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Tom LoBianco, AP
Education

Indiana becomes first state to back out of Common Core

As controversy continues to swirl around the new educational standards, with pressure coming from both ends of the spectrum now, Indiana became the first state to back out of the Common Core standards Tuesday.

Indiana is the first but may not be the last.

"Indiana is at the head of the pack to go back to state standards, but rumblings of dissent have popped up across the country," U.S. News & World Report said. "More than 200 bills on the national standards were introduced this year and about half would slow or halt their implementation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. That's about an 85 percent increase from last year."

Opposition to the new nationalized standards runs from left to right, The Associated Press reports.

"Many archconservatives — tea party heroes Rand Paul and Ted Cruz among them — decry the system as a top-down takeover of local schools. The standards were developed and are being implemented by states, though Common Core opponents argue that President Barack Obama's administration has encouraged adoption of the standards by various parameters it set for states applying to get lucrative federal education grants."

The AP gives no indication where "archliberals" are on the issue, but it does note that "Democrats must deal with some teachers — their unions hold strong influence within the party — who are upset about implementation details."

Celebration by Common Core's opponents may be premature, however.

"An education expert sought by Gov. Mike Pence to review part of the proposed academic standards intended to replace Common Core says the draft is a warmed-over version of the national standards," The Indianapolis Star reported. "Sandra Stotsky, a retired University of Arkansas professor and well-known Common Core opponent, has told Pence she won’t take part in the state’s drafting process unless a new version of the standards relies little on Common Core."

Neither critics nor defenders seem content with the alternatives currently on the table.

"Common Core advocates and critics already are blasting the proposed new Indiana standards that state education officials began working on a year ago after the Republican-controlled Legislature 'paused' implementation of Common Core," noted the Northwest Indiana Times. "Backers of Common Core say the pending Indiana standards are disorganized, difficult to understand and lack rigor. Common Core foes say the standards contain too much Common Core to be trusted."

Email: eschulzke@desnews.com