November 26, 2014


Ohio lawmakers want Common Core standards repealed

COLUMBUS (AP) — Republican lawmakers in the state House are beginning a push to repeal Common Core learning standards by year’s end, citing widespread discontent they’re hearing from parents, teachers and communities.

Reps. Matt Huffman, of Lima, and Andy Thompson, of Marietta, said Monday that Ohio made a mistake four years ago in pursuing the standards and their legislation would seize back state control over the process.

“I don’t think there’s an issue that I’ve heard more about in the last two or three months than this,” Huffman said at a news conference.

The legislators characterized the standards as federal mandates, though they were developed with the help of educators from participating states, including Ohio. Thompson said states were enticed to take part with promises of federal dollars they desperately needed during the recession and it essentially turned into a federal process.

“The fact is we were not in control of this, and certainly the mandated assessments were something we were not in control of,” he said. “And it’s kind of, I want to say, creepy the way this whole thing landed in Ohio with all the things pre-packaged.”

It’s unclear whether the bill could pass. Districts already are well on their way to implementing the standards, which have the backing of a diverse coalition of Ohio groups including teachers’ unions, superintendents, the Urban League and the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

Huffman predicted a vote would come after the November election.

He said GOP House Speaker Bill Batchelder supports the repeal but Republican Senate President Keith Faber only wished him luck with it when he called Monday. Republican Gov. John Kasich has been fairly quiet on the topic, while the Ohio Department of Education has moved ahead with its rollout.

Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper said the lawmakers were misleading when they said teachers oppose the standards. She said teachers have raised concerns about implementation problems but largely support the idea of boosting national standards across state boundaries. She said the 1.6 million-member American Federation of Teachers union voted at its recent convention to back the standards, with about 80 percent of members supportive.

Cropper said some of Ohio’s large urban districts have spent the last two years preparing for the launch.

“All that time, energy and resources would be wasted,” she said. “I think it will absolutely throw our districts in chaos.”

The lawmakers said organizations may support the standards but that doesn’t mean all their members, or Ohio families, do.

“They have a different perspective than the customers and the people who are sending their kids,” Huffman said.

He said Ohio’s existing standards would be adapted in the bill and the state school board would continue to have a role in the final product.

  • Sis Delish

    Repeal everything mandated by the Feds, including Interstate speed limits.

  • oldruss

    Local is better, at least in my opinion. It is doubtful that anyone can craft a one-size-fits-all curriculum at the federal level, and it is equally doubtful that anyone can craft a one-size-fits-all curriculum at the state level. Returning control of our schools to the local school districts, to the taxpayers in those districts, and to the parents whose children are supposed to be educated by those districts seems to me to be a move in the right direction.

    • golfingirl

      I agree.

      When was the last time any federally mandated program has been successful, fiscally responsible and effiencient?

  • SniperFire

    ‘Ohio Federation of Teachers President Melissa Cropper said the lawmakers were misleading when they said teachers oppose the standards. ‘

    I’ve yet to talk to a teacher about it who didn’t loathe it. Where does she get off saying this?

    • Sis Delish

      Sheep in Educator’s Clothing.

  • Pablo Jones

    It is good to have a guideline on what should be learned by certain grade level for tracking purposes. But establishing standard curriculum for everyone isn’t possible. Kids are not the same and not all kids are college material. Saying if the kids graduate under common core they will be college ready is a joke. Either they are willing to let half the kids fail high school or they have to dumb down the meaning of college ready, neither is a move in the right direction.

    Then you have kids that struggle and pass the test and get moved on to the next level. It doesn’t get easier for them and they struggle even more. But they don’t go back and teach the skills they are lacking in because that isn’t on their core curriculum.

    I like tests if they are done correctly and the results are used correctly. They need to test what the kids know. Saying they are proficient for 3rd grade means nothing, just like they’ve masted it or are less proficient. Does mastered mean they are at a 5th grade level? Does less than proficient mean they still struggle to count.

    They need tests that a range of skills that should be learned over several grades and where they fall. 100% of addition of multiple place values. 75% of subtraction, 90% while borrowing in subtraction, etc. Then the teachers can teach to their weaknesses. Those that are at a higher level can be taught at that level. Then at the end of the year another similar test can be done to see how much they’ve learned/improved. Do this year after year and actually tracking the kids and you will see how they improve and the rate at which they learn.

    As an added bonus you will be able to evaluate the teachers as well. If all the kids in a class averaged a 20% improvement every year, but barely improved with 1 teacher while kids in another class room continued to improve then you would know the teach isn’t cutting it. Also if kids improve on average higher with a certain teacher that teacher can be rewarded and share their methods.

  • golfingirl

    Imagine that….Republicans actually listening to their constituents.

    They use Common Sense, the other party can keep their Common Core.