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The ABC's of the Common Core in Ohio

Background

The Common Core is a set of expectations for what students should know and be able to do in math and English at each grade level. It was developed by teachers, math and language experts and others in an effort organized by state school chiefs and governors.

Ohio is one of 45 states that fully adopted the Common Core: Ohio’s state Board of Education adopted the new standards in June 2010.

Starting in 2014-15, Ohio will switch to a new system of standardized tests aligned to the Common Core. These new tests will replace Ohio’s existing state standardized tests and will be given on computers rather than on paper.

Ohio plans to use the Common Core tests being developed by a group of states called the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). Ohio is a member of PARCC and sits on the group’s governing board.

Common Core Timeline

This timeline shows how Ohio came to adopt the Common Core and plans to implement it.
1983   A commission established by President Reagan publishes A Nation at Risk. The report calls for setting standards for what students should know and be able to do and marks the starting point of “standards-based” education reform. The movement calls for setting standards for what students should learn and monitoring whether they are learning through standardized tests. In the following years, states move to adopt standards, pushed along by federal legislation. Teachers groups also publish model standards of their own.

1994   Clinton administration-backed laws (Goals 2000: Educate America Act and the Improving America’s Schools Act) require states to set standards and corresponding tests.

1996   At the 1996 National Education Summit, governors and business leaders pledge to work together to raise standards and achievement in public schools. Achieve, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group which will become instrumental in the creation of the Common Core, is founded.

2001   President Bush signs the No Child Left Behind Act which strengthens requirements for the kinds of standards states must set and requires states to test students in specific grades and subjects. However, states are still free to set their own standards and create their own tests.

2008   The National Governors Association, state education commissioners and other groups begin organizing development of common standards in math and English language arts for grades K-12.

2009   Governors and state education commissioners from 48 states plus the District of Columbia commit to developing the Common Core standards. Only Alaska and Texas do not join the effort.

February 2010   Kentucky adopts the Common Core standards before they’ve been publicly released, making it the first state to adopt them.

March 10, 2010   First draft of the Common Core standards released to the public for comment.

June 2, 2010   Final Common Core standards released for states to adopt or reject.

August 2010 U.S. Department of Education announces Ohio as one of the second-round of winners of federal Race to the Top education grants. Promising to use the Common Core helped states win funding. But committing to the Common Core was not a requirement for applying for Race to the Top funding.

November 4, 2011   Montana becomes the 46th (and final) state to adopt the Common Core standards. Alaska, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia are the four that did not; Minnesota did not adopt the math standards but did adopt the English language arts standards.

2011-12 School Year   Development of new standardized tests tied to the Common Core standards begins. The effort is led by two consortia of states, PARCC and Smarter Balanced. The groups will share $360 million in federal grants to develop the new tests. Ohio is a member of PARCC.

2012-13 School Year   PARCC and Smarter Balanced begin pilot testing of new standardized tests.

2013-14 School Year   Field testing to continue for new standardized tests. In Ohio, the Common Core standards should be fully implemented for all grade levels.

2014-15 School Year   All participating states to begin using new standardized tests for math and English language arts. The new tests will replace tests that had previously been used in each state.

Summer 2015   Ohio to set performance standards for the new tests.

Promising to use the Common Core helped some states, including Ohio, win federal Race to the Top education grants. But committing to the Common Core was not a requirement for applying for Race to the Top funding.

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