Indiana officially approves Common Core rebrand #IndianaStillHasCommonCore

It’s done. The State Board of Education voted in favor of approving the Common Core rebranded standards today. Governor Pence and the Board of Education (sans one member) are touting a victory; but, it’s not a victory for the children of Indiana who will now be subject to standards that are, according to several experts, less desirable than previous standards.

While a small victory may have been won by voting on for state control over educational standards, a much larger victory was overlooked in the process. Indiana had the chance to put into place academic standards that were much stronger than this Common Core rebrand that was voted in. We could have fallen back to previous Indiana standards that were regarded by many experts (including Sandra Stotsky, James Milgram and Terrence Moore) as some of the strongest nationwide.

Today is a sad day in Indiana for parents, children, and teachers who were counting on Mike Pence, our Governor, and the State Board of Education to make a choice that put quality of education for our state’s children above all else.

Here is a link to a recent story and video covering the Board of Education meeting today. Tune into the video to hear several well educated parents and activists speaking out against what happened today.

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My letter to Indiana Board of Education #NoCommonCoreRebrand

Dear Indiana Board of Education members,

Please deeply consider the long term ramifications our state will face financially and with brain drain if you vote yes for the newly ‘drafted’ standards, which, according to multiple sources, are simply a bad rewrite of Common Core.

Please consider going back to the 2009 standards, which have been approved and should already have standardized testing developed. These superior standards were dropped like a hot potato for Common Core.

My objections come from a few directions. The first is, I am deeply concerned about the federal government’s overreach into state and local issues. It’s my belief that simply adopting almost identical standards to the ones the federal government is mandating defeats the purpose of refusing the original Common Core standards in the first place.

If you, the school board members, adopt this Common Core rebrand, Indiana will have lost all nationwide credibility in regards to education standards.

You will be choosing to push Indiana students up to 2 years behind international competitors in math. Not to mention the terrible requirements for English, Grammar and Literature. (Or are we even allowed to call it that anymore? Does it have to be called ELA?)

Please don’t throw more state resources into chasing federal mandates and dollars.

Mark my words, if these standards are approved, there will be further power grabs by the federal government.

Don’t make Indiana the laughing stock of the nation. Let us be leaders. Let us lead the nation away from terrible academic standards and toward Academic Excellence.

Before you actually vote, will you please, please actually try to read these new standards? I have.

Can you understand them? I barely could.

Would a 23-year-old, first year teacher understand them?

I am guessing your answer to all of the above is no. Then why vote yes?

I possess a science degree from Purdue, and have been an academic tutor for 16 years. I find the new standards confusing, poorly worded and containing a lot of unnecessary flowery language. Also, if I had personally followed the Common Core math progression in the 90’s, there is no way I would have been accepted at Purdue for Engineering school, like I was in 1991.

Following are several links, from both liberal and conservative perspectives, on Indiana’s proposed new standards.


From James Milgram:



Michelle Malkin:


Heritage Foundation:


Fordham Institute:’s-potemkin-standards


Amos Brown:


I am praying that all of you do your own research before voting. Please don’t rely on others’ opinions of these standards. Please dig into them and form your own opinions, as I have.


I welcome questions or further discussion.


Amy Nichols



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It’s a sad day in Indiana, #commoncorerebrand

Indiana was set to be a pioneer in rewriting and creating new standards independent of Common Core. Sadly, this didn’t happen today. The Education Roundtable voted to use the rebranded common core standards. Mike Pence let the children of Indiana down. 

Read about it here. So disappointing. 

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Guest Posting – Common Core Bedfellows: Strange, indeed!

Many thanks to MJ Kurdys for her wonderful guest posting!

Common Core Bedfellows

Strange, indeed!


     Two years. That is how long since two Hoosier moms became aware of something called the Common Core State Standards. Two years and a lifetime later, it may seem, Erin Tuttle and Heather Crossin are calling for Hoosier parents, grandparents, teachers, administrators, church goers, homeschoolers, college professors, civic leaders, et al to band together for “Judgement Day Rally: the comment period may be over, but Hoosiers have more to say!”

      How long has it been since you first heard of the Common Core State Standards? Two years, one? Or has it been a matter of months, weeks, or days? Never mind, if you are reading this you must have a reason for concern.

      The debate has made for some non-traditional associations, to put it mildly. Can you recall another issue which placed conservative commentator, Michelle Malkin, and a liberal counterpart, Diane Ravitch, one the same side of an argument? Did you ever expect to see the day when Barack Obama and Jeb Bush would agree so strongly on an issue? Strange bedfellows indeed!

       So what has kept you from adding your voice to the conversation? What will keep you from the Judgement Day Rally at the Indiana Statehouse on April 21st at 1:00pm? You may have a schedule conflict, a transportation issue, just too busy and perhaps that is true. But perhaps the deeper reasons for staying home are one of these:

  1.  Those tea party people are against the CCSS, aren’t they? I can’t be seen with those types.
  2.  Those teacher unions are against the CCSS, right? I can’t be seen with union people.
  3.  Very religious and homeschool people are against the CCSS but aren’t they pro-life? I can’t be seen with those religious, pro-lifer  zealots.
  4.  College professors are worried about the standards because even though the claim is that the Standards will make kids college ready, they fear the opposite is true. But I certainly cannot risk associating with someone who is pro-choice.
  5.  But I am teacher, a college professor, a pastor, a principal, a counselor, a parent or grandparent and I am afraid to be seen  amongst this group for fear I will be shunned by coworkers, friends, or lose my job.

     Any of these describe your reasons? Only each one of us can answer that. But the truth is,those promoting the Common Core hope so. This is how bullies manipulate people: Marginalize your opposition and make it “uncool” to associate with them.

     Do not be a victim to this ugly tactic. Do not be afraid! Stand up, AS ONE, for Hoosierchildren. They have no voice in this, the movers and shakers absolutely must hear our voices.

     Be there! Monday, April 21, 2014 at 1:00pm: Indiana Statehouse.

Subscribe to Hoosiers Against Common Core for updates and news:



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My Resignation Letter

Another teacher gave up. Read her resignation letter.

Pauline Hawkins

Dear Administrators, Superintendent, et al.:

This is my official resignation letter from my English teaching position.

I’m sad to be leaving a place that has meant so much to me. This was my first teaching job. For eleven years I taught in these classrooms, I walked these halls, and I befriended colleagues, students, and parents alike. This school became part of my family, and I will be forever connected to this community for that reason.

I am grateful for having had the opportunity to serve my community as a teacher. I met the most incredible people here. I am forever changed by my brilliant and compassionate colleagues and the incredible students I’ve had the pleasure of teaching.

I know I have made a difference in the lives of my students, just as they have irrevocably changed mine. Teaching is the most rewarding job I have ever had. That is why I am sad…

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Indiana readers join us!

March to the statehouse

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Anti-Common Core personal testimony, by Eshet Chayil #stopcommoncore

Guest blog posting by: Eshet Chayil

I was the victim of abuse at the hands of my husband. For years he emotionally and verbally abused me. This may sound strange, but I was relieved the first time he beat me. I finally had something to show others. I finally had something that he couldn’t twist and manipulate; something tangible that he could no longer claim was my imagination. When I look at Common Core assignments, I see them as a physical manifestation of the abuse that is occurring, right now, across our country, directed squarely at our children. Allow me to explain.

For a decade I was told by my ‘loved one’ that I was stupid and crazy. I was told that the things that I knew in my heart were right, were really wrong. I was told that the things that I felt in my heart were wrong, were really right. If I said “I have an idea!” I was told, “Don’t think!” If I said “I feel like this is wrong”, I was told, “I make all the decisions, this is MY domain!” If I cried after being yelled at for 4 hours, and asked to be allowed to care for our small children, I was told I was crazy – you see my priorities were backwards; my allegiance should be to my husband first, not our children.

It’s been four years since I left him and to this day I cannot speak or think the words “I have an idea” without hearing him yell back “Don’t think!” You see, experiences build roads in our heads; frequently traveled paths are readily available for our minds to grab onto and go…like a parkway or a freeway. Try as I might, I can’t seem to shake this well-worn path. Now I look to the children that I ‘rescued’ and I look to these new Common Core standards and every bell in my head is ringing. I ignored these bells in the past and I vowed NEVER to ignore them again.

When you introduce mathematical concepts that are developmentally inappropriate, then test that child on these concepts and mark them as having failed, how is that not abusive? You are essentially giving them a task they cannot do and then telling them they are stupid. Now do that over and over, and over again. Are these the rigorous results we are looking for? Or is this simply abusive?

Once the child fails the test they were meant to fail, tell them that they have to forgo music, chorus, recess, lunch and so on…so that they may receive additional instruction to ‘help’ them with the math they had trouble with. Now notice that they are fidgeting about and recommend that they get tested for ADD or ADHD…I have heard this scenario an uncountable number of times. Now we are telling the child that there is something wrong with them mentally. We are telling them that they are crazy. The adults who pulled them out of recess to improve upon skills they should not possess at their age are not crazy; it’s the child that has the issue.

These poor children are meant to make sense out of poorly worded instructions and answer questions in an overly convoluted and contrived manner. Then, they are told what they did was wrong. Children naturally want to please; they want their parents and teachers to be proud of them. Let me tell you from experience, if your hand gets slapped every time you reach out, guess what you learn to do? You stop. You just stop trying. Do you want your children to turn inward? Do you want them to give up? That’s what they will have to do to protect themselves. They will retreat away from their parents and teachers. They will no longer feel safe to take that next step, to reach out, to venture out, and to grow.

This curriculum will cause our children’s minds, hearts and spirits to atrophy. I know you’ve seen signs of it. We have only just begun down this path; imagine what it will look like in 10 years. It took one final, massive beating for me to leave. By then, my brain had been hard wired to except bad as good, good as bad and to believe that I was a small minded, crazy woman who didn’t deserve better. What will our children look like in ten years? Will they be thriving, existing or devolving? What are you willing to do to stop it?

Don’t blindly give your allegiance to someone or something just because they tell you it’s the right thing to do. Listen to your heart. Listen to your instincts, they are sound. It’s when we ignore these warnings that we get into trouble. Our children can’t fix this one, we have to. We have to fight for our children. We have to be a chorus of SCREAMING adults during this election year. We have to be UNRELENTING until this is reversed; the price is far too high to allow this to continue. Don’t allow our children to be abused.

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