Ind. Board of Education Approves State’s Own K-12 Standards
By Mike Perleberg
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – A new set of educational standards that dictate what is to be taught in Indiana classrooms has earned all of the necessary approval.
The Indiana Board of Education voted Monday morning to approve the new K-12 academic standards for college and career readiness in math and English/language arts. The vote was 10-1.
The board members who voted for the standards defended them in statements afterwards.
“Indiana’s standards set high expectations of what Hoosier students need to know and be able to do in each grade. They are built on a solid foundation of research-based best practices. They thwart unnecessary and unwanted intrusion in our schools by the Federal government. And they rightly cede curriculum authority to local school leaders and communities in selecting their own instructional materials. They are clearly relevant 21st century standards for 21st century learners,” said Dr. David Freitas, who represents the 2nd District on the SBOE.
Last month, Governor Mike Pence signed a bill into law rescinding national Common Core education standards in Indiana in favor of standards crafted by state education leaders. The law made Indiana the first state to completely opt out of Common Core.
The governor endorsed the new education guidelines when voting for them on the Indiana Education Roundtable last week.
Some critics of the new Indiana standards have maintained that they are too similar to Common Core. One of those critics was 5th District board member Andrea Neal, the lone “no” vote Monday. She said the standards “do a disservice to Indiana children.”
“Leading mathematicians have described the math standards as poorly written, disorganized, and erroneous. The language arts standards are less rigorous than both the common core and our previous 2006 English/language arts standards. They will diminish the role of literature in the English classroom, and it is the reading of good literature that will turn our children into critical thinkers and critical writers,” Neal said.
Ninth District board member Troy Albert, a high school principal, said his views on the standards indicate that all school administrators and teachers must begin working immediately to begin preparing for next school year.
“The teachers and curriculum must be reviewed over the summer,” Albert said. “The challenge will be for the short turnaround with our schools on the balanced schedule. The implementation of the new standards must begin immediately with the fewest amount of changes.”
The new education standards will go into effect July 1.