David Hoppe

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:: Adios, Common Core

Hello, Hoosier Core

by David Hoppe

So Indiana’s finally figured out what makes a good education.


Glad that’s done.

In case you didn’t know it, Indiana is a beacon when it comes to education. Nobody, it seems, is as good at reading, writing and arithmetic as we Hoosiers.

Never mind that a large part of our workforce is considered ill-equipped for 21st century jobs. That, apparently, is just a rumor spread by our jealous competitors in Illinois, Ohio and Kentucky.

Mitch Daniels, remember him? He used to be governor; now he’s president of some university. Anyway, Daniels wanted to go all New World Order on Indiana by adopting the Common Core curriculum.

I guess we taught him a think or two.

The Common Core, by the way, was supposed to be another example of the Federal Government stuffing something down the throats of us states. Kind of like what those French do to geese.

Actually, it was what’s called a c-o-l-l-a-b-o-r-a-t-i-o-n. State governors and education commissioners from around the country, Indiana included, met with teachers and parents and even the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to figure out a core curriculum that all kids should be able to master — no matter where they live — by the time they graduate from high school.

But that wasn’t good enough for Indiana.

We wanted a curriculum written “by Hoosiers for Hoosiers,” as now Gov. Mike Pence put it.

So what did we do? We assembled a group of educators, teachers and parents and even business people to figure out a core curriculum that all kids — Hoosier kids, that is — should be able to master by the time they graduate from high school.

But let’s go back to that “by Hoosiers for Hoosiers” bit for a moment. What, exactly, does that mean?

Could it be that Hoosiers need their own curriculum because our kids are so far ahead of the rest of the country that a curriculum that’s good enough for 45 other states will hold us back?

Or is there something about our Hoosier culture that is simply so extraordinary — a kind of Hoosier Way — that we need to inculcate it into every little Hoosier skull in order to insure that little skull’s ultimate success in a big unHoosier world?

Speaking of which, maybe we need our own Hoosier curriculum to battle the Brain Drain. You know how our kids keep growing up and leaving Indiana for other places? Our Hoosier curriculum might be a way of training our kids so that they either cannot or will not ever want to leave us. The Chinese bound women’s feet to slow their mobility; a curriculum by Hoosiers for Hoosiers might do the same thing, only above the shoulders.

In any event, it’s a relief we’ve worked it out. Hoosiers have a curriculum we can call our very own. Teachers have the whole summer to figure out how to teach it. No problem: apparently our state has money to burn. According to Indiana’s Legislative Services Agency, bringing teachers up to speed could only cost us, oh, $125 million.