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Education


Ohio GOP allies back the Common Core
Businesses say they need to be sure they're getting workers with strong academic training
Story by LEWIS WALLACE


 
Chris Kershner says business must be assured of academic standards.
Courtesy of Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce
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Business and education groups will be in Columbus this week  to defend the state’s Common Core curriculum in Statehouse hearings. H.B. 597 would repeal the K through 12 education standards, which are set to go into effect this school year. Opponents see the standards as a federal overreach. For Ohio Public Radio, WYSO’s Lewis Wallace has more on why so many businesses have gotten on the Common Core bus.

LISTEN: Business on common core

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Business groups like the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce have been on board ever since Ohio passed its version of the standards in 2010. Chris Kershner with the chamber says companies depend on schools for a key part of the supply chain.

“Students are the educational product. They are going through the education system so that they can be an attractive product for business to consume and hire as a workforce in the future.

Better training needed
Kershner says U.S. graduates also have to compete in a more and more global market, so national minimum standards make sense. The Ohio Chamber of Commerce, the Ohio Business Roundtable and the Association of School Business Officials also support the Common Core.

Some specific companies will benefit: for example, two national private testing companies, ETS and Pearson, are contracted to create the new tests for Ohio and 12 other states. But contrary to what some opponents have argued, the curriculum isn’t federally regulated and states aren’t required to purchase certain books or lessons.

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