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Ohio should keep Common Core

The Columbus Dispatch Published: August 22, 2014 4:00 AM

As Ohio youngsters return to school this month, a new testing regimen, along with more paths to a high-school diploma, are in place to help students become better prepared for later grades, college and careers.

It may seem daunting to the students who will be the first to take the tests, but it's an even bigger challenge for education officials, from the classroom teacher to local school boards to the state Department of Education, all of whom have been working to put in place what lawmakers decreed.

Although the legislature voted in 2009 to ask the education department for a new set of high-school exit requirements as well as new proficiency tests for third- through eighth-graders, and even though the department had developed a plan, as late as last winter bills were being proposed to delay or water down the new requirements....

Now, it's time to let schools go to work with these new tools.

But one of the most important of the new tools is the Common Core content standards in math and English, and a determined and ill-advised group of lawmakers is trying to take away that tool....

Rejecting the Common Core would leave the state without new content standards in English or math. It also would invalidate the years of hard work that have gone into designing tests to reflect the Common Core standards. Those tests, replacing the old Ohio Achievement Assessments for English and math, were field-tested this summer and will be ready to give to students next spring.

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redleg6 Aug 22, 2014 2:38 PM

Excerpts from article:..usnews.com August 20, 2014...by Allie Bidwell

"Common Core Support in Free Fall"
More than half of Americans know a fair amount about Common Core and the majority opposes the initiative....

Public opinion toward the Common Core State Standards is at a tipping point. After months of political debates, lawsuits and protests, support is waning for the academic benchmarks as some of the groups that once most strongly backed the standards are turning away, two national surveys released this week show. In its annual poll on the public's attitude toward public education, PDK International and Gallup found a marked shift in awareness of Common Core. One year ago, two-thirds of those surveyed said they hadn't heard of the standards. Now, more than three-quarters have heard about Common Core, and it appears that many don't like what they've heard. Sixty percent of those surveyed said they oppose the standards, which have long been embroiled in political controversy........ 

Supporters have touted a survey conducted by Education Next, an education journal, that last year found 76 percent of teachers were supportive of the standards. But in its 2014 poll, Education Next found opposition had more than tripled, from 12 percent in 2013 to 40 percent in 2014. Now, just 46 percent of teachers say they support the standards. The same survey shows public opinion in general is also slipping, down to 53 percent from 65 percent in 2013......

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said in a statement the standards "must be guides, not straightjackets and they must be decoupled from testing." 

"When we raised red flags starting almost two years ago, the reaction was to dismiss us as well. Sadly, we said it, we screamed it and now this poll shows it," Weingarten said, in reference to the PDK/Gallup survey. "Given this path, support will continue to drop as people no longer see the standards or standardized tests as helping children. They, like many teachers, see them instead as setting up public education for failure.".......................