Ohio requests feedback on updated academic standards.

Dr. Robert Lattimer with Citizens for Objective Public Education (COPE) contacted me to inform me that Ohio is looking for feedback on its science, social studies, and financial literacy standards. Below is information that he provided to his group.

The Ohio Department of Education is updating the state’s science, social studies, and financial literacy standards.  The Department is currently taking input on its proposed revisions (https://www.ohio-k12.help/standards/).  The deadline for providing feedback is JULY 18. 

Ohio’s science standards date back to 2011 (before the introduction of the Next Generation Science Standards).  The standards provide a heavy dose of materialistic philosophy, especially in the area of biological evolution.  Overall, the Ohio standards are just as objectionable and biased as NGSS.

The proposed 2017 revisions are generally minor in most areas of science.  However, the 8th grade and high school Biology standards have extensive updates.  In particular, the dogmatic coverage of biological evolution has been strengthened and extended.  You are encouraged to provide input on these standards (and others if you choose). 

The on-line response form is easy to use.  A space is provided on the form for comments on the various standards.  Note that the social studies and financial literacy updates are very brief and there isn’t much to object to.  Science is the real problem area.

The review form asks the participant to select an Ohio county.  For those respondents who live in other states, you can check the “State Level Sites” option instead of a county.  A list of suggested comments for the biology standards is available; you may request a copy by e-mail (rplattimer@gmail.com).

Ohio School Superintendent “Profoundly Concerned” About PARCC

Valarie Strauss at The Washington Post released a letter written in February by Steve Kramer, who is superintendent of Madeira City Schools in Ohio, to Ohio State Superintendent of Public Instruction Richard Ross about his concerns with PARCC and AIR tests in Ohio.

Here is an excerpt.

I am profoundly concerned that (PARCC and AIR Tests) are neither relevant nor important to the high quality instruction Madeira City Schools has been proud to provide for over 80 years.

State and Federal legislation regarding high stakes testing has been enacted with little or no regard to best educational practice.  Public school districts have been given no option but to administer these tests as mandated by law.  And yet, many of our parents are now seeing first hand the amount of time that these tests are taking and questioning the over all value of the tests.  I would tend to agree with them.

You can read the full letter here.

John Kasich’s Alternate Common Core Reality

John-KasichOhio Governor John Kasich was on Fox News Sunday this weekend and he made some incredible claims about the Common Core State Standards.  Incredible enough that my jaw literally dropped.

Kasich who has been discussed as a prospective 2016 presidential candidate must be living in some alternate reality from the rest of us.

Here are his remarks in full:

The Common Core was written by state education superintendents and local principals in my state of Ohio.  We want higher standards for our children and those standards are set, and the curriculum is set by local school board.  Barack Obama doesn’t set it.  The State of Ohio doesn’t set it.  It is local school boards driving better education, higher standards, created by local school boards.

I’ve asked the Republican governors who have complained about this to tell me where I’m wrong and guess what?  Silence.  But you know part of the problem is to date politicians are running to get votes.  What we try to do out here, we run out here trying to solve problems, and we have a problem with the education standards and our children’s ability to compete in the world.  We’re not going to turn this over to Washington or even to Columbus our state capital.  It’s local schools with local school boards and high standards.  I don’t know how anybody can disagree with that unless you’re running for something.

Let me respond…

1. The Common Core State Standards in math and English/language arts that the Ohio State Board of Education adopted in 2010 were not written by state school chiefs.  They most certainly were not written by school principals.  Liar, liar, pants on fire.  Either that or completely ignorant about the process.  I can’t speak to the rest of Ohio’s New Learning Standards that include a broader range of topics, but I can speak to this.  With Common Core there was a writing team brought together by Achieve, Inc. and five lead writers.  None of those folks were Ohio’s State Superintendent of Education nor were any a school principal.

2. The State of Ohio doesn’t set their own standards?  Then what the heck are Ohio’s New Learning Standards.  Is he telling us that school districts are free to choose their own standards?  That’s fascinating when with Ohio Curriculum only high school students who graduate between 2014-2017 are allowed to opt-out.  The fact the Ohio Department of Education even has a model curriculum to accompany standards tells me at the very least that the state, not local school boards, set the standards.

3. No one reputable has claimed President Obama sets the standards, but only someone who is being disingenuous can’t admit that Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind flexibility waivers influenced states into adopting the Common Core prematurely and without legislative grants of approval.

4. Kasich wants to “solve problems” but has been opposed to a bill that would replace the Common Core math and ELA standards that exist with the Massachusetts pre-Common Core standards that actually are proven.

5. How are we to believe that local school boards have a say when Kasich won’t even listen to voters?  Only 26% of Ohio voters support Common Core… just 1 in 4.  Who can disagree with that?  Parents.  Teachers.  Kids.  These Republican governors he is criticizing are actually listening to their voters.  Is this something that should be scoffed now?

Earth to Kasich.  Come back from fantasy land.  You are entitled to your opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts.