Ohio House Representatives Andy Thompson (R) and Matt Huffman (R) have introduced their latest version of a bill designed to prevent the Common Core curriculum from being implemented in Ohio. Their previous attempt at accomplishing this task, House Bill 237, was stalled when Education Committee Chairman, Gerald Stebelton, a supporter of Common Core, chose to ignore the bill and prevent it from ever coming up for a vote.
Now, Thompson is back with a new bill, House Bill 597, that is remarkably simple as it has been introduced:
Section 1. It is the General Assembly’s intent that sections of the Revised Code be amended, enacted, or repealed to rescind the adoption of the Common Core Initiative academic standards as the state’s primary and secondary academic content standards in English language arts and mathematics and to replace them with academic content standards that have been proven and tested and will ensure the maintenance of local control over the implementation and use of the standards. The new academic standards and assessments will not be dependent or related to federal control but, instead, will be state-driven and incorporate participation by parents, teachers, and school districts in their development. Further, the assessments shall be administered in a manner that ensures that student data privacy is protected.
In short, “We want nothing to do with Common Core or any other “federal” standards and instead want standards created by Ohioans.”
Sadly, Rep. Thompson doesn’t even remotely pretend that he’s interested in eliminating any standardized testing, but simply wants to keep existing tests or, at the very least, create new tests in-state. But I digress…
The first hearing on this new bill is scheduled for this Monday, August 18, at 2:00 pm (at a time when virtually every teacher in Ohio will be conveniently back at work and unable to attend). So, instead of hearing from the experts on education from across the state — Ohio’s professional educators — the Common Core opponents are asking you to pay to bring in “experts” to testify.
Opposition to Common Core is one of the few hot-button topics these days that crosses party lines. While the Tea Party is generally opposed to the new curriculum due to it’s origins at the federal level, the opposition by professional educators has been growing and the two groups have become the unlikeliest of bedfellows.
It wouldn’t be very difficult for Thompson to create a lineup of teachers to testify in opposition to the Common Core, even if he began making calls today. A simple search of Facebook groups will uncover loads of professional educators from all over Ohio — the vast majority of whom are Democrats, mind you — who would be more than willing to share their legitimate expertise based on their professional knowledge and experience.
But no, teachers are still disregarded in Ohio as the Tea Party is bringing in “experts” to testify and are even asking if you will help pay for their travel expenses. This despite the fact that teachers would not only be willing to travel and testify in opposition for free, most would actually take a personal day and spend their own money if they thought their voices would be heard by any members of the House.
Moreover, the group soliciting the money, Ohioans Against Common Core (see full email request below), has the audacity to state that they “have to pay the travel to have experts come and testify for the hearing“, so please buy a t-shirt…
Just once, JUST ONCE, wouldn’t it be great if the lineup of experts talking about Ohio’s curriculum and education was composed entirely of Ohio’s professional educators instead of experts from out of state? If Thompson and Ohioans Against Common Core are so adamant that Ohio’s educational standards should belong to Ohioans, why are they paying to bring “experts” in from other states — including some from federal think-tanks in Washington, D.C. — when we have thousands of true practitioners in Ohio who would literally pay their own way to testify?
Even in this supposed attempt to “fix” something for Ohio’s teachers & students, the effort is dripping with disrespect…