New standards used to evaluate your children in school may be changing. Indiana joined a long list of states to adopt Common Core standards in 2010, but now a Republican state senator says Common Core doesn't work and Indiana should opt out. Hundreds showed up at the Statehouse for a hearing on Wednesday where lawmakers heard the pros and cons.
In many ways, a kindergarten classroom WSBT visited is just like any other, except these students are taught under a fairly new curriculum: Common Core.
"I think it's a change for the better. I think it is when fully implemented an opportunity for students to really develop far more in depth English and the math concepts that we certainly hope will help prepare them for college," said Dan Towner with the School City of Mishawaka.
Towner says the Common Core focuses on informational text as opposed to literature.
"The benefit is that students are able to read and handle more difficult text," said Towner.
With math, there's a focus on understanding the concepts. not just finding the right answers.
"It's a focus on helping students to reason abstractly and quantitatively," Towner added.
Indiana is one of 46 states that have adopted Common Core standards, but not everyone supports it.
"This is an idea at its inception some people supported the idea of national standards. That in and of itself is not appropriate for a country as big as the United States and as diverse," said Heather Crossin with Hoosiers Against Common Core.
Crossin also says there's too much emphasis on testing.
"Now that we're in an environment where the teacher's pay is going to be tied in to how students perform on the test, I believe you're going to be seeing teaching to the test like you've never seen before," she explained.
But Mishawaka's superintendent says it's too soon to judge whether Common Core is working. Right now, the standards are only fully implemented in kindergarten and first grade. He says all that work will be lost if the state gets rid of Common Core.
If Senator Schneider's bill passes the House and Senate, Indiana would go back to previous state benchmarks. The senate committee is expected to vote on the bill next week.