Indiana Dumps Common Core

| March 26 2014
John Walker

Move Could “Open the Floodgates” Against National Standards

Indiana Governor Mike Pence burst into the headlines with his announcement that Indiana will be the first of 45 states to opt out of the national education standards known as Common Core.

“I believe when we reach the end of this process there are going to be many other states around the country that will take a hard look at the way Indiana has taken a step back,” Pence said, “designed our own standards and done it in a way where we drew on educators, we drew on citizens, we drew on parents and developed standards that meet the needs of our people.”

Pence is unlikely to be the only governor to make a move against Common Core. In fact, he could unleash a trend fueled by the backlash against national standards that dictate school curriculum.

Jim Stergios, Executive Director of the nonpartisan think tank Pioneer Institute, told FOXNews.com that Pence’s decision could “open the floodgates” against Common Core.

“Indiana, under (Republican Governor) Mitch Daniels, was one of the early proponents of Common Core, even the poster child,” Stergios said. “By pulling out, it sends a strong signal to other states, particularly red states, that, ‘Hey, if they can do this, then why can’t we?’”

The controversial and expensive program has been around for a number of years. But opposition is growing as parents and lawmakers examine the impact on students and the growing cost of K-12 education.

“The whole process behind Common Core was developed in a way to minimize input or popular knowledge of what was going on,” Stergios said. “It was to be expected that parents would not react, positively, or negatively, until their kids started coming home with this new material. And legislators only start to get the message when they are confronted by new costs and angry voters.”

Some states, including Arizona, have renamed Common Core to avoid controversy. Nevertheless, the program moves apace with adoption of curriculum and student preparation designed to meet national standards.

Glyn Wright, Executive Director of the Eagle Forum, noted that no governor besides Pence has moved decisively against Common Core.

“We hope that other principled governors like Scott Walker (Wisconsin), Bobby Jindal (Louisiana), and Sam Brownback (Kansas) will emulate Governor Pence’s leadership by defending taxpayers, families, and state sovereignty in leading their state out of the Common Core.”

As Arizona prepares to elect a new governor, candidates in both parties should be challenged to describe in detail their support or opposition to Common Core. Improving K-12 education in Arizona will be a top priority for the next governor. Now is the time to put the candidates on record.