Like most states, Indiana jumped on the adoption of the Common Core. Tied up with the chance to win government grant money for schools and purported to be higher standards that would propel students to a global level of competitiveness, it seemed like a good fit for the state. Unfortunately, this did not sit well with the state, resulting in a repeal that sent the educational community of Indiana reeling.
Three Years of Silence
Educators were on board with the Common Core, doing what they could to slowly roll out these new standards. However, in the background, voices of dissent began growing louder, resulting in the eventual ban of the Core in 2013, becoming the first state to repeal the Core altogether. Ironically, this did little to appease the critics that wanted it gone in the first place. They cried out that Indiana only dropped the Core in name alone.
Though the state saw the ditching of the Core as a proud moment, it has actually proven to be an incredibly detrimental decision. The biggest problem has come from the standardized test question. Common Core came with its own test – the PARCC. While states have not been required to use the PARCC, many have turned to it as it was designed to align with Core standards. Apart from some tech issues, it’s proven to be a legitimate test thus far.
Opposed to the Core, it was only natural that Indiana would be against PARCC as well. At the same time, though, Indiana has to have a standardized means of testing its students’ academic proficiencies. This is what ultimately led to a new test that took students 12 hours to complete as it forced them to do the three types of its life cycle in one sitting. Educators were less than pleased.
From there, it was on to another test known as the ISTEP. This one proved to be more disastrous than the last with scoring delays, accuracy issues and technical glitches. It was so bad that the Indiana House was almost unanimous in ruling to dump the ISTEP by 2017 in favor of a different test. What test that is has yet to be decided, though educators are hoping for the elimination of standardized testing altogether. However, in yet another ironic movement, Indiana is looking toward the US Department of Education’s experimental state exams.
Indiana seems to be a poster child for what happens when a state doesn’t know what it wants. First it opted for the Common Core. They dropped it to appease dissenters only for those dissenters to shun the abandonment of the Core. Now they are looking back to the government for assistance in creating a standardized exam that they themselves have been unable to do successfully. Educators in the state can only hope this confusion pays off for the students that are having to bear the brunt of such indecision.