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Governor Pence Statement on Proposed Indiana Academic Standards


Location: Indianapolis, IN

Governor Mike Pence issued the following statement after today's Education Roundtable meeting.

"As the first state to withdraw from Common Core, Indiana had a unique responsibility to create new, high standards in an open and serious process that would serve our children and strengthen our schools. I have long believed that education is a state and local function, and that decisions about our schools should be made closest to the parents and communities that depend upon them.

"It was for that reason that I strongly supported efforts to have Indiana withdraw from the national education standards and engage in this unprecedented, comprehensive and transparent process to rewrite Indiana's academic standards.

"I said at the outset of this process that Indiana's academic standards would be written by Hoosiers for Hoosiers and would be uncommonly high.

"After a careful review of the process and the outcome, I believe Indiana has accomplished this task and I join the Education Roundtable in forwarding these new Indiana academic standards to the State Board of Education for approval.

"With today's vote, we have again said "No,' to Common Core. We have withdrawn from a national testing consortium, and we have drafted our own standards.

"I am genuinely grateful to those Hoosiers, parents and educators, some of whom join us here today, who knew that Indiana could do better than Common Core and insisted that we take the steps that have brought us to this important moment.

"Drafting standards for schools in Indiana has never been in easy task. In years past, Indiana standards have predominantly been crafted by outside experts, and other times included the outright adoption of national standards. The Indiana standards adopted by the Education Roundtable today were crafted the Indiana way through an unprecedented open, transparent process that engaged more than 150 educators and academics who contributed more than 6000 hours to their development. I also am grateful for the hundreds of classroom teachers and thousands of citizens who contributed their comments online and in public forums to discuss the development of these new standards. Clearly these standards were written by Hoosiers for Hoosiers.

"The standards before us today are uncommonly high. While previous Indiana academic standards were used heavily in the development of these standards, it was clear from the start that we could do better.

"When the prior academic standards were in place an unacceptably high number of Indiana's high school graduates required remediation upon enrolling in college. And, while previous standards included standards for algebra I, algebra II and geometry, these new Indiana standards include trigonometry, finite math, probability and statistics, pre-calculus and calculus.

"I know that some evaluators from outside our state have criticized our new academic standards. But, for my part, I trust Hoosiers. I trust our teachers and professors and business leaders who worked in good faith to craft standards that will serve to guide our schools and challenge our children.

"I wholly reject the notion that our experts from Purdue University, Indiana University, Ball State, Manchester, Hanover and other institutions across our state, do not have the expertise to review standards that will be offered in K12 and assess whether our students will be prepared to excel in their freshman college courses. As a strong advocate for federalism and state and local control of our schools, I have always believed that Hoosier educators, academics and business leaders were perfectly capable of designing standards of the highest magnitude for our children and families.

"To those who would have preferred that we deferred more to out-of-state experts from Washington, D.C., or either coast, I ask: Isn't that the kind of elitist thinking that got us national standards in the first place?

"Without question, this has been the most robust and transparent effort ever undertaken by the state to develop and adopt new academic standards. I want to personally express my gratitude to the members of the Education Roundtable, to the classroom teachers and higher education representatives across Indiana who committed their time to this process and created standards that they believe will equip our students to excel in Indiana classrooms and on entry to college.

"Adopting new standards is just the beginning. Now parents and communities need to work with their local school districts where the critical decisions about textbook selection and curriculum occur. We need to be vigilant in making decisions the Indiana way to ensure the quality and content of the education taking place in our classrooms."

"Because of the hard work of our educators and parents, Indiana is leading the way on state academic standards that will challenge our students, guide our teachers, and give parents the confidence that our Indiana standards reflect the high expectations Hoosiers have for all our schools."

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