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Common Core Hanging On
Updated April 4, 2014 7:09 AM | Filed under: Education
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(UNDATED) - Common Core may officially be leaving Indiana, but those who favored of the academic standards aren't giving up the fight, here and in other states.

The State Board of Education was already in the midst of writing new standards after being directed to do so by the General Assembly when Governor Pence signed into law a bill removing Indiana from the Common Core coalition last week. Pence echoed critics of the standards in claiming there was not enough input from people within the state before the State Board adopted them in 2010.

Common Core supporters say nothing could be further from the truth.

"Indiana was perceived to have very good standards before Common Core. A lot of what became the Common Core standards were drawn from what were previously Indiana's existing standards," said Kevin Brinegar, president of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

Last week, a short documentary from the Home School Legal Defense Association debuted called "Building The Machine." It repeats many of the criticisms that led many Republicans to pass the repeal legislation this year.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other pro-Common Core groups are trying to counter the documentary's arguments, as many other states consider scaling back or repealing Common Core.

Brinegar believes much of the criticism began when President Obama's Department of Education gave extra credit for Race To The Top education grants to states which had adopted Common Core, even though the education department has never officially endorsed the standards. To many critics, that made Common Core out to be a mandate from Obama.

"That triggered this belief and fear and paranoia that Common Core was a federal initiative. Had that not happened, I believe we would be in a very different place today," Brinegar said.

Supporters of Common Core also maintain that no one at the federal level wants to dictate what teachers teach in the classroom.

"When opponents are complaining about specific things taught in the classroom, that's curriculum. Common Core specifically leaves curriculum completely up to state departments of education and local school districts," Brinegar said.

Many opponents already are complaining about Indiana's new standards, even though they haven't been approved yet, with some calling the draft standards "Common Core light."

"That's because in some subject areas and grade levels, they are the best standards out there," Brinegar said. "Opponents believed that absolutely no part of Common Core could be incorporated into the new standards, and that's not true."

The State Board is due to vote on the new standards at their April 28th meeting.

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