Ohio Governor John Kasich announced earlier this week that he is firmly in support of the national Common Core standards.
The standards were adopted by Ohio in 2010, as well as in more than 40 other states, after being developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers in order to boost college readiness among US students.
Common Core is a set of learning goals outlining what students should learn in each grade level with specific focuses on math and English. States must meet these goals in order to obtain federal funding. How they meet them is up to each state.
In order to meet the standards, the curriculum is developed by local school officials. Parents are also invited to advise the school boards concerning the curriculum used.
“Until somebody can show me we’re eroding local control, I see no reason to do anything. And I don’t think they’re (the House) going to do anything, to tell you the truth,” Kasich said. “In my judgment, it isn’t going to get to me, and if it does, it isn’t going to look anything like it is.”
The provision that would have allowed for the teaching of creationism in public schools has been dropped from the bill.
The Common Core standards were fully implemented in Ohio school districts this year.
Supporters of the bill claim the standards were secretively put in place and give the federal government too much control over local education. Also argued is that creativity in the classroom is squashed through the standards, while confusing math techniques are introduced.
“With the curriculum comes the testing, the books. All of the data collection is essentially a big, massive educational system being led by the federal government and forced upon the local school systems,” said Mike Snead, local tea party member.
Meanwhile, many educators, including superintendents, teachers, school boards, and the Ohio PTA, oppose the bill, arguing that the change could cost schools unnecessary money when the Common Core standards already in place produce high-quality results, preparing students for college and the workplace while allowing still allowing local districts to create their own curriculum.
“What do I care about Common Core? I just want kids to learn,” Kasich said. “I don’t have any ideological, personal or emotional commitment to anything other than: Let’s make sure our kids do well.”
A Republican, Kasich is up for re-election this fall against Democrat Ed FitzGerald. Kasich has maintained a double-digit lead throughout the year, and with two months until the election, holds a 15-point edge according to Real Clear Politics.