Last updated: August 28. 2014 10:40AM - 54 Views
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Ohio legislators might dump the Common Core.

House Bill 237, introduced last week, calls for state educators to abandon the call for more level math and language standards from state to state.

It also demands that local schools not take part in a lengthy battery of new tests planned for this winter and spring.

The bill calls for public hearings on any content standard changes in each Ohio congressional district, home rule for local districts without threat of losing state funds, and a sweeping ban on release of data that identifies students and their grades for commercial use.

A vote is not expected until after the November elections, so don’t expect local teachers to make an about-face anytime soon.

If the Common Core is repealed, local educators don’t know how they’ll react.

Wellington Schools curriculum director Sally Roth said she’s not worried about the bill but doesn’t know what it’ll mean for the district if the bill passes.

There’s no contingency plan in place, she said.

Roth and other administrators will have to look to the Ohio Department of Education and the State Support Team for direction if there’s a huge curriculum shift mid-year.

“For now, Common Core is our reality and I am busy helping teachers and administrators deal with the curriculum, instruction, and assessments associated with it,” she said.

HB237 was introduced by Ohio Rep. Andy Thompson (R-Marietta) and co-sponsored by 13 other Republicans.

Polling shows that the Common Core is a deeply partisan issue. According to Pew Research, 94 percent of “steadfast conservatives” are against its implementation while 86 percent of “solid liberals” are in favor.

The split continues down the aisle with other groups who identify themselves as politically right or left.

Overall, 53 percent of respondents said they don’t want the new standards compared to 41 percent who do, Pew reported.

Ohioans Against Common Core is one group calling for a full repeal.

Its website cites expensive new textbooks and teacher training that may or may not be needed to teach the new curriculum. It also decries an “embedded pedagogy” that tells teachers what they must teach.

Educators say there have always been standards that require certain content to be taught.

Roth said she fully supports the new curriculum.

“Common Core requires us to help students use higher order thinking to apply skills in meaningful ways and use tools such as writing, reading, speaking, and technology in ways that will make them ready for college or career,” she said. “Isn’t that what education is all about?”

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter. Caitlyn Wasmundt can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @LC_CaitW on Twitter.

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