Good riddance, Indiana
April 04, 2014
While I won't say I'm glad that Indiana (or any other state) is reversing its earlier embrace and spitting in the eye of the Common Core, it grieves me not at all that they now seem to be exiting.
Well, it grieves me that they may be consigning Hoosier schools and teachers and kids to a worse fate—the state's draft alternative standards aren't just educationally inferior to the Common Core, they're also worse than Indiana's own previous K–12 academic expectations—but it doesn’t upset me one bit that legislators are now pulling this plug. For it's been abundantly clear for months that their heart wasn't in the Common Core standards, which means they would have done a lame job of implementing and assessing performance in relation to them. (Be mindful that Indiana did a lame job of putting its own old standards into practice, which is at least part of why the state's academic results have been thoroughly mediocre.)
I've argued for years now that the forty-five-state number (original sign-ups for Common Core) was inflated, unrealistic, and implausible and that many of those states were never—are never—going to lift their hands to operationalize the standards. (One finger, maybe, but taking any set of new standards seriously means heavy, heavy lifting from many, many buckets. You can't do that with one finger.)
Far better for a smaller number of states that are serious about this implementation, assessment, and accountability challenge to stick with the Common Core and for the rest to bail instead of pretending that they're going to do this. Then we'll really know whether kids in Common Core schools—real Common Core schools, not lip-service schools—and their districts and states do any better than kids in non–Common Core jurisdictions. And that is truly worth finding out.