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Schools

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Indiana OKs academic standards to replace Common Core

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Board of Education voted 11-1 Monday to approve new “college and career ready” academic standards after a months-long process meant to reverse course from the controversial Common Core program.

Dozens of Hoosier residents spoke against the new standards before the vote, saying much of the language is cut-and-pasted from Common Core.

“You have the power to be more than just a rubber stamp,” said Stephanie Engelman of Brownsburg. “We spent a year and you came out with a sloppy rewrite of Common Core. Let’s go back to our previous standards and take our time to develop standards that are truly superior.”

But State Board of Education Member Gordon Hendry supported the new Math and English Language Arts standards, saying “we want kids to be prepared for the real world.

“I hope that with this conversation behind us we can stick with these standards and make sure we aren’t continuously moving the goalpost on our students.”

The new standards process has involved Indiana experts and educators across the state, with a goal of identifying the standards most closely aligned with the skills Hoosier students need for success in college and career.

This label is necessary to keep a federal waiver under the No Child Left Behind act.

Those involved chose specific standards from versions used by the state in recent years or identified as high quality, including the recently abandoned Common Core.

The Common Core standards have become a political hot potato. Some residents believe they are being used to federalize education.

The process was handled by the Indiana Department of Education and the center for Education and Career Innovation. It involved hundreds of Indiana teachers, thousands of public comments and several national standards experts.

The new standards go into effect July 1. Local school districts create their own curriculum and lesson plans based on the standards.

The next step is to craft an accountability test that aligns to the standards, also known as a new ISTEP test. It would be in place for the 2015-16 school year.

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