Opinion
Standards Letter to the Editor

Dean: Common-Core Repeal Would Hurt Ohio Education

August 19, 2014 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

Republicans in the Ohio House of Representatives are seeking to pass a bill to repeal the Common Core State Standards in November, an outcome that would have devastating consequences for public education in the state.

The common core has been accepted in more than 40 states, including Ohio. It is not a radical policy favored only by the few; rather, it is a refreshingly rational and commonsense approach to improving public education in America—and it hasn’t come easy.

For the last four years, Ohio’s department of education has worked tirelessly with teachers across the state to help implement the common core, which becomes effective in the 2014-15 school year. Our future is now, and yet, it is already in jeopardy.

According to many House Republicans, most notably Speaker Pro Tempore Matt Huffman, the common core represents an intrusion of the federal government. Mr. Huffman believes that having uniform standards stifles education and fails to take into account the unique needs of various regions. He has called the common core a “disaster.”

What Mr. Huffman fails to realize, however, is that the common core is not a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach to public education. On the contrary, it is a grassroots effort by activists, educators, and business leaders to hold public education to a higher standard. Aside from funding, the federal government has had (and will have) little to no involvement in the common core. In fact, local school districts—and only local school districts—will decide what and how to teach.

Thankfully, there are Republicans, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who support the common core for those very reasons.

This is not a Republican-vs.-Democrat issue, nor is it a philosophical debate about the federal government and its place in public education—or, at least, it shouldn’t be. No, this is about preparing our children for a better future.

If the common core is repealed, it is unknown what standards Ohio would adopt as an alternative. This is a two-steps-back approach to education in which no one takes one step forward. We must not let this happen. We cannot let this happen. It is our responsibility to protect students from substandard educational programming.

I understand that public education reform has become a frustrating issue for many people; they are weary of its initiatives and skeptical of its promises. But we cannot give up on education. When we give up on education, we give up on our children, our future, and our country.

The common core has the backing not only of Gov. Kasich, but also of the Ohio Federation of Teachers and the Southeast Ohio Teacher Development Collaborative, among other organizations. That support will not waver. Thus, if Mr. Huffman and other House Republicans wish to politicize something, I urge them to choose another issue.

Renée A. Middleton

Dean, Gladys W. & David H. Patton College of Education

Ohio University

Athens, Ohio

A version of this article appeared in the August 20, 2014 edition of Education Week as Dean: Common-Core Repeal Would Hurt Ohio Education

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Start Strong With Solid SEL Implementation: Success Strategies for the New School Year
Join Satchel Pulse to learn why implementing a solid SEL program at the beginning of the year will deliver maximum impact to your students.
Content provided by Satchel Pulse
Teaching Live Online Discussion Seat at the Table: How Can We Help Students Feel Connected to School?
Get strategies for your struggles with student engagement. Bring questions for our expert panel. Help students recover the joy of learning.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Science Webinar
Real-World Problem Solving: How Invention Education Drives Student Learning
Hear from student inventors and K-12 teachers about how invention education enhances learning, opens minds, and preps students for the future.
Content provided by The Lemelson Foundation

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Standards Social Studies Standards Spark Fierce Debate in N.C.
Advocates say the new standards are more inclusive because they give more attention to the perspectives of historically marginalized groups.
T. Keung Hui, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)
6 min read
Illustration.
Kubkoo/iStock/Getty
Standards Opinion How the Failure of the Common Core Looked From the Ground
Steve Peha shares insights from his on-site professional-development work about why the common core failed, in a guest letter to Rick Hess.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Standards Opinion Common Core Is a Meal Kit, Not a Nothingburger
Caroline Damon argues Rick Hess and Tom Loveless sold the common core short, claiming the issue was a matter of high-quality implementation.
5 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Standards How New Common Core Research Connects to Biden's Plans for Children and Families
A study of national test scores indicate the early phase of the Common Core State Standards did not help disadvantaged students.
5 min read
results 925693186 02
iStock/Getty