Ind. teachers asking Ritz to support Common Core

INDIANAPOLIS - A group of Indiana teachers is asking School Superintendent Glenda Ritz to support national Common Core education standards.

Members of the group Stand for Children planned to deliver a letter supporting Common Core Tuesday morning to Ritz's Statehouse office. The state has halted implementation of the national education standards pending a review.

State lawmakers signed off on a "pause" implementing the Common Core standards this year. They will review them this summer.

The move reflected a growing backlash nationwide from conservatives who see the education standards interfering with local control of education.

The teachers who belong to the education reform group believe the national Common Core standards better prepare students for what they will face in college and careers and that the traditional Indiana standards don't give them the complex reading skills they'll need to succeed in life.

"It really teachers the kids to think further, rather than a lot of rote memorization. Indiana standards are too numerous. And it's sometimes very difficult to teach all of the standards in a school year," said Seria Walton, a teacher at Andrew Academy.

Ritz recently issued guidelines that rule that third grade ISTEP testing over the next two years will be based on both Common Core and Indiana standards.

"Under the Indiana state standards, it doesn't consider text complexity. so students, they might be meeting the skills, but they're not reading at the level of complexity that they need to be prepared for life in a career and in college," said Christina Lear, a teacher at Herron High School.

Teachers said they were also concerned because the ACT and SAT tests are becoming more aligned with the Common Core standards and students in Indiana could be hurt if the transition to Common Core is delayed.

Follow Norman Cox on Twitter: @normancox6

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