Ohio Lawmaker Proposes Common Core Repeal

Published July 27, 2013

On July 25, state Rep. Andy Thompson filed House Bill 237 to repeal Common Core national standards in Ohio. 

If passed, the bill would prohibit state funds for Common Core materials, training, and tests in Ohio, prohibit Ohio from sending student information to the federal government or other outside groups, and require public discussion and further study of Common Core and education standards.

Common Core is a list of English and math expectations for K-12 kids that 45 states adopted in 2010, along with national tests.

Constituent concerns prompted Thompson to begin researching Common Core, he said.  The sources he found called into question the frequent line from proponents that standards were “state-led.”  Thompson doesn’t believe governors and state superintendents were involved in the hands-on development of Common Core, but is more concerned that Ohio never really got the chance to vet the standards.

State Leaders React
Thompson’s bill faces an uphill battle against state leaders who support Common Core.

Ohio House Education Committee Chairman Gerald Stebelton (R-Lancaster) says concerns about Common Core are unwarranted.  Though he says concern that schools and students are not ready for all-online Common Core tests “has some legs under it”, he also believes “there is no chance that we will retract ourselves from the Common Core Standards.”

Senate Education Chair Peggy Lehner (R-Kettering) finds it unfortunate the Common Core have become a “political hot potato” since a “national talk show host started railing against the initiative,” she wrote in a public letter.

Although Gov. John Kasich (R) has publicly indicated he supports Common Core and does not think Thompson’s bill will make his desk, when asked if he would sign it spokesman Rob Nichols said, “We don’t take a position on every bill introduced into the General Assembly.”

Grassroots Backlash
“Kasich was recently reported as saying the bill would be dead on arrival”, says Heidi Huber, leader of Ohioans Against Common Core. Huber’s opposition includes the Ohio State Board of Education president, Republican Debe Terhar. Terhar is a member of three different Tea Party groups, and Huber worked to get Terhar elected, yet the board president has become one of Common Core’s strongest proponents.

During a public debate on Common Core, “It’s just so frustrating that this woman—of all people—would tell me repeatedly I couldn’t speak, and then go on to label those who disagreed with her, “irrational and vitriolic“, Huber says.

In speeches she makes across the state, Huber highlights Common Core’s ties to student data collection and the unfunded regulations it has introduced.

“It just seems so counterintuitive to me that you would fight the opportunity to vet and showcase [Common Core] if they are in fact what supporters have claimed. Begs the question, why were a large majority of Ohio legislators not made aware of such a “great, state-led” effort? Wouldn’t a responsible representative want to prove due diligence was exercised?” Huber says.

Image by Harry_nl. Article has been edited to include more information.