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Education


Ohio lawmakers take up proposed changes in Common Core standards
The Common Core, developed and adopted by 44 states, has been criticized by some in Ohio who fear it cedes local control
Story by BILL RICE


 
Sen. Tom Sawyer says changes to Ohio's law regarding Common Core educatin standards sooth concerns without gutting the effort.
Courtesy of State of Ohio
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This week, a committee of Ohio House and Senate members is expected to take up proposed changes to state policy on the Common Core education standards. The changes would halt any further partnership with other states in formulating new standards.

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Changes to H.B. 487 passed by the Senate last week would prohibit the state Board of Education from developing new standards in social studies and science in collaboration with other states, as it has 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 been criticized by some people in Ohio who see the multi-state collaboration as relinquishing state control of education.

Democratic Sen. Tom Sawyer who sits on the education committee, supports the state changes, saying they don't make any substantive changes 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 says. “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, House speaker, governor, state superintendent and state higher-education 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 will be given to students in grades 3-8 for real starting in 2015.

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