If your only knowledge of Indiana Governor Mike Pence’s stance on education policy comes from articles written in the past week, you can be forgiven for believing that the GOP vice presidential nominee is a staunch opponent of Common Core.
Education Week writes that Pence is “anti-Common Core” and that “Indiana, under Pence, was the very first state to ditch” the standards. Education World similarly reports that the Hoosier State “decided, under Pence’s authority, to scrap the standards and develop their own.” And The74Million.org echoes both, trumpeting Pence’s “anti-Common Core education legacy” and writing that “Pence signed a bill in 2014 making Indiana the first state to back out of the Common Core State Standards.”
There’s only one problem: Pence’s repeal of Common Core was really an illusion, designed to placate conservative activists while changing little to nothing.
National Review’s Stanley Kurtz helpfully documented the entire affair in 2014:
Pence did preside over Indiana’s withdrawal from Common Core, yet he quickly turned this triumph into a charade. Instead of returning to Indiana’s superb pre–Common Core standards, Pence stacked the replacement committees to ensure the return of Common Core. Indiana’s new standards are nothing but a slightly mangled and rebranded version of what they supposedly replace.
Common Core opponents are deeply disappointed by this outcome. The plucky Indiana mothers who ignited the national rebellion against Common Core are wondering why Governor Pence seems to have betrayed their trust.
So, in other words, Pence took credit for repealing Common Core in Indiana when in fact he merely replaced it with a rebranded version of the same standards — nay, standards that might be even worse:
Indiana native and Hillsdale College professor Terrence Moore, who reviewed the “new” English standards, concluded that if the proposal were turned into him as a college paper, he would give it an F and write “plagiarism” across the top.