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Common Core Supporters Testify Against Ohio Repeal Bill

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Opponents of the education standards known as Common Core spent a week criticizing that set of standards while supporting a bill to repeal it. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports that now a House committee is hearing from the other side, including some national experts who helped create those benchmarks.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 5:29 pm

William McCallum is a distinguished professor of mathematics from the University of Arizona. He was part of a panel of experts who helped write the Common Core standards for math.

McCallum told a panel of legislators that he’s noticed people spreading what he calls “false accounts” of how the Common Core was created. This includes the idea that creation of the standards lacked public input. But McCallum says they did release a version for review.

“We got 10,000 comments from the public and those were compiled into a great big spreadsheet," McCallum said. "I went through every single comment and I looked at them carefully, and we made changes in response to those comments as well.”

McCallum says the Common Core represents an overdue promise of deeper education for children and says that Ohio should deliver on that promise.

“It’s not an easy road. There are lots of challenges ahead. We are raising the standards in this country, and therefore there is work to be done.”

Chris Minnich is with the Council of Chief State School Officers, which played a big role in developing the standards. With several states balking at the standards, he admits that Common Core supporters could’ve handled things differently earlier in the process.

“We should’ve had more conversations with the state legislators," Minnich said. "We’re doing several of these hearings now across the country and we should’ve done these earlier in the process.”

Republican State Rep. Matt Huffman of Lima, is a co-sponsor of the bill to repeal the Common Core. He argues that the standards represent a federal takeover of the education system.

Huffman—who’s also second-in-command in the House and chairs the committee hearing testimony on the bill—has said he’d like to see the House vote on the measure right after the November election.