Worthington News

Common Core

Worthington school board opposes repeal of new law


Worthington school board members say repealing the Common Core curriculum would hurt Worthington children and cost taxpayers millions of dollars in wasted expense.

Those were two of the reasons the board voted unanimously Aug. 25 to oppose the adoption of state legislation that would repeal the new standards upon which Worthington and other districts have based their curriculums.

House Bill 597 would repeal the standards, replacing them with state standards used by Massachusetts in 2010 for two years and then by a new set of standards that would be written during those two years.

Board members said if Common Core were repealed, incoming freshmen would be taught under three different sets of standards during their high school years.

If the bill is approved, all of the work done by Worthington teachers and staff members over the past three years would go away "for no discernable reason," board member Marc Schare said.

Common Core opponents who say the standards are "one-size-fits-all" are misinformed, he said.

Worthington wrote its own standards based on Common Core. Some of the differences between Worthington and even nearby districts are great, he said.

For example, the math curriculum at Dublin's high schools differs from that at Worthington's, he said.

"Not only is Common Core not one-size-fits-all, it is not even one-size-fits-all-in-my-ZIP-code," he said.

The bottom line is that Worthington adopted Common Core because it is the right thing to do for the children, he said. The federal government had nothing to do with it.

"I am not so much pro-Common Core as I am pro-stability," said Schare, who planned to testify against H.B. 597 before the House Rules and Reference Committee.

Board member Jennifer Best said she completely agrees with Schare.

"Worthington teachers developed our curriculum for our kids, so we know it's a good thing," she said.

All sides of the political spectrum are represented on the board, but the main focus is the welfare of students, board member Sam Shim said. Repealing Common Core would cost a lot of money, he said.

"That money should go for education, not political posturing," he said.

Four residents spoke in favor of repealing Common Core.

Kate Whitesel said Worthington school district representatives could help write new curriculum standards if Common Core were repealed.

"I don't understand why you would want to fight the people who are fighting to empower you," Whitesel said.

Stephen Ketter compared Common Core to the Affordable Care Act.

"You are transferring control from the local to the federal level," he said.

Resident Abramo Ottolenghi said opponents of Common Core are being sold a bill of goods.

America exists as a nation, not a bunch of little fiefdoms, he said.

"Common Core is necessary for the safety and the economy of our nation," Ottolenghi said.