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Common Core standards debated

Updated: Thursday, August 21 2014, 03:05 PM EDT
BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio – While students are adjusting to a new school year, some lawmakers and school leaders are debating a possible repeal of Common Core standards.
The Common Core is a set of expectations for what students should know in Math and English at each grade level.  But this week, a parade of Common Core opponents publicly spoke about nixing plans previously set in place.
Speakers at an Ohio House rules committee urged lawmakers to instead support House Bill 597, which would repeal the Common Core standards and replace them with standards used by the state of Massachusetts -- a leader in academics.
But some school leaders against the repeal are also concerned about confusing students who will be exposed to Common Core standards this year, then the Massachusetts standards for two years, before new Ohio standards in 2017.
"I think that's a huge step backward," Bridgeport Schools Superintendent Ted Downing said.
While he doesn't agree with everything about Common Core, Downing says the standard hasn't even been tried and tested yet to see if it works.
"It makes no sense to me at this time because school districts have invested millions of dollars and time to prepare for it,” Downing said. “And now that we're prepared for it they're going to possibly throw it out the window."
But state representative Andy Thompson is of a different opinion, noting, the Common Core is more about students using methods than is about getting answers.
“There are problems with the standards that were brought in by this national consortium,” Thompson said. “What we're hoping to do is put in place standards that make sense, that have a proven track record of results."
Thompson has been in Columbus this week speaking for the implementation of House Bill 597, a bill he helped to introduce.
"I'm trying to help people make a change,” Thompson said, “and I think that the bill that we have in the Ohio House will help do that."
The debate over the possible implementation of House Bill 597 will continue during more public hearings later this month in which proponents of common core will have a chance to make their voices heard.
If the House was to pass a version of the repeal bill, it would then be sent to the senate for review.

Common Core standards debated

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