[Susan notes: I admit to mixed feelings. I'm tempted to embrace anybody who bashes the Common Core but these Indiana folk aren't against Standards; they just want different Standards. And when Bill Evers shows up to offer support, I'm nervous.
Heather Crossin is an advocate with Truth in American Education. http://truthinamericaneducation.com/
Conservative groups across the country are watching this. Missouri Education Watchdog gives a good report. http://www.missourieducationwatchdog.com/2013/01/indiana-legislation-opposing-common.html
Progressives can learn a lot from these conservatives.]
Published in Indianapolis Star
It's not surprising to see Stand for Children and The Thomas B. Fordham Foundation are rushing to defend the Common Core, as evidenced by their recent letters to the editor. This is because they share something rather telling in common: The millions of dollars both have received from one of the primary drivers of the Common Core machine, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has invested more than $100 million into it.
Therefore, Common Core opponents have never had any doubt that the Fordham Institute, and its leaders, are strong advocates of it. In fact, when referencing the Fordham study "The State of State Standards--and the Common Core-- in 2010," which compares the quality of each state's math and English standards against the Common Core's, it is always noted that the report was funded, in part, with money from the Gates Foundation. What's more, we make it clear that the careful timing of its release, within the short eight-week period most states had to adopt the standards, was likely intended to convince most states to adopt the Common Core, which is just the point. Even Fordham couldn't help but give both Indiana's math and ELA standards higher marks than the Common Core.
Reports are funny things -- sometimes people actually read them, which is what anyone wanting to understand this report should do. The Fordham report categorized Indiana's English standards as "clearly superior," not "somewhat strong" as Fordham would now have you believe. Its reasons for doing so appear under the heading of "The Bottom Line," in its critique of Indiana's English standards, which states:
"Indiana's standards are clearer, more thorough, and easier to read than the Common Core standards. Essential content is grouped more logically, so that standards addressing inextricably linked characteristics, such as themes in literary texts, can be found together rather than spread across the strands. Indiana also frequently uses standard-specific examples to clarify expectations. Furthermore, Indiana's standards treat both literary and non-literary texts in systematic detail throughout the document, addressing the specific genres, sub-genres, and characteristics of both text types. Both Indiana and Common Core include reading lists with exemplar texts, but Indiana's is much more comprehensive."
Indiana should stay tuned, as Senate Bill 193, which is quickly gaining bipartisan support, has its first hearing on Wednesday. Those interested, will want to attend a rally at noon Wednesday inside the Statehouse, where national experts will be on hand. In what is shoring up to be a David vs. Goliath, we shall see if the legislators will listen to the will of the people, who are armed with the truth, the facts and research, but lack paid lobbyists. Or will they side with those who have big money and corporate interests?