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
  • Kulp is new Goshen softball coach Brent Kulp was hired as the new Goshen High School softball coach at Monday night’s school board meeting. He was a physical education and health teacher in the Baugo Community Schools for 18 years and head softball coach at Jimtown High School for 15 seasons. Under his direction, Jimtown earned five Northern State Conference championships, five sectional titles and two regional titles and his teams compiled an overall record of 285-133-1.

    July 28, 2014

  • Middlebury man burned in water heater blast 
 MIDDLEBURY — Authorities say a Middlebury man has been hospitalized after he was injured when a water heater exploded. Firefighters tell WSBT-TV the man in his 20s was trying to light a water heater that had run out of gas and used too much fuel. The

    July 26, 2014

  • Clinton Frame leaving IN-MI Mennonite Conference over same-sex marriage

    After nearly 100 years of being in the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference, Clinton Frame Mennonite Church officials announced it will be leaving because of the controversy related to same-sex marriage.

    July 24, 2014

  • Red D Mart armed robbery New Paris Police ask for public's help in identifying would-be robber

    Elkhart County police have released still photos captured from video of the man who attempted to hold up Red D Mart gas station, 68310 Ind. 15, New Paris, on Saturday, July 19.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Red Cross in urgent need of donors

    The American Red Cross is facing a blood shortage, leading to an urgent need for donors of all blood types to roll up a sleeve and give.

    July 23, 2014

  • Huron Street residents under boil order

    Tuesday morning, Goshen water crews shut down the water main on Huron Street to replace a broken fire hydrant.
    The Indiana Department of Environmental Management requires the Water Utility to issue a boil water order for the affected area, which is Huron Street from West Lincoln to Pike Street.

    July 23, 2014

  • GN140723 CR34-Ind. 13 Crash 1 LaGrange man airlifted from scene of crash A motorcyclist was seriously injured in a crash at Ind. 13 and C.R. 34 at 1:48 p.m. Tuesday. Terry Fry, 44, LaGrange, was airlifted by MedFlight from the scene. Elkhart County police said he was taken to South Bend Memorial Hospital with fractures to

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Suspicious blinking package with battery pack causes police to evacuate business area

    A package with a battery pack and a blinking red light found on the desk of an employee at MSC, 28551 Laura Court, Elkhart, caused police and firefighters to evacuate the area this morning.
    The package turned out to be a GPS tracking device and not a bomb.

    July 22, 2014

  • Cat beaten to death in burglary

    A house cat was found beaten to death following a burglary at a home in Howe Sunday.

    July 21, 2014

  • GN140721 Kosciusko Fatal Photo #2.jpg Fiery crash kills one, critically injures two in North Webster

    A fiery crash in North Webster left a Pennsylvania man dead and two others critically injured at 3:21 p.m. Sunday on Ind. 13, near Esterbrook Drive.

    July 21, 2014 4 Photos

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
Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
Poll

With military action and tensions escalating between Russia and Ukraine, as well as Israel and Palestine, are you worried that the U.S. and other nations may get drawn into these conflicts?

Yes, it is a great concern of mine
I’m a little worried, but not too much
No, I’m not worried at all
     View Results