Ohio lawmakers begin Common Core repeal hearings next week

by MARC KOVAC | CAPITAL BUREAU CHIEF Published:

Columbus — The state lawmakers will begin hearings Monday (Aug. 18) on legislation to repeal Common Core standards being implemented in Ohio schools.

The Ohio House’s Rules and Reference Committee has scheduled sessions on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to hear from individuals and groups that support the repeal effort.

Monday’s hearing is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. in Room 313 and will include comments from Reps. Matt Huffman (R-Lima) and Andy Thompson (R-Marietta), the primary sponsors of the legislation.

Additional hearings are set for Tuesday from 9-11 a.m. and after 5 p.m. and Wednesday beginning at 9 a.m.

All three days are slated for “proponent testimony.” Carolyn Best, a spokeswoman for the Ohio House Republican Caucus, said additional hearings are being considered for those who oppose the repeal legislation.

HB 597, which seeks “to repeal and replace the Common Core initiative academic standards and related assessment system,” remains placeholder legislation, with Huffman and Thompson planning to amend potential law changes. 

As of Friday, Aug. 15, the bill included a short paragraph outlining the ultimate goal — to rescind Common Core standards for language arts and mathematics and “replace them with academic content standards that have been proven and tested and will ensure the maintenance of local control over the implementation and use of the standards.”

Thompson earlier introduced a bill to repeal Common Core standards in Ohio, prohibit the state board of education from using assessments based on those standards and block the dissemination of certain student data to the federal government.

But Thompson’s initial bill quickly stalled, without enough support from other Republicans in the chamber or the chairman of the education committee.

Huffman and Thompson announced a renewed effort to repeal the standards late last month, with intentions to hold hearings and have legislation ready for a floor vote when lawmakers return to session after the November election.

Backers of Common Core say the standards are an effort to ensure every high school graduate has the foundational knowledge needed for college, technical schools or other career paths.

But critics say the standards represent an overreach of the federal government and corporate interests into local classrooms, with resulting textbook lessons so convoluted or awkwardly phrased that students and their parents don’t understand them.

Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at mkovac@dixcom.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.

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