On December 11, 2001, the Ohio State Board of Education unanimously adopted academic content standards in reading, writing, and mathematics.  This sentence is from the foreward to those standards that changed the educational landscape in Ohio.  Upon the creation of these standards that spelled out learning targets for each grade, Ohio developed grade-level assessments in grades 3-8 along with the Ohio Graduation Tests.  The full foreward is remarkable to read as the debate about Ohio’s future with the Common Core takes center stage again this week.  Some Common Core supporters are wondering what Ohio will do without the new curriculum, leading readers to believe that there will be a vacuum without the Common Core and mass chaos will ensue as teachers will seemingly have no idea what they should be teaching their students.  This is simply not the case.

After these 2001 standards were released, teachers miraculously began using them and deconstructing the subsequent Ohio Achievement Tests to best understand both the content their students were required to know as well as the method by which that content would be assessed.  At the time, as mentioned in the introduction, the standards were considered to be among the best in the country.  In subsequent years, Ohio managed to create Academic Content Standards in all of the other content areas, notably social studies and science, and even managed to review and update the social studies and science standards to the “New Learning Standards” so that they were on par with the impending Common Core adoption in Math and English Language Arts.

Miraculous, no?

Furthermore, existing state law spells out the process for “periodically” adopting statewide standards in the curricular areas, including both Math and English Language Arts.  Here’s the language from Ohio Revised Code 3301.079 which was just adopted as a part of House Bill 487 and goes into effect on September 17 of this year:

(I)(1)
(a) The English language arts academic standards review committee is hereby created to review academic content standards in the subject of English language arts. The committee shall consist of the following members:
(i) Three experts who are residents of this state and who primarily conduct research, provide instruction, currently work in, or possess an advanced degree in the subject area. One expert shall be appointed by each of the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the governor;
(ii) One parent or guardian appointed by the president of the senate;
(iii) One educator who is currently teaching in a classroom, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives;
(iv) The chancellor of the Ohio board of regents, or the chancellor’s designee;
(v) The state superintendent, or the superintendent’s designee, who shall serve as the chairperson of the committee.

(b) The mathematics academic standards review committee is hereby created to review academic content standards in the subject of mathematics. The committee shall consist of the following members:
(i) Three experts who are residents of this state and who primarily conduct research, provide instruction, currently work in, or possess an advanced degree in the subject area. One expert shall be appointed by each of the president of the senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the governor;
(ii) One parent or guardian appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives;
(iii) One educator who is currently teaching in a classroom, appointed by the president of the senate;
(iv) The chancellor, or the chancellor’s designee;
(v) The state superintendent, or the superintendent’s designee, who shall serve as the chairperson of the committee.

Ohio not only has a “Plan B” that some are questioning, Ohio already has existing standards that were created in Ohio by Ohio educators and that received high praise, and we should have no reason to doubt that we can do it again.  Additionally, Ohio already has assessments aligned to the existing standards that can be used in the interim while the existing standards are updated.  Ohio created new assessments to align to the new social studies and science assessments; are we to believe that we aren’t capable of doing the same for math and English Language Arts?

Finally, Ohio has just recently implemented the new “Third Grade Reading Guarantee” and diagnostic assessments at the primary grades that are supposed to help teachers identify struggling students earlier in their schooling and, according to Governor Kasich, State Superintendent Dick Ross, Senate Education Chair Peggy Lehner, House Education Chair Gerald Stebelton, and scads of other legislators, these new assessments and the Reading Guarantee “are already decreasing Ohio’s dropout rate.” <eye roll>  Isn’t this already the cure they were looking for?  Shouldn’t those new requirements be given time to bear fruit?

I want to leave you with the full text of the Foreward from the Academic Content Standards that were adopted in 2001.  In this statement, you’ll see how Ohio’s educators dominated the process and created standards that received national recognition. Those who pontificate from on high that Ohio can’t ever replace the Common Core are selling Ohio’s educators short.

We are excited to announce that the State Board of Education took a key step in reforming Ohio’s education system on December 11, 2001, when it unanimously adopted academic content standards in reading, writing and mathematics. Clear standards about what students should know and be able to do in reading, writing and mathematics is the first component of an aligned system that will ensure no child is left behind.

This enormous undertaking could not have occurred without the hard work and dedication of Ohio’s educators and community members. Classroom teachers, parents, higher education faculty and business community leaders worked in teams across the state to develop these standards over the last several years. Fifty percent of the math writing team and 48 percent of the English Language Arts team were classroom teachers, so we especially want to extend our gratitude to the men and women in the teaching profession who gave their time, energy and expertise to create these standards.

The people of Ohio played a key role in the development of these standards. The Office of Curriculum and Instruction at the Ohio Department of Education, which facilitated the standards writing process, aggressively engaged the public in reviewing the standards in draft forms. Thousands of Ohioans gave suggestions that were evaluated and incorporated, as appropriate, by the writing teams into the final adopted standards.

The standards fulfill the requirement and timeline of Amended Substitute Senate Bill 1 for the State Board of Education to develop and adopt clear academic content standards in the areas of reading, writing and mathematics by the end of 2001. The bill gives the Department of Education 18 months from the standards
adoption to design and produce model curricula for kindergarten through 12th grade, which Ohio school districts may, but are not obligated to, use.

The State Board of Education will use these standards as the basis for the development of achievement or diagnostic assessments for kindergarten through grade 10.

Achieve, Inc., an independent, bipartisan, nonprofit national organization that helps states raise academic standards, considers Ohio’s standards in both areas to be among the best in the country. A review of the new standards to the State Board of Education reported that they are clear and comprehensive and that they set high expectations for student learning. “We commend the State on the high quality of the mathematics benchmarks and grade-level indicators. They represent a good balance of conceptual, procedural, and practical knowledge and skills,” the review stated. “Ohio has standards, indicators and benchmarks that serve as the basis for a powerful language arts framework for literacy.”

 

Carry on…

 

Evangelize!
  • Print
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
 
  • http://www.educationfreedomohio.org/ EducationFreedomOhio

    Agreed. If you listen to David Coleman, chief architect of Common Core as well as a McKinsey consultant who never stepped foot in a classroom, teachers are not only ancillary to, but impotent without “data.”

    Wonder what the instructors of Archimedes, Copernicus & Newton would say about that, lol.

    One of the talking points to support Common Core is that “40% of high school graduates need remedial courses in college.”

    1. Why did those kids graduate?
    2. How about we increase the proficiency reading b/f chucking the whole system to private, unaccountable corporate America (that used federal coercion for their copyrighted “standards”) not subject to FOIA or OMA?

    Little known fact:

    To set themselves up for success on this point, Ohio’s PARCC/RttT agreement (MOU) prohibits state colleges from requiring remedial courses from any HS graduate from a “Common Core-aligned” school (you can download the MOU at the UDE’s RttT website or email us).

    Like aligning the college boards to K-12 (should be the reverse), this does not serve students/families, and discriminates against those who choose a different path than Common Core.

    Although let’s face it, some sort of provision will be given for “the privileged” kids whose parents can afford schools that refuse to dumb-down their standards (like the Governor’s), yielding the very opposite of their intent: Only the uber rich (on both sides of the aisle) will be able to avoid the dumbed-down outcome-based model pig.

    Nice to make the rules, enforce the rules, and create exceptions for the rules. Meanwhile, a generation hangs in the balance:

    “It would be great if our education stuff worked, but we won’t know that for probably a decade.” ~Bill Gates, September 2013

  • http://www.educationfreedomohio.org/ EducationFreedomOhio

    As an aside, the original language in the ORC called only for the SBOE to “develop” standards & assessments. Husted & Lehner bills/amendments added/changed “adopt” to satisfy requirements for prior federal funding (e.g., the “State Stabilization Funds) which set the stage for RttT/CommonCore. Words have meaning…

  • Think.

    It’s true. The sky won’t fall in Ohio if Common Core is repealed, but opponents of CCSS should be very careful and tread lightly in using the Tea Party to achieve that goal.

  • Red Rover

    PB has argued in the past that the Third Grade Reading guarantee will lead to MORE drop-outs, not less. This seems like an about-face:

    “…these new assessments and the Reading Guarantee are already decreasing
    Ohio’s dropout rate. Isn’t this already the cure they were looking for?
    Shouldn’t those new requirements be given time to bear fruit?”

  • gregmild

    Oh, it has already increased the risk factor for thousands of young children as far as them dropping out of high school. I was being perhaps a bit sarcastic in trying to point out that the Republicans are talking out of both sides of their mouths on education-related issues such as this. I’m actually quite sick of all of them… My humor was a bit too dry on this one. Sorry.

  • http://ohio15th.blogspot.com StubbornLiberal

    Is the repeal of Common Core a method of allowing ‘intelligent design’ to be added to curriculum? http://tinyurl.com/q5a6da4

  • Think.

    That seems to be the Tea Party’s intelligent design.

  • Think.

    Hence intelligent design…

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:


Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!