Legislators should keep Common Core standards

The Ohio General Assembly should not repeal the Common Core educational standards it adopted in 2010.

Common Core opponents want the Ohio Legislature to drop the standards that have been accepted by 42 states. They testified last week before an Ohio House rules committee. They support House Bill 597, which would prevent Ohio schools from implementing Common Core.

This week, Common Core proponents will get their turn. Even if the House repeals the standards, the repeal would likely die in the Senate.

HB 597 should die now. If it passes, Ohio would adopt standards used in Massachusetts prior to that state adopting Common Core. Over the next two years, Ohio would create its own academic standards that would kick into gear in 2017.

That means Ohio students and teachers would have Common Core this year, the scrapped Massachusetts standards the following two years, then new Ohio standards the year after that. This year’s freshman would face three different graduation requirements.

That’s just not sensible. Neither is wasting the millions of dollars Ohio taxpayers have already spent in adopting Common Core.

The Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association created Common Core to unify expectations nationwide. It makes a lot of sense to have an apples-to-apples comparison for schools, educators and students. Just think of colleges trying to evaluate incoming freshmen.

Trying to repeal common core is simply a way to avoid meaningful teacher and school evaluations. Without a baseline, it’s impossible to measure performance. Changing the academic standards three times over the next four years means no performance baseline would be established until the 2017-18 school year.

What really sets Common Core apart is that it focuses on application more than knowledge. That’s also a good thing. The state Legislature should keep Common Core.