Ohio Legislature Prohibits Funds for PARCC

ohio-state-flagOhio Governor John Kasich could end up line-item veto on the measure, but the Ohio Legislature sent a budget to the Governor’s desk that defunds PARCC.

The language, found on pg. 334 of the budget document, “prohibits GRF appropriations from being used to purchase an assessment developed by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) for use as the state elementary and secondary achievement assessments.”

It also prohibits funds from Race to the Top “from being used for any purpose related to the state elementary and secondary achievement assessments.”

Ohio is a governing state with PARCC, and the Common Core-aligned assessment consortium has been bleeding membership and has been plagued with roll-out problems, a high number of students opting out, and received bad PR after admitting it monitors student social media related to the assessment.

The Legislature does require the state to use standardized assessments for elementary and secondary students that are “nationally normed.”

“The PARCC brand name has been so badly damaged that even though people are more comfortable and familiar with it, the anger and the angst over it would still be there and that just wouldn’t be a good environment for things,” said state Education Committee Chairman Peggy Lehner, a Republican, told Politico’s Morning Education.

The budget does not prevent the state from adopting Smarter Balanced however as the consortia no longer uses Race to the Top funds.  Also, the standards are still in place and with the standardized assessment requirement in the budget, as well as, the No Child Left Behind testing mandates it seems unlikely that Ohio will escape the use of some Common Core-aligned assessment whether it is Smarter Balanced, ACT Aspire or one Ohio independently develops.

The good news is that this could put PARCC in a precarious fiscal position.

Kasich is not expected to line-item veto the measures.

An Ohio Parent Seeks to 'Strike' Over Common Core

The Medina Gazette reports that a parent in their community plans to withdraw her student from her public elementary school over Common Core and she hopes other parents will do the same.

Rene Antonio, of Harrisville Township, plans to withdraw her second-grade daughter from Cloverleaf Elementary School on Dec. 15 and she’s hoping other parents will join in her protest.

She started a Facebook page Oct. 24 called “Ohio Students strike commoncore,” which now has more than 300 likes.

“Everyone I’ve talked to about it are against the Common Core,” she said. “We are the parents, we have a say, and if enough people pull their children out of school, they’re going to have to do something about it.”

Common Core is a set of academic standards in math and language arts for grades K-12. The standards have been adopted by most states, including Ohio, in 2010.

Antonio said she’s not sure exactly how many parents are committed to the strike, but she’s received positive feedback from others against Common Core.

“I’m trying to be unbiased on my page because everyone has different reasons for not liking it,” she said. “Children’s minds don’t adapt to the Common Core like they’re expected to. It takes away from the child’s ability to explore.

“These aren’t the government’s children, and they aren’t the state’s children.”

HT: EAGNews.org

Mom and Dads are the ones who are ultimately responsible for their kids’ education and they need to do what is best for their kids regardless of what their state legislature does.  Antonio said she will consider homeschooling if the Ohio legislature doesn’t pass their current Common Core repeal bill.  This would follow a nationwide trend of families joining the homeschooling ranks because of Common Core.

Ohio Legislature Nixes Multistate Consortia

Below is a guest article submitted by Bob Lattimer who is President of Citizens for Objective Public Education:

Ohio Legislature Nixes Multistate Consortia

By Bob Lattimer

On June 4, 2014, the Ohio General Assembly passed Am. Sub. H.B. 487, an education budget correction bill. The bill contains a provision that states: “When the state board [of education] adopts or revises academic content standards in social studies, American history, American government, or science … the state board shall develop such standards independently and not as part of a multistate consortium.” This in effect disallows the state from adopting the Next Generation Science Standards (NGGS), as well as any future multistate standards in social studies. In passing H.B. 487, Ohio asserts its right to formulate its own K-12 education standards.

H.B. 487 also establishes “academic standards review committees” in four areas – English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. These committees are to review existing or proposed standards and statewide assessments for their appropriateness. Unfortunately, these seven-member committees will likely be highly political in nature, since the members are appointed by the governor, Senate President, House Speaker, state Superintendent, and Chancellor of the Board of Regents.

The legislature has also been concerned about a strong anti-Common Core movement in Ohio. In an attempt to ameliorate parents opposed to Common Core English and math standards, H.B. 487 contains a provision for each school district to establish a “parental advisory committee” or other method to review textbooks and other instructional materials. This requirement is unlikely to have much effect, however, since (a) most districts already have such a review process, (b) parental reviews seldom have much influence on selection of curricular materials, (c) districts are essentially forced to adopt instructional materials that are aligned with the state assessments, and (d) concern about Common Core goes much deeper than just textbook selection.

A strong anti-Common Core bill, H.B. 237, was introduced in mid-2013 by Ohio State Rep. Andy Thompson. This bill would effectively eliminate Common Core standards in the state, withdraw the state from the PARCC consortium, and institute measures to protect students and families from intrusive data collection. H.B. 237 has been stalled in the House Education Committee, due to the intransigence of committee Chairman Gerald Stebelton and House Speaker Bill Batchelder. The legislature is in recess until after the November election. There will be a short session at the end of the year during which the bill may still be considered.

On June 4, 2014, Rep. John Adams, Assistant Majority Floor Leader, announced that a “discharge petition” would be circulated to try to get H.B. 237 moving in the House. The discharge petition is a little used measure designed to address stalemates such as that engendered by H.B. 237. If a majority of House members (50 out of 99) sign the petition, the bill must be brought to the House floor for a vote. Rep. Adams and Rep. Thompson hope to gain the necessary signatures by November so that this important bill, with much grassroots support, can move forward.

Stop Common Core Progress Update

commoncore1We are drawing close to the end of the state legislative sessions.  I thought it would be a good time to highlight the progress that has been made in fighting the Common Core.  If you look back just a few months ago you can see how far our movement has come.  Some significant progress was made in just the last five months.

  1. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) then called on the federal defunding of the Common Core State Standards, the assessments and the federal review board for the assessments.  He had eight other Senators join him.
  2. Indiana passed a Common Core Pause bill which brings more transparency for the Common Core implementation in the Hoosier State.  The Indiana State Board of Education is required to hold three public hearings and have a fiscal impact study done before they can continue to implement the Common Core.  Our hope is this will lead to a repeal bill as the facts, not just the propaganda, becomes known.
  3. The Utah GOP passed their own resolution condemning the Common Core State Standards.
  4. The Georgia GOP Resolutions Committee passed their anti-Common Core resolution 11-3 despite major lobbying being done on behalf of Governor Nathan Deal.  The Georgia GOP Convention were not able to take up any resolutions as the convention ran late and they lost their quorum.  This follows four district conventions passing their own anti-Common Core resolutions.  Governor Deal recently ordered 60 days of public comment on the Common Core in response to pressure he has been under.
  5. Oklahoma after seeing their initial bill get derailed had their Speaker of the House do a 180 and is now working to repeal the Common Core in their state.
  6. Iowa put Common Core Assessments on hold and now requires a task force to be formed to study different assessments (not just tie themselves to SBAC) and do a fiscal impact study before the State Legislature will vote on an assessment.  The time frame for assessments were pushed back to the 2016-17 school year.  This is a turn around as the original language in Iowa’s education reform bill gave the State Board of Education the authority to mandate Smarter Balanced Assessments.  So a conference committee stripped that language and inserted the pause.  Also opposition is forming within the State Legislature so look for repeal and defunding bills to be forthcoming next session (their session ended yesterday).
  7. Wisconsin just had a hearing on the Common Core Wednesday, and it sounds like it likely that pause legislation will be introduced in that state.
  8. Legislation has been introduced in Congress by Congresswoman Martha Roby (R-AL) entitled “Defending State Authority Over Education Act.”  This would “prohibit the federal government from offering grants or policy waivers contingent on a state’s use of certain curricula or assessment policies.”
  9. Pennsylvania is experiencing push-back that led Governor Tom Corbett to sign an executive order delaying the Common Core implementation. (Still need legislative action so this is permanent).
  10. Ohio is having a budget battle over the Common Core State Standards, after the Ohio House stripped funding for PARCC from their budget.
  11. States that have had legislation introduced this year that would either pause or repeal the Common Core State Standards: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and South Dakota.  States that are still active are mentioned above.  States that had bills die in committee (or in Missouri’s case was halted due to political games prior to a floor vote) we expect will see efforts again next session.
  12. We have seen an explosion of anti-Common Core state-based groups over the last several months.

It is clear that we have momentum in what seemed a year ago to be an impossible uphill battle.

Originally posted at American Principles Project.