Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

April 8, 2014

Kelly Hawes: Nation's schools need shared set of standards

(Continued)

Few would argue that Indiana should shy away from adopting standards that are higher than those imposed by other states. We want our kids to be the best and the brightest.

But that shouldn’t mean starting over.

The Common Core replaced a patchwork of standards that varied from state to state, and we should not go back to that.

We need the baseline of learning that the Common Core provides. We need standards that every state can share.

And we need it soon.

The Indiana Department of Education faces a July 1 deadline to adopt its new standards. That’s less than three months from now.

The department can’t meet that deadline by starting from scratch, and it shouldn’t have to.

This is not a new discussion.

Talk of a national set of standards dates back at least to the 1980s with a report published by a commission appointed by President Ronald Reagan. The Clinton Administration pushed through a series of initiatives, and George W. Bush followed with No Child Left Behind. Then along came President Barack Obama with his Race to the Top.

In the meantime, the National Governors Association, state education commissioners and other groups began developing what is now known as the Common Core.

Indiana was among the leaders in the development of the Common Core standards. Perhaps it will now be among the leaders in taking those standards to the next level.

This isn’t about politics or about Uncle Sam dictating the curriculum in our classrooms. This is about making sure Hoosier students have the same shot as students from every other state.

We can do this. Indiana’s children are depending on us.

Kelly Hawes is veteran journalist with CNHI’s Indiana newspapers. He can be reached at kelly.hawes@indianamediagroup.com.

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