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Ohio Bucks The Conservative Trend, Sticks With The Common Core

Friday, June 6, 2014 at 7:52 AM

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(photo courtesy of Joe Gratz / Flickr)

Ohio legislators Wednesday night passed a set of education measures that leave the Common Core math and English standards intact, but offer some assurances that Ohio will maintain its independence when it comes to how and what kids are taught.

Republicans in several red states are heeding the outcry from conservatives that the Common Core is, at best, hurting education (at worst it’s a federal plot to indoctrinate your kids.)

But on Wednesday Ohio’s legislature, which is heavily Republican, reaffirmed the math and English standards it adopted along with 43 other states and the District of Columbia.

It passed a set of education measures that leave the Common Core intact, but offer some assurances that Ohio will maintain its independence when it comes to how and what kids are taught.

The Senate last week amended H.B. 487 to prohibit any further multi-state collaboration on standards in social studies - and in particular, American history and Government - and science.  The Senate also put into law safeguards to protect student privacy.  And for next year only, when the Common Core-aligned tests officially replace the Ohio Achievement Assessments, schoo
ls will not be penalized for any negative outcomes resulting from the new tests.

Senate Education Committee Chairman Peggy Lehner says it was important to include those provisions, but says people upset over the Common Core are confusing the standards with curriculum, which is locally controlled.

“Yes, they’re supposedly aligned with these standards,” Lehner says, “but if they have a problem with a particular assignment that a teacher gives, they’re pointing to the wrong problem.

“The problem is the teacher’s choice of that curriculum, it is not the standard they were attempting to meet.  At least no one has shown me any of the standards they think need to go away.”

The bill was passed Wednesday along with a series of measures that make up what’s known as the mid-biennium review - tweaks in the law made at the halfway point of the state’s two-year budget.

The legislature is now in recess until fall.

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Education, Government/Politics

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