Indiana Gov. Pence Talks Common Core

Published April 8, 2013

Indiana leaders will “take a long, hard look” at Common Core, said Gov. Mike Pence in response to a School Reform News question at a public event Friday.  

Indiana is one of approximately a dozen states considering legislation to withdraw from Common Core, a national set of requirements for what children should know in K-12 math and English. Indiana legislators have cited concerns over quality, cost, and loss of local control. 

Pence said he believed states created Common Core but the federal government has begun to get overly involved. He suggested Indiana could mimic Virginia, which has not adopted Common Core or corresponding national tests, but has compared its education standards to Common Core so teachers can use Common Core materials. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, chair of the Republican Governors Association, has said Common Core represents federal micromanagement over education.

In March, nearly a thousand Indianans and local businesses signed a letter to Pence, asking him to support legislation to pause Common Core implementation while the state held public hearings on the topic and conducted a cost analysis. Senate Bill 193 has been tucked into a House bill because House Education Chairman Bob Behning refused to hear SB193 independently. 

Neither Pence nor his staff responded directly to the letter or phone calls and emails requesting comment afterward, although he had visited the press conference releasing the letter. 

At the Atlas International Education Forum Friday, Pence noted he had been one of few politicians to oppose No Child Left Behind, the biggest federal education law in history, which dramatically increased federal education spending while requiring states to get all students testing “proficient” by 2014. 

“I will bring my anti-No Child Left Behind biases to this,” Pence said.

Image by Republican Conference.