Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed legislation Monday making his the first state to withdraw from national Common Core education standards that have become a lightning rod for critics of federal government overreach.
"I believe when we reach the end of this process there are going to be many other states around the country that will take a hard look at the way Indiana has taken a step back, designed our own standards and done it in a way where we drew on educators, we drew on citizens, we drew on parents and developed standards that meet the needs of our people," Pence said.
Indiana and 44 other states adopted Common Core standards in recent years. The program establishes targets for proficiency in math and reading and is designed to establish consistency and rigor in the nation’s education system.
But the national education standards have been the focus of vocal criticism from conservative grassroots groups, who believe Common Core amounts to a government takeover of education. Critics have said Indiana’s new standards are strikingly similar to the Common Core framework and the new legislation is little more than a change in name rather than substance, the Associated Press reports.
Other states have been taking similar steps to move away from Common Core, including Oklahoma, where a Senate panel endorsed a similar measure Monday.