Changes To Common Core Bill Would Prohibit Collaboration With Other States

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Changes to House Bill 487 passed by the Ohio Senate last week would prohibit the state board from developing new standards in social studies and science in collaboration with other states, as was done with the Common Core math and English standards.

Ohio has already developed new social studies and science standards on its own.

The Common Core, developed and adopted by 44 states, has come under fire from some in Ohio who see the multistate collaboration as relinquishing state control of what and how Ohio’s kids are taught.

Senator Tom Sawyer, a Democrat who sits on the education committee, supports the changes. His take is that they don’t bring any change to state education policy.

“They are designed to give comfort to those who have had concerns about the way we go about establishing curriculum, textbook selection and the fundamental elements of education policy in Ohio," Sawyer said. "I believe that what we passed in the Senate provides that comfort.”

The bill would also create new academic standards review committees, with members appointed by the Senate President, the House Speaker, the governor, the state Superintendent of Schools and state Chancellor. It would make local school districts the sole authority in determining curriculum, as well as textbooks and other learning materials. And it would discount Common Core-aligned test results as factors on school report cards and teacher evaluations in their first year.

The tests are being given on a trial run basis this year in select schools. They’ll be given to students in grades 3-8 for real starting in 2015.