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Did Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Just Blow It On Common Core?

Indiana Anti-Common Core Protest

Indiana’s Governor Mike Pence has been earning a lot of quiet behind the scenes support as the outside Washington limited government constitutional conservative choice for President in 2016.

But Pence’s actions in the fight over the “rebranding” of Common Core in Indiana, as opposed to the outright repeal of the “Obamacore” attack on local control and community standards for education, have brought his conservative credentials into serious question among some grassroots education activists.

To some observers it looks like Pence led the way to making Indiana the first state to abandon the Common Core standards that were initially embraced by more than 40 states. And Pence supporters say the Hoosier state is now on the way to a unique set of state standards

David Masciotra writing for Gannett's IndyStar website said “Gov. Mike Pence deserves a hero’s celebration from teachers, parents and students for the bold action he took to rescue his state, and its children, from the waffle maker of intellectual conformity called Common Core.

Masciotra claims the decision by Pence and the General Assembly “to remove Indiana from the mediocre standards that the federal government is pushing on public schools is a victory for personal freedom, educational excellence and the American core of self-governance. “

But the Common Core controversy continues to thrive because many other parents and grassroots education activists are not so sure that Pence did anything more than change the name of the much despised educational standards drafted by the Council of Chief State School Officers and supported by what Masciotra calls “unimaginative thinkers” like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

During an anti-Common Core rally at the Statehouse, reports professor Terrence Moore of Hillsdale College, said if the proposed standards were a paper he was grading, he would give them an "F" and call it plagiarism.

"They want us to believe these are entirely new standards," said Moore, whom the state contracted for an earlier analysis of the draft.

Jim Shella, WISH-TV's veteran state house reporter told viewers hundreds of people opposed to Common Core rallied at the Statehouse because they believe the national academic standards are not going away. They believe that proposed new Indiana standards amount to little change.

“The proposed standards are simply a cloned version of the Common Core re-branded,” said rally organizer Heather Crossin.

The opponents then packed the Education Roundtable meeting at times mocking Gov. Mike Pence.

When he said, “Clearly these standards were written by Hoosiers and for Hoosiers,” there was audible laughter in the room.

Shella reports that when it came time to vote the controversy evaporated. Twenty-one of 24 Roundtable members expressed support for the new standards.

Crossin, one of the organizers of Hoosiers Against Common Core, contended the proposed set of standards is actually worse than Common Core.

"It contains more of what we didn't want and less of what we wanted," she said.

Opponents say they won’t give up. “Not a single one of our concerns about content was addressed,” said Crossin. “And that’s a real shame.”

The new standards must still be approved by the State Board of Education in a vote scheduled for next week.

If approved then, the new Indiana standards will take effect at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year.

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Yes to your Pence poll

Since I can't ever vote in your sidebar polls from the Firefox browser, I'll answer your Pence poll here:

"YES. His career & conservative cred will drop."

Which is troubling to me, since he was my #1 backup plan if Governor Palin decides not to run.