Common Core Debate Continues As Supporters Speak Before An Ohio House Committee

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More than 70 witnesses in support of the Common Core educational standards testified before the Ohio House Rules and Reference Committee on Tuesday. 

The committee is holding hearings on House Bill 597, which would repeal Common Core.

Teachers, school board members, administrators, and key players in the Common Core Initiative attended the hearing, with many speaking before the committee.

Supporters of Common Core cited the need for new and higher standards for students especially in the areas of math and English, while at the same time addressing concerns of bill supporters.

Paul Imhoff, Superintendent of the Upper Arlington school district, addressed opponent concerns that Common Core is a federal takeover of education. “Nothing about these new standards will limit our freedom to innovate,” he said. “Nothing about these new standards will limit our ability to provide an education that matches or exceeds the expectations of our community. These standards simply provide us with a stronger foundation for our work. “

Chris Minnich, Executive Director for the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), was involved in the development of the Common Core Initiative. He said the standards “were developed by the states, for the states.”

“Standards by themselves cannot raise achievement,” he said. “Standards do not stay up late at night working on lesson plans, or stay after school making sure every student learns—it is teachers who do that. And standards do not implement themselves. Education leaders from the state board of education to the building principal and classroom teachers must make the standards a reality in schools.”

Committee members could question the witnesses following their testimony. The parental involvement with the standards, the funding for the initiative, and the confidentiality agreements signed in the process, were all questioned during the hearing.

The committee will meet for a fifth hearing on House Bill 597 on August 27.