We have been behind on updating everyone on the passage of HB1427. By now, most know that in an unprecedented push-back against the federal government and powerful special interests, the Indiana legislature has voted to review Common Core, as well as to require the State Board of Education to do the same. The People of Indiana spoke and made their voices heard, and in so doing proved that the American system of government still works. Read the immediate coverage by Indiana State Impact:
Indiana lawmakers sent a lengthy piece of education legislation to Gov. Mike Pence’s desk late Friday night which,Common Core opponents say, throws the brakes on implementation of the nationally-crafted academic standards in the state’s classrooms.
In addition to a re-write of the process by which state education officials issue A-F ratings to Indiana schools — among other matters — House Bill 1427 calls for a legislative review, public hearings and a fiscal analysis of the Common Core.
“I feel it’s a victory for everybody in the state of Indiana,” said Erin Tuttle, one of two Indianapolis parents who — spurred by their concerns over the Common Core-tied homework their children were bringing home — led a statehouse push against the standards.
“We had some pretty strong forces against us, some corporate interests against us, who quite frankly were disrespectful of my constituents,” Schneider told StateImpact. “They can beat up on me all day, but when you start to disparage average folks, taxpayers, parents of the state of Indiana, I think that’s unfortunate. This is a good night.”
On Monday, Gov. Mike Pence tried to clarify where he stands on Common Core, but it’s uncertain whether either camp in the debate got any closer to understanding his position.
“I don’t come at it with any preconceived notion for or against,” he said. “My only bias is that we’re going to do education the Indiana way. We’re going to set our curriculum in Indiana, for Indiana.”
A Common Core pause, as Pence described it, would allow a year of reflection and conversation for both legislators and the public about the standards, culminating in a second state board vote in 2014 to either reaffirm support for Common Core or change direction.
But the governor expressed some sympathy for the complaint of critics that Common Core gives too much power over education in Indiana to standards makers outside the state. Pence was wary of federal intrusion into state education policy-making, including the federal No Child Left Behind law, when he was in Congress.
While Common Core is a state-led initiative, it has strong support from the Obama Administration.
“It didn’t come as a real big surprise to people who know me well and know that I actually voted against No Child Left Behind in 2001 that I believe that whether it’s education or health care or public safety or other issues that bear closest on our citizens, that I want to make sure we do it the Indiana way,” Pence said.
How far he wants to push toward greater local control over standards setting — and away from the multistate cooperative approach of Common Core — will get an immediate test by the end of June.
Pence will have a chance to replace six of 10 state board members whose terms are expiring June 30. All 10 voted in recent months to show their unanimous support for Common Core.