Common Core debate: Be careful what you pay for

It’s often noted that the politics of the Common Core State Standards make for odd bedfellows. Disagreements over the standards may also be putting a chill on some intimate political relationships.

You could watch this play out on Twitter as Derek Redelman, vice president for education of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce, commented during a recent hearing of the legislative study committee evaluating the Common Core.

The chamber supports the standards, which Indiana adopted in 2010. But a lot of Republicans in the legislature have swallowed the tea party line that they are a federal takeover of the schools – or worse. Early this year, the legislature voted to “pause” the implementation of the standards and study their effectiveness and cost.

On Tuesday, the study committee was supposed to be considering a report by the state Office of Management and Budget on the cost of implementing the standards. But testimony veered off into the usual anti-Core rhetoric, and some lawmakers followed.

Redelman was tweeting his frustration.

Rep Rhoads trying to downplay OMB testimony. Consistently, the only info she finds credible is from CommonCore opposition. #closedminds.

Rhoads is Rep. Rhonda Rhoads, R-Corydon, who in 2010 ousted long-time Democratic House member Paul Robertson thanks in part to at least $23,000 in campaign contributions from Indiana Business for Responsive Government, the chamber’s political action committee.

Sen Schneider now joining Rep Rhoads in questioning OMB findings on CommonCore. Apparently, OMB report does not fit their storyline.”

Schneider is Sen. Scott Schneider, R-Indianapolis. He edged Democrat Tim Delaney in one of the closest Senate races of 2012. According to campaign finance reports, the chamber gave at least $15,000 to Schneider and nothing to Delaney.

Former Rep Cindy Noe encourages state to “walk away from CommonCore.” Funny. Voters did that to her last fall.

Indeed, Noe, a Republican, lost her 2012 re-election bid in an overwhelmingly GOP year — despite nearly $30,000 in contributions from the chamber.

One conclusion to draw is that, whatever their faults, Indiana legislators aren’t bought and paid for. They don’t seem to feel a need to, as the saying goes, dance with who brung them.

But for the chamber, the lesson might be that it’s time to be a little more discriminating when it comes to backing candidates. If the business group is serious about supporting education, it ought to be looking for credible allies on both sides of the aisle.


1 thought on “Common Core debate: Be careful what you pay for

  1. Redelman seems a bit too caustic in his remarks. Sore loser?

    Speaking of closed minds, wasn’t it the Chamber who disregarded the data that shows merit pay and vouchers do not increase student achievement?

    I guess the truth is determined by how closely it aligns with your ideological preconceptions.

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