Indiana on Monday became the first state in the nation to drop the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
Common Core is a federal government plan to standardize educational parameters in English, language arts, and mathematics across the United States. Proponents say it will help students achieve higher grades. Some critics say it won’t have much of an effect, while others say it's simply another regulation put forth by the Obama administration.
Indiana sent a strong message by ditching the program for its own statewide regulations.
Gov. Mike Pence, the Indy Star reports
, said he prefers that Indiana schools’ academic standards be controlled in-state.
"I believe our students are best served when decisions about education are made at the state and local level," Pence told the Star. "By signing this legislation, Indiana has taken an important step forward in developing academic standards that are written by Hoosiers, for Hoosiers, and are uncommonly high, and I commend members of the General Assembly for their support."
The Star reports that Indiana is currently developing academic standards and will be finished by April 14. From there, the guidelines will need to be approved by the State Board of Education on April 28.
Four other states — Texas, Virginia, Alaska, and Nebraska — do not use the Common Core standards. Indiana is the first state to adopt and then subsequently drop them.
Last year, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan defended Common Core after many said it was another way for the government to regulate Americans' daily lives.
"The federal government didn't write them, didn't approve them, and doesn't mandate them. And we never will," Duncan said, as reported by The Hill
. "Anyone who says otherwise is either misinformed or willfully misleading."
This week, students in 36 of the states and the District of Columbia that have adopted Common Core will take tests that measure their academic abilities based on the standards. These are just practice exams — the ones that count begin in the next school year.
"Common Core is like Obamacare: t
hey passed it before they knew what was in it," said Williamson Evers, a Hoover Institution research fellow and lead author of a California Republican Party resolution denouncing Common Core
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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