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August 22, 2014
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Elevating the issue of Common Core

It was just over a year ago, when my office began receiving calls from constituents in western Ohio concerned about the Common Core Standards.  At that time I knew that the schools were implementing new standards and they had been for some time but I had a lot to learn about how this effort was really an attempt to nationalize public education.  A lot has come out since that time and recently Senator Faber led the way in elevating the discussion of the common core to a state level issue.

Many state leaders remain unaware of the costs of common core both in hard money and dignity.  Ohio should run our own education system and the local school boards should have control over curriculum and teaching in each of our schools.  For those leaders who haven’t been able to comprehend the threat of the Common Core—now is our opportunity to share the information that we have learned.

In House Bill 487, which the Governor signed recently, there will be four standards review committees with experts, parents and teachers that will advise the Ohio Department of Education on Ohio’s Academic Content Standards.  The committees provide a platform to educate the leaders that are not yet aware of the threat of common core.

In addition to other advancements in protecting Ohio’s children from the Common Core, the bill also requires each Ohio school to establish a parental review committee or other method of input. This will give parents a say in the curriculum at the school and give them the assurance that local curriculum matches the values of the community.

HB 487 touched on several different areas to protect Ohio’s children from any unintended effects of the Common Core and elevates the discussion from the grassroots level to a state level issue.  There is still a lot of work to be done but Governor Kasich and the Ohio legislature have signified a commitment to further addressing the concerns related with the common core academic content standards.

While the amendments in HB 487 provide a temporary stop gap to the unintended consequences I am working with other legislators to advance the passage of House Bill 237 which would repeal the Common Core in its entirety.  At this time HB 237 is stuck in the House Education Committee.  I joined with some of my colleagues in signing a discharge petition.  If we can get 50 signatures it will bring the bill to the floor for an up or down vote.

Thanks to the hard work of persons in our communities this issue has become a state level issue, and it needs our attention.  In west central Ohio we have the best schools in the state.  Increasing parental involvement and keeping the Common Core out will ensure that it stays that way.

Please give me your opinion on this topic and others in the news this month by completing an online survey at tinyurl.com/buchyjune2014.

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