Eye on Education

Opponents Of Common Core Make Their Case For Repeal In Legislative Hearing

appleThree days of hearings opened Monday on a bill that would repeal the set of education standards known as the Common Core.

House Bill 597 was introduced over the summer by Ohio House Speaker Pro Tempore Matt Huffman (R-Lima) and Rep. Andy Thompson (R-Marietta).

A previous bill to repeal the standards – House Bill 237, sponsored by Thompson – never cleared the House Education Committee.  The new bill has been handed over to the House Rules Committee, which sponsors hopes will give it a better chance at coming before the full House.

Ohio signed onto a 45 state consortium to develop and implement the Common Core in 2010. But in the ensuing years opposition to the standards grew, finally boiling over in five participating states just this year.  Indiana pulled out in March, followed by Oklahoma and South Carolina in late spring.  In Louisiana, Governor Bobby Jindal has ordered the Common Core to be dropped, but the order is being challenged in court.  And North Carolina became the latest to pull out in July.

Ohio’s renewed battle over the Common Core comes at the beginning of the first year that the new benchmarks are to be fully implemented and counted in Ohio’s school report cards.

Opponents of the standards argue that they take away local control.  They also question the teaching techniques, and where and how it Common Core was created.

Several opponents visited the Statehouse to show their support for a repeal, including Richard Ringo of Cincinnati.

“Most important thing is not just that it dumbs down the standards for our children,” Ringo says, “but it infringes on our freedom the less control from the federal government the best.”

Republican Representative Huffman of Lima chairs the Rules Committee.  During Monday’s hearing, he said it’s not about whether or not the standards will be effective-but rather how they were created.

“I’m submitting to this committee, and ultimately to the General Assembly, this is a bad way to make public policy. Ceding important decisions to national organizations whatever the influence of the federal government may be is a bad way to make policy,” Huffman said.

Intervention from the federal government was the main sticking point from opponents of the standards. But there seems to be disagreement among them on whether they are too harsh or not strong enough.

Common Core has been a major topic of debate around the country-especially among conservative media personalities and blogs.

But the standards have plenty of supporters, including school administrators and teachers.

Stephen Thompson is superintendent for Willoughby-Eastlake City Schools. He says the problem is that opponents don’t have all the facts.

“There was this understanding that you couldn’t do different things,” Thompson says. “You couldn’t do STEM education, you can’t do problem-based solutions, you couldn’t do inquiry learning if you have the Common Core. Well, that’s simply not true it’s just based on misinformation.”

Robert Hill, superintendent of Firelands Local Schools in Lorain County, says a great deal of research went into crafting them.

“Ohio’s new learning standards provide a path for students to drill much deeper into each learning to apply more knowledge and skill in the subject than ever before,” Hill says.

In Hill’s opinion, those against the Common Core standards represent a small minority of the state.

“As has been the case countless times before, education stands at a crossroads where the voices of the few may disrupt the path that I believe to be associated with success.”

School superintendents emphasized that districts have invested a lot of money into implementing these standards-surpassing hundreds of millions of dollars around the state.

If the bill were to pass-it would allow Common Core to continue for this school year. Then the state would implement standards used in Massachusetts while Ohio leaders create a third, all-new set of standards in 2017.

The House plans to hold several more hearings on the bill in the coming weeks.


  • Charley

    Common Core opponents DO have the facts. You can, too.

    The majority of the people who support CC have been given grant money.



    Check Out Utube video “Common Core 101″

    • ThinkMn

      Since schools receive grants, your statement may be true. But grant money does not necessarily require endorsement of common core. Schools receive grants from many things including computers, reading intervention, subsidized breakfasts, and lunches.

      People who support common core are tired of our nation’s students falling further behind the world in science and math. See below


    • ThinkMn

      I support common core. I am a research scientist not a teacher. I do not receive grant money to support common core. I have read the standards and I have been following this issue for years.

  • ThinkMn

    Ignorance is a terrible thing. Opposing anything that the federal government has endorsed is stupid.

    These are just standards stating what the kids should know not how to teach it. It is up to the state and local government to develop the curriculum and to identify the books/material to be used to teach the students.

    This is not a federal mandate but a standard developed by the governors of the states working with educators.

    We can either teach our kids more or watch the world continue to surpass us in education and knowledge.

  • Charley

    The US Department of Education names President Obama’s “A Blueprint for Reform” and Common Core initiatives a “quiet revolution.” Look at the US Department of Education web site. Do we want our kids involved in a “quiet revolution” conceived by a few Progressive bureaucrats in Washington?

    CC is not a federal mandate, but the program was developed at the federal level. States are refused federal education funding if they don’t accept the program. These are tax dollars provided by me and you.

    The standards drive curriculum. The CC standards list suggested materials and lessons – so how is that not driving curriculum?

    I am tired of the CC folks stating how “rigorous” the standards are, but yet do not provide evidence how globally competitive these standards really are. Just because you say they are rigorous, doesn’t mean that they are.
    And finally, the CC was NOT developed by our educators. They were developed by corporations like Achieve, Inc. and Pearson, Inc. and were copyrighted by 2 private corporations with confusing institutional names The National Governors Association for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Our teachers had nothing to do with it – and our teachers can’t change the standards.
    Billions of dollars have been wasted, and billions more will be wasted unless we stop this train wreck. The only folks benefiting are the education material peddlers selling everybody snake oil.

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