INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana lawmakers recently voted to opt out of the “voluntary, state-led” Common Core public education experiment, and now they’re paying the price.
The Indiana Department of Education received a letter from federal officials last week threatening to revoke the state’s waiver from No Child Left Behind – reforms enacted under the Bush administration to improve public schools, Heritage.org reports.
In 2009, U.S. Department of Education officials offered states exemptions from the more stringent provisions of No Child Left Behind in exchange for adopting the Common Core national education standards. Officials in Indiana and numerous other states jumped at the opportunity to ditch the tough No Child Left Behind requirements and adopted Common Core instead.
Amid strong public backlash over Common Core, Indiana lawmakers recently scrapped the national standards and instead opted to devise their own college- and career-ready standards by July 1 for use next school year, according to Heritage.org.
Then this letter came in the mail:
“IDOE (Indiana Department of Education) met ED (Department of Education) requirements in its approved ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act – also known as No Child Left Behind) flexibility request through the 2013-14 school year by adopting and implementing standards common to a significant number of states.
“Because the IDOE will no longer implement those standards, IDOE must amend its ESEA flexibility request and provide evidence that its new standards are certified by a state network of IHEs (Institutions of Higher Education) that students who meet the standards will not need remedial coursework at the postsecondary level.”
In other words, the feds plan to revoke the Indiana’s No Child Left Behind waiver if state officials don’t demonstrate that the new standards will fully prepare students for a career or college, something that’s far from guaranteed with Common Core.
The episode illustrates that despite repeated claims that Common Core isn’t a federal program, federal officials are heavily involved in shepherding states into the national experiment.
“The saga of NCLB waivers is further evidence of the (Obama) administration’s clear fingerprints on what is ostensibly a ‘state-led’ effort,” Heritage.org reports.
“Indiana’s work to remove Hoosiers from Common Core has paved the way for other states looking to exit the national standards boondoggle. And if state autonomy is something other states cherish, it’s a path they should follow.
“Because the letters issued to Indiana (and several other states) show just how weak the phrases ‘state-led’ and ‘voluntary’ become when used to describe Common Core.”