Group will launch commercials to support Common Core

By Darian Eswine
TheStatehouseFile.com

INDIANAPOLIS — Stand for Children will launch an advertising campaign on Wednesday to support Common Core academic standards and try to stop legislation that would put the curriculum on hold in Indiana.

The campaign is a reaction to Senate passage of SB 193, which will put Common Core on hold while the state Board of Education reconsiders the issue.

The bill also requires at least one state board public meeting to discuss the program in each congressional district. Justin Ohlemiller, Indiana executive director of Stand for Children, said the bill is a political maneuver.

“This politically charged, federal-take-over boogey man should not be involved in this discussion,” Ohlemiller said.

He said he fears some Indiana legislators are aiming too low when it comes to students’ education.

“With common core it’s about teaching a greater depth of knowledge to prepare for college and the jobs of tomorrow,” Ohlemiller said.

Ashley Hebda, a teacher at George Washington Community High School, is featured in a 30-second ad that will be aired by the group. She said she has had several discussions with her students about the Common Core program. Hebda said there has been significant improvement in her students by using this curriculum and said it would be beneficial statewide.

“When I think of Indiana, I think of the word ‘growth…’ I think we should embrace the Common Core state standards because it will help our students grow,” Hebda said.

Stand for Children “intends to air the ads until SB 193 is dead,” according to a statement.

Charity Mitchell, a mother of four, said she hopes these standards will provide her children with necessary skills for a successful life.

“Common Core will close that gap between what skills my kids learn in high school and what skills they need after they graduate—whether they go to college or into the workforce,” Mitchell said.

Common Core is a national program that aims to unify curriculum across the states. Critics say they don’t want leaders outside Indiana telling the state what should be taught in schools.

But Ohlemiller said Indiana is one of 46 states to adopt Common Core and said it may be an outlier in educational standards if the bill passes. The promotional campaign launching tomorrow will feature Hoosier teachers, parents, and others in support of Common Core.

Darian Eswine is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

Correction: This story has been corrected from the version initially posted. The original story incorrectly referred to the name of the group. It should be Stand for Children. TheStatehouseFile.com regrets the error.
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