INDIANAPOLIS - The academic standards at Indiana schools could soon change. A plan to scrap the national Common Core State Standards Initiative and create new statewide benchmarks is advancing at the Capitol.
The proposal to scrap the Common Core from Indiana’s classrooms cleared its first test at the Statehouse on Wednesday. It's the latest development in the ongoing, heated debate over the academic standards.
"We feel it was the consensus that we go through the process of adopting Indiana standards written in Indiana," Sen. Scott Schneider, R-Indianapolis, said.
Schneider explained why he's pushing for the General Assembly to create new Indiana-specific standards for the state's classrooms.
After removing the Common Core, the state would revert back to the old standards -- while the Board of Education adopts college and career readiness benchmarks.
The deadline is July 1, and in the meantime, the Department of Education would administer either the ISTEP assessment or a comparable program.
A handful of parents and representatives of statewide organizations filled the seats of the Senate chamber for the discussion.
"Common Core -- they are standardizing at the federal level and not allowing the educators to have control on what is important to the student," parent Kristin Otis said.
Forty-five states have adopted the Common Core standards, which outline the academic benchmarks children in kindergarten through high school should meet in each grade.
Indiana adopted the standards in 2010. Under the proposal, the new standards would take effect in 2016.
"We just passed a bill with the confidence the State Board of Education and Department of Education will stop using Common Core and come up with their own standards that are better. They're not in the business of making standards," Sen. Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis, said.
Wednesday’s vote in the Senate Education Committee was 8 to 3 along party lines.
An analysis shows there wouldn't be any extra cost to develop new standards, but the price tag of creating assessments for those new standards is estimated at $26 million.
The plan will now head to the full Senate for consideration.