Eye on Education

Lawmakers Move To Preserve State Control Of Education Standards

Lorain eigth grade social studies class

Bill Rice

This week a committee of Ohio house and senate members is expected to take up proposed changes to state policy on education standards.

The changes would halt any further partnership with other states in formulating new standards.

Specifically, House Bill 487 as passed by the senate last week would prohibit the state board from developing new social studies and science standards 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 45 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 taker is that they don’t bring any change to state education policy.  But, he says, “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.

“I believe that what we passed in the senate provides that comfort,” Sawyer says.

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.

Clarification: An earlier headline to this story suggested that Common Core includes content knowledge in science and social studies.  It does not; however, Common Core does include guidelines on teaching students to read and understand material in those topic areas as subsets of English Language Arts.  


  • duckmonkeyman

    The standards are meaningless. The true standards are the PARCC tests. Teachers must now abandon helping students learn and teach to the test. The teacher evaluation system based on these tests is arbitrary and disconnected from reality. The system penalizes teachers working with the most difficult students. Yet Ohio seems oblivious to the insanity emanating from the statehouse.

  • Coffeemate50

    Every one of the states need to scrap Common Core. There are endless reason and can’t go through all of them…Here’s a few that bother me…In the History books, the CONSTITUTION has been re-written among other inconsistencies. There’s more muslim references than American. The sex-ed for grades 4th to 12th are illustrations short of pornography. (Yes, the gay agenda is indeed in there as Florida rep. Charles Yant stated…I’m not against gays but why TEACH the children things like that) It teaches children that it is ok to masturbate and even illustrates it!!! (THIS ALL STARTS IN 4TH GRADE)
    Google sex-ed for 4th graders and click on the images…DISQUSTING!
    I did hear that the reading book was ok, but nothing else was. PLEASE REPEAL THE COMMMON CORE FOR YOUR CHILDREN AND FUTURE GENERATIONS!
    I feel there is definitely another Agenda happening here….PARENTS WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE! God help us all~

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