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General Assembly

Bill to void Common Core standards advances to full Senate

– A move to eliminate Common Core educational standards passed the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, but that might not be as definitive as it sounds.

Senate Bill 91 voids the current Common Core standards starting July 1 or sooner, depending on how quickly the State Board of Education writes new educational standards in a process already underway.

But lawmakers on the panel were surprised when supporters of Common Core didn’t oppose the legislation. That’s because they have a different outlook.

“We don’t think it prohibits components or even all of Common Core from being adopted,” said Derek Redelman, of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. “We anticipate they won’t look exactly like what we have now, but we are hopeful.”

Indiana’s State Board of Education adopted Common Core in 2010 with the backing of former Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican. Only a few grades have phased in the standards so far.

Common Core was created by the nation’s governors as a way to gauge national education progress.

But some Hoosiers believe the new standards are weaker than what Indiana had in place and that the federal government is too involved.

Erin Tuttle, founder of Hoosiers Against Common Core, bristled at the idea that the State Board of Education might just reshuffle the deck and use the majority of Common Core with a new name.

She said if the homework coming home in the backpack stays the same, “parents are going to be outraged, and they are going to feel tricked.”

Sen. Scott Schneider, R-Indianapolis, author of the legislation, said he has faith that the State Board of Education will listen to the message opposing Common Core that’s being sent to lawmakers.

“A whole group of parents will be watching,” he said. “This is a strong statement that we are moving forward and away from Common Core.”

The bill passed 8-3 along party lines, with Democrats in opposition. It now moves to the full Senate.