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Letter to the editor: Time for governor to lead us away from Common Core

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 - 12:01 am

Back in 2002 U.S. Rep. Mike Pence stood alone among Republicans in opposition to George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind legislation.

We applauded his position at the time because it demonstrated that he opposed the continuing intrusion of the federal government in our state’s ability to control our own destiny in education.

Fast-forward 12 years and now as the chief executive of this great state he once again has the opportunity to set himself apart from his peers who blindly bought into unproven, untested national language arts and math standards titled “Common Core.”

As the chief executive he has the obligation to lead his appointed State Board of Education to understand that the content of the new standards currently being drafted cannot simply be a cut-and-paste of “Common Core” in order to preserve the “waiver status” of the legislation he opposed 12 years ago.

The governor should expect better, and so should thousands of concerned parents who feel disconnected from their educational community.

Those parents are frustrated because they cannot help their children with their “process” math or “informational text” found throughout the Common Core standards.

The governor believes not accepting $10 billion from the federal government to expand Medicaid to insure uninsured Hoosiers is in our long-term best interest.

If it’s true for health care it’s also true for education.

The governor’s SBOE should not accept educational standards that mirror Common Core out of fear for how the federal Department of Education may react to uncommonly high standards that meet the needs of our student population.

The federal government accounts for only approximately 10 percent of the revenues that fund our educational system, yet they want to regulate 80 percent of what our schools teach and test.

It’s time for the governor to lead this state out of the progressive education model of centralization and uniformity and allow the citizens of Indiana to meet the needs of our children.

David Read