Common Core In Question: What Do You Think?

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Shelby Co.

Henry Co. 4H Fair

Senate Update: Jan. 18

Common Core in Question: What do you think?


As a member of the Senate Committee on Education and Career Development, Indiana schools, their curriculum and the well-being of their students is very important to me.

This Wednesday, Senate legislators heard testimony on the much debated Common Core State Standards. In 2010, the State Board of Education voted to adopt the Common Core State Standards as Indiana’s new academic standards for K-12 schools. Many states began implementing them after the Obama administration included their adoption as one of the criteria it would consider in determining which states receive federal “Race to the Top” grant money.

With Common Core Standards now commonly used across our state, some residents believe they represent a significant step backward from Indiana's nationally recognized education standards in English and math. To address this concern, one of my colleagues has introduced Senate Bill 193 to withdraw Indiana from the Common Core State Standards.

As a result of the push to move to Common Core Standards, the Indiana Department of Education also eliminated cursive writing as part of Indiana's required curriculum in 2011. Now, I've authored Senate Bill 120, which seeks to put cursive writing back in our schools.

Child psychologists, doctors and researchers have used neuro-imaging scans to show finger movement associated with handwriting activates regions in the brain linked to cognitive, language and even motor processes. In other words, cursive writing isn’t just a good ability to have. It’s not just about being able to read cursive writing in the future, eliminating a possible communication gap between generations. Instead, we are now hearing that handwriting skills are crucial for success in school, basic development and learning potential in general.

My bill is scheduled for a vote on Wednesday, Jan. 23. You can watch the Senate vote live at 3 p.m. that day. Simply click here and select "Senate Chamber."

If you want to share your opinions on these or other education issues, please contact me at or 1-800-382-9467.