among 45 states to have adopted the standards, which President Barack Obama supports. However, along with Indiana, a handful of state legislatures recently have considered bills to stop or stall the implementation.

In November, an Indiana legislative study committee charged with reviewing Common Core failed to adopt a formal recommendation by a majority of its members. However, its informal recommendation calls for Indiana to develop new academic standards.

Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. has transitioned its kindergarten and first-grade classrooms to teach entirely Common Core, while other grades are teaching primarily Common Core with some additional Indiana academic standards, said Velinda Stubbs, the district's chief academic officer.

Stubbs said the district has mapped curriculum using Common Core and done extensive professional development with teachers. …

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