Do we cut ties with the federal government, keeping control of education in the hands of Ohioans? The debate on Common Core in Ohio heated up again this week; hearings have begun for Ohio House Bill 597. This House Bill, sponsored by Representative Andy Thompson and Speaker Pro Tempore Matt Huffman, is a repeal and replacement of the Common Core Standards. This would make Ohio the fifth state after Indiana, Oklahoma, North and South Carolina to reject Common Core. Testimony was taken in the Ohio State House before the House Rules Committee. The hearing room was full of supporters of the bill wearing their red Ohioans Against Common Core shirts.
The first testimony was given by the sponsors of the bill Rep Huffman and Rep Thompson. You can watch the testimony below taken by our friends at Ohio Capital Blog. Click here for all videos from the hearing.
This bill presents a serious question of our State Legislators. “Is the state of Ohio going to cut the cord between the state of Ohio and the National Consortium as it relates to the standards and everything that revolves around the standards?,” said Representative Matt Huffman.
The main argument for the removal of Common Core is the lack of local control. We need to keep the decisions that we make for the students of Ohio as close as we can to the parents and the teacher’s that serve those students. Many people argue that local officials made the decision to become a part of Common Core, thus we do have local control. The question asked by many of those who testified, if there really is local control of these standards who do you talk to when you want something changed? Who are the decision makers? Ohioans didn’t write these standards, so Ohioans can’t change them. We would have to go before all of the other states that participate and ask if we can change the standards. How would that even be possible? Who would control that process? No local authority…not Ohioans.
House Bill 597 is the complete repeal of Common Core in the state of Ohio. It replaces them with proven superior standards. HB597 will also prohibit the State Board of Education from using any assessment based on Common Core standards. It will also prohibit the State Board from collecting data that is not aggregate in nature without the direct written consent of the student’s guardian. This protection would also extend to teacher and their personally identifiable data. This bill replaces Common Core with the proven Massachusetts curriculum for the time being, until 2017 when Ohio will unveil its own newly written set of standards.
Testimony will continue this week and next. It is unsure when the bill will come to the floor of the house, or if Governor Kasich would sign the bill. Click here to download my testimony before the committee.