Indiana to Continue Using Fuzzy Math in New Standards?

indiana-flag (1)Hoosiers can now comment publicly on Indiana’s draft academic standards until March 12, 2014.  Instructions and the link to the form can be found here.

You can read the standards below:

There is a lot of skepticism around the review committee that has been appointed to review and rewrite the standards.  The timeline for the adoption of the new standards is extremely short as the final adaption by the State Board of Education will be on April 9, 2014.  Hoosiers Against Common Core called the review panel a stacked deck.  Heather Crossin makes the following points:

  • 15 of the 29 members of the Evaluation Panel can be readily “red-flagged” as having a pro-Common Core bias. 
  • 13 out of 32 members of the College and Career Ready Panel can be readily “red-flagged” as having a pro-Common Core bias.
  • Only 1 individual, out of a combined total of 53, can be readily “flagged” as having an anti-Common Core  bias.
  • 8 Individuals sit on both the Evaluation Panel and the College and Career Readiness Panel.
  • 7 of the 8 individuals who sit on both panels, and thus wield a greater level of influence, can be readily “red-flagged” as having a pro-Common Core bias.
  • Only 1 Professor of Mathematics is a confirmed member of either panel, and he testified in favor of Common Core Standards at the Interim Legislative Study Committee, August 5, 2013.
  • Several members of both committees belong to, and/or have presented together at conferences for, the Indiana Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ICTM), an affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), the NCTM, and the Hoosier Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (HATME).
  • The Evaluation Team is divided into bands (such as Grade 6-12 Math).  In most of these “bands” or subcommittees, the majority of seats are held by individuals who can be readily “red-flagged” as having a pro-Common Core bias.
  • None of the Hoosiers whose names were submitted by Common Core opponents as candidates for the panels, such as IU Mathematics Professors Jim Davis and Chris Connell, were contacted or selected to serve.
  • In addition to the pro-Common Core bias of the panel members, a similar bias exists regarding which sets of standards were selected to be officially evaluated.

Be sure to read her entire argument.

Public Law 286 was passed by the Indiana General Assembly in 2013, which created Indiana Code 20-19-2-14.5 concerning the State Board of Education’s responsibility to review Indiana’s Academic Standards. The law specifically mandates the State Board to develop college and career readiness standards for Mathematics and English/Language Arts compliant with state and federal requirements before July 1, 2014 and to hold public hearings on the proposed standards prior to adoption.  So why adopt in April?  Why not extend this a couple more months?

Why are teachers being told little will change?

Then there is this email that has been circulating among teachers in Lafayette, IN:

For all of you that are curious about the article in the INDY STAR today regarding scrapping the Common Core standards, I spoke to Dr. Schauna Findlay today.  Schauna is one of the closest individuals to this situation, so I trust her information.

Here is what I have learned from her:

The INDY STAR published an article today about Indiana scrapping the Common Core standards.  This is not completely accurate.   In the article, it says we will revert back to the old Indiana standards by July 1st.  We will NEVER transition back to these standards – on July 1st, we will adopt the NEW Indiana Academic standards.   Now, here is the kicker….those standards will most likely look ALMOST IDENTICAL to the CCSS.  We will take the CCSS standards, add a few that outline more details (mostly math related) and adopt them as Indiana standards.   What the article did not say was that we HAVE to adopt College and Career Readiness standards to stay in compliance with our NCLB waiver.   And, when all is said and done….the standards will completely reflect the CCSS standards.   It is VERY much a political issue at this point – the issue is not with the standards or content of the standards, but rather WHO controls the content. 

So, if teachers ask….don‘t stop your work on CCSS – they are just getting a new name.   I understand from Dr. Schauna Findlay (I spoke in length with her today.) that the draft standards are coming out late February.  Once they do, if you compare the new drafted standards to the CCSS, they will see that they are practically (or even exactly) the same.   I will do my best to keep you posted. 

Thanks!! Tami

Tami Hi

Professional Development Coordinator

Wabash Valley Education Center

3061 Benton Street

West Lafayette, IN 47906

Phone: 765-588-1146

Cell: 765-491-3086

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.  ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Dr. Schauna Findlay is the Chief Academic Officer for Goodwill Education Initiatives in Indianapolis, IN.  Prior to joining Goodwill, Dr. Findlay was the director of Curriculum and Instruction at the Indiana Department of Education.  She gave the closing testimony for the first legislative study committee on the Common Core State Standards that was required by HB 14327, last year’s pause bill.

Some problems a couple of our members who are well versed in reading and evaluating math standards have noticed thus far when reading the Indiana draft standards:

  • The new IN process standards are identical to the problematic 8 CCSS Standards for Mathematical Practice.  IN adds one more—Use technology strategically.
  • Dividing is included in the 6th grade but the standard algorithm is not required—not even mentioned for division.
  • 5th grade multiplication with standard algorithm is identical to CCSS.
  • Grade 2 standard is identical “Fluently add and subtract within 100 using strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction.”  He gave an explanation why he focused on that standard, “I picked that standard because many of the CCSS standards call for “strategies based on place value’ while they delay the requirement for the standards algorithms.  The new IN do not seem to require the use of the standard algorithms except for multiplication.  In my initial look, I would say that these new IN standards are basically the CCSS put in a pot, barely stirred and same key ingredients removed or watered down.”

  • He considers this to be a shell game and believes at least the K-5 standards may be even worse than the Common Core.

  • Another member wrote, “Nowhere did I see the requirement to teach standard algorithms and to what extent the students should know their multiplication facts. That is, we require automatic recall through the 10’s by the end of 3rd grade. I also didn’t read enough to know if they are limiting the use of calculators.”

It seems, on the surface, that his may be an attempt to drive Indiana back to the Common Core.

The first public hearing is Monday next week which doesn’t give parents much time to review the standards.  Here is the schedule:

  • Mon, 2/24, 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. EST at Ivy Tech in Sellersburg, IN
  • Tues, 2/25, 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. EST at the Indiana State Library, History Reference Room in Indianapolis, IN
  • Wed, 2/26, 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. EST at Plymouth High School, Plymouth, IN

These meetings will be live streamed if you are unable to join in person.  You can also give feedback about the review process by sending an email to

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