Marysville Schools Superintendent Diane Mankins will lend her support to Common Core in testimony before the Ohio House of Representatives on Wednesday, Aug. 27 -- with the full backing of the school board.
Last week, the House began hearing testimony regarding House Bill 597, which, if passed, would eventually repeal and replace Common Core, its related assessments and revised high school graduation requirements.
H.B. 597 proposes that school districts leave the standards in place for this year, adopt Massachusetts standards for two years, and then create a new standard for the fourth year, which would be the 2017-2018 school year.
Mankins pointed out at the Aug. 21 Marysville Board of Education meeting that if this bill passes, this year's freshmen would be affected the most with changing requirements.
"If you think about this year's freshmen and the proposal on the table, they will experience three different graduation requirements by their senior year," Mankins said. "Anyone in education can't think that's right by kids."
The Ohio Department of Education adopted Common Core standards for mathematics and English language arts in 2010 and developed its own criteria for social studies and science. The department is requiring districts to fully implement Ohio's new learning standards -- including the Common Core standards -- this academic year.
The Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association created Common Core standards in order to have unified expectations for students across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Common Core is not federally mandated; however, 43 states have adopted the standards.
Common Core receives a mixture of criticisms and praise from parents, school administrators and educators. Supporters say the standards require students to delve deeper into topics in order to make them more career- and college-ready.
Opponents argue the standards are perhaps too rigorous and demand unobtainable goals for students, or focus on misguided approaches to problem-solving.
Marysville Board of Education members believe Common Core should be given a fair chance.
"We haven't really had a chance to put this in place," board member Dick Smith said. "A lot of the criticisms being raised is that there is no evidence that these standards work. I would hope that we would at least give it a chance to find out."
Board member Brian Luke said he is happy Mankins will be testifying, but also asked her what she thought of the standards.
Mankins said they are more rigorous.
"There is significant shifting that is taking place and certainly, schools have been preparing for this for quite some time," she said. "There's not anything in there that is earth-shattering. It's shifting from knowledge to application."
Board President Sue Devine said the stricter demands are a good thing for students.
"I'm very much in support for Common Core," she said. "The standards are more rigorous and kids need more rigor."