News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

January 13, 2013

EDITORIAL: Considering Common Core

Ideology need not fuel state objection

TERRE HAUTE — Voices of informed reason should prevail when the General Assembly considers ending Indiana’s participation in the adoption of Common Core Standards in Hoosier schools.

Political ideology sounds like the bottom-line motivation by conservative legislators to scrap Common Core — a universal system of nationally recognized classroom standards for college and career readiness adopted in 46 states, and already being implemented in Indiana. The standards’ educational value to kids in grades kindergarten through high school is all that matters.

The Legislature will conduct a committee hearing this week on a bill filed by state Sen. Scott Schneider, R-Indianapolis, to withdraw Indiana from the Common Core implementation. The gesture seems ironic. The state Board of Education — appointed by the Republican governor, Mitch Daniels — adopted the Common Core standards unanimously in 2010. In that same time period, the Republican-dominated Legislature enacted sweeping school reforms, supported by the governor and his superintendent of public instruction, Tony Bennett, who pushed for Common Core.

Now, with implementation of those standards under way and expected to be complete by 2014-15, conservatives want Common Core stopped. They cite somewhat vague objections to the educational content of the standards. And, to be sure, newly elected superintendent of public instruction Glenda Ritz, who unseated Bennett in November, raised valid questions about Common Core during her campaign. But the impetus behind this backlash is the involvement of the federal government in Common Core’s spread and, more directly, President Obama’s support of the standards. Tea partiers and national special-interest groups, such as the Americans for Prosperity super PAC, see Common Core as another example of federal encroachment onto state and local government turf.

They contend Common Core was pushed on Indiana, and that our previous state standards for achievement are better. They also claim that Ritz won last fall because of conservative anger at Bennett for pushing Indiana to join other states in adopting Common Core.

The reality is, though, that Bennett lost for a variety of reasons. Topping that list was the fact that Hoosiers grew concerned from firsthand reports from their own kids, grandchildren, and neighbors or relatives who are teachers, about uncertainty in the schools from the waves of untested reforms. It was too much too fast, with little breathing room to assess the pros and cons.

Also, the Common Core Standards were the brainchild of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, not the federal government. The U.S. government has spent $360 million to support the movement toward development of testing through the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (which will take the place of ISTEP in Indiana), said Terry Spradlin, director for education policy at the Indiana University Center for Evaluation and Education Policy. That progression does not deserve disruption simply because of the Washington involvement.

As for the old standards’ superiority, the state Department of Education says the Indiana Common Core Standards were shaped to improve on the previous guidelines. They are, according to the DOE, more rigorous and targeted at in-depth mastery of a topic, rather than standards “a mile wide but only an inch deep.”

Common Core addresses some of the very complaints conservatives raised in validating the push for reforms, including statistics claiming Hoosier students were achieving below those in other countries. “The experts who have developed the standards assure us that they have been internationally benchmarked with the K-12 standards of other nations,” Spradlin said. “So, if a student is proficient in each subject here in the U.S., then they will be ready to compete and succeed internationally.”

Kids in Indiana share the same learning needs as those in Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio and Michigan — all Common Core states. The uniformity can save taxpayers from state to state money by not reinventing their own educational wheels. If the standards need tweaked or updated, then legislators should push for those changes. Common Core should not be rejected for ideological reasons.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • EDITORIAL: Get smart with 911

    Worst-case scenarios when emergency service are needed are not things people like to think about. But focused attention on details in advance could make a life-changing, even life-saving, difference in the future.

    April 17, 2014

  • FLASHPOINT: Heading in the wrong direction

    A study released last week by the Tax Foundation reported Indiana taxpayers saw one of the sharpest increases in tax burden since 2001. Dig deeper and the numbers are more alarming.

    April 17, 2014

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: They didn’t make it!

    The “One and Dones” done went and didn’t! (I know this is grammatically incorrect, but I want those folks down in Kentucky to read it.)

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • tstribunestar EDITORIAL: Dealing with eroded trust

    Our neighbors in Putnam County are understandably concerned, even outraged, over problems in their sheriff’s department. People have a right to expect their chief law-enforcement agency — one of the most important public institutions in any community — to operate professionally and effectively.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Readers’ Forum: April 17, 2014

    • A blessing from our young folks

    • Confidence in judge candidate

    April 16, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Preparing for voting changes

    The primary election, during which Hoosiers will traipse to their polling places to select party candidates to fill the ballot for the general election, is now three weeks away.

    April 15, 2014

  • Readers’ forum: April 16, 2014

    • Mott’s rant on global warming

    • Salvation through the Indian way

    April 15, 2014

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: Royce Waltman

    In recent days the papers have been full of good things about Royce Waltman. Not a lot of puffery, but more like Royce himself… straight, true and right at you.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • LIZ CIANCONE: Not much peace since war to end all wars

    My jaw dropped the other day when I read that this year, 2014, marks 100 years since the start of World War I. No, you wise guys, I wasn’t there personally.

    April 14, 2014

  • Readers’ Forum: April 15, 2014

    Sound choice for county judge
    Giving your car the care it needs
    Park restrooms should be open

    April 14, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news (Honors for outstanding women)

    Honors for outstanding women
    Sprucing up around the wetlands
    You can say that again
    Reader Poll results

    April 13, 2014

  • Readers’ Forum: April 14, 2014

    Alternatives to ‘injustice’

    April 13, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Teaming up to fight the ugliness of graffiti

    Graffiti hurts the Terre Haute community. It deflates property values and local pride. It literally paints an image of carelessness on the city.

    April 12, 2014

  • MARK BENNETT: It’s (Not) So Easy

    Arctic air bled into the Wabash Avenue post-hippie-era diner-pub every time the wooden door swung open.

    April 12, 2014

  • ERIC SCHANSBERG: The 1040 tax form turns 100

    The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution brought us the federal income tax in 1913. A year later, the 1040 tax form was born.

    April 12, 2014

  • Readers’ Forum: April 13, 2014

    • An attack of hypocrisy

    • New jail not a good idea

    • Thinking about the next election

    • Being positive a tremendous asset

    • Work status a matter of value

    April 12, 2014

  • FLASHPOINT: Time to fix government

    In 1965, the chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, Wilbur Mills, brought legislation establishing Medicare and Medicaid to the floor of the U.S. House. That was my first year in Congress, and I remember vividly the moment when Mills came to the Democratic caucus to explain his plans.

    April 12, 2014

  • Death Notice: April 13, 2014

    Phillip Herman

    April 12, 2014

  • GUEST EDITORIAL: Despite high court ruling, big money may not guarantee election success

    The Supreme Court has taken the predictable next step in the wake of its 2010 Citizens United decision in which it lifted the limit on donations wealthy donors can make to certain political entities.

    April 11, 2014

  • RONN MOTT: Pondering our planet’s future

    I watched a TV show recently and the subject was global warming.

    April 11, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Warm thoughts for Waltman

    When Royce Waltman left Indiana State University as its head basketball coach in 2007, there was a sense of disappointment in the community that covered a broad spectrum.

    April 11, 2014

  • Readers' Forum: April 11, 2014

    • An appeal for organic farming

    • Kesler best choice for judge position

    April 11, 2014

  • RONN MOTT: Bits & Pieces

    I don’t know about you, but I get a total sense of helplessness when I realize 239 people died in one airplane crash. And to make it worse, if that is possible, the loved ones left behind can’t close. Maybe this week.

    April 10, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Road work season requires motorists’ undivided attention

    Spring’s budding flowers, trees and grasses are not the only colorful eye candy popping up on the west-central Indiana landscape. Those orange barrels and pylons common to construction areas are appearing as well.

    April 9, 2014

  • Readers' Forum: April 10, 2014

    • Appreciation for writer’s views

    • Amazed by policy on birth control

    April 9, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Dangers lurking among us

    Hardly a week goes by without multiple stories being published in this newspaper detailing the arrests, court proceedings, convictions or sentencings of individuals involved in sex crimes against children or young teens. It’s a disturbing trend that underscores the ever-present dangers that exist where we may least expect them.

    April 9, 2014 1 Story

  • Readers' Forum: April 9, 2014

    April 9, 2014

  • Ronn Mott.jpg RONN MOTT: Basketball and Done

    I guess I’m going to have to change my mind about the “One and Done” rule. It would seem the future professionals wearing university uniforms — national runner-up Kentucky is an example — has proven me a fool. Why should I care about the education they are getting, or not getting?

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • LIZ CIANCONE: Angling for a mate not fond of fishing

    While many little girls daydream about the dream man they hope to find, it seems to me that they concentrate on all the wrong things. I can’t discount the appeal of beauty, brains and virtue, but my dream man was one who was not dedicated to fishing.

    April 7, 2014

  • Readers’ Forum: April 8, 2014

    Tracking the trail of thieves
    Friendly service at local store
    New voice for judicial system
    Movie strikes a proper balance

    April 7, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Captain of Sunken South Korean Ferry Apologizes Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine Raw: Pro-Russian Militants Killed on Base U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Raw: Royal Couple Visits Australia Mountains New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Raw: Blast at Tennessee Ammunition Plant Kills 1
NDN Video
Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video
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.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity