Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Breaking News

August 7, 2013

Debate heats up on ‘Core’ standards

INDIANAPOLIS — The deep divide over the Common Core State Standards for K-12 schools was on full display during a legislative hearing Monday that pit education experts against each other.

During more than eight hours of testimony in front of a legislative oversight committee charged with evaluating the impact of Common Core, supporters and critics of the new classroom standards for math and English traded opinions, studies and sometimes pointed barbs.

Critics painted Common Core as an attempt by outside forces to nationalize education and lower classroom standards in Indiana, while supporters of Common Core defended them as critical to boosting Hoosier students’ chances to get into and through college and compete on a global level.

At one point during the lengthy hearing, Jeffrey Zimba of the non-profit Student Achievement Partners and one of the lead writers of the Common Core math standards, said Indiana’s old education standards were good, but not good enough.

“The word ‘pizza’ occurs more times than the words, ‘number line,’ ” said Zimba, referring to the frequency in which food was used to explain fractions to Indiana schoolchildren.

Indiana is one of 45 states to adopt the use of the Common Core State Standards since they were rolled out in 2009. The standards, which set expectations by grade level for what every child should learn across the nation, were on track to be fully implemented in Indiana by the 2014-15 school year.

But that plan came to a halt earlier this year, when the Indiana General Assembly voted to “pause” Common Core to conduct hearings on its impact on Indiana schools. At least two more hearings will be conducted before the legislative oversight committee wraps up it’s work in November.

Monday’s hearing, which ran late into the evening, attracted a long line of proponents and opponents from in and out of Indiana. A vocal crowd of opponents, many wearing “Say NO to the Common Core” buttons, had to be admonished by the committee chairman, Republican state Sen. Dennis Kruse, to quiet their jeers, cheers and applause.

Among those who spoke against the Common Core standards was Jim Sturgis, head of the Pioneer Institute, a Boston-based organization that has led the campaign against Common Core since 2009. Sturgis faulted Common Core for many things, including what he said was the lack of public input in crafting the standards.

“They were developed behind closed doors by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.,” Sturgis said.

Common Core supporters disputed that, saying the standards were developed through an exhaustive and public process launched in 2008 by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, whose members were interesting in coming up with a set of common education standards for math and English for schools in every state.  

The differences in opinion about how well those Common Core standards would work were stark during the hearing.

Bill Evers, a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute and former U.S. assistant education secretary under President George W. Bush, called the Common Core math standards inferior to what Indiana had in place.

“The (Common Core) standards are mediocre…” Evers told committee members. “It’s worth returning to the Indiana standards.”

But comments like that prompted state Sen. Carlin Yoder, a Republican from Middlebury, to ask why there was a such a high number of Indiana high school graduates, including more than 40 percent of students who graduate with the college-prep “Core 40” degree, who need to take remedial math and English at the college level.

“Then why aren’t they ready for college?” Yoder asked experts who claimed Indiana’s past education standards were good enough for Indiana students.

Among the many people who testified at Monday’s hearing was Pam Horne, dean of admissions at Purdue University. Horne said she was concerned about Indiana pulling away from the Common Core standards while other states were working to implement them.

“There is not a wall around Indiana,” Horne said. “As almost the entire country adopts (Common Core) we do not want our kids who move to other states to be behind their peers, but rather to be well-prepared for the rigorous curriculum the standards support. And for those who stay in Indiana for higher education, we want them to be as competitive as their classmates from other states.”

Maureen Hayden can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com

1
Text Only
Breaking News
  • Police cars hit during multi-county chase According to Middlebury police, officer Gary Smith attempted to locate a silver Saturn leaving McDonald’s on Ind. 13, near U.S. 20 in Middlebury at 11:30 p.m. Monday.

    August 19, 2014

  • GN140820 hospital network hacked.jpg Kosciusko Community, Lutheran hospital among 206 hacked

    WARSAW — Community Health Systems, which operates 206 hospitals including Kosciusko Community Hospital and Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, announced Monday that hackers recently broke into its computers and stole data on 4.5 million patients.

    August 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rick Perry Indicted [GOSHEN NEWS] Texas' Gov. Perry indicted AUSTIN, Texas — A grand jury indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday for abusing the powers of his office by carrying out a threat to veto funding for state prosecutors investigating public corruption — making the possible 2016 presidential hopeful his state's first indicted governor in nearly a century.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rail work to close U.S. 33 Sunday, Monday

    The Indiana Department of Transportation announced that U.S. 33 at Ninth Street, is scheduled to close the morning of Sunday, Aug. 17 as Norfolk Southern rebuilds its railroad crossing. 

    August 13, 2014

  • Obit Robin Williams_Selm.jpg Robin Williams, manic comedy star, dead at 63

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Robin Williams, the Academy Award winner and comic supernova whose explosions of pop culture riffs and impressions dazzled audiences for decades and made him a gleamy-eyed laureate for the Information Age, died Monday in an apparent suicide. He was 63.

    August 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast Israel Palestinians-12 [GOSHEN NEWS] Israel accepts Egypt's Gaza cease-fire proposal CAIRO — Israel and the Hamas militant group on Sunday accepted a renewed Egyptian cease-fire proposal, clearing the way for the resumption of talks on a long-term truce meant to end a month of heavy fighting in the Gaza Strip that has taken nearly 2,000 lives.

    August 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mideast Iraq [GOSHEN NEWS] US officials: New round of airstrikes near Irbil NEW DELHI — American officials say the U.S. launched a second round of airstrikes against Islamic State targets near Irbil on Friday, using drones and fighter jets. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to

    August 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Millersburg under boil order

    August 5, 2014

  • Concord classrooms will get technology update

    August 4, 2014

  • Name of man found dead in parking lot released

    August 4, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act' US Officials: Video Shows American's Beheading Video Shows Ferguson Cop Months Before Shooting Water Bottles Recalled for Safety Researcher Testing On-Field Concussion Scanners
Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
     View Results