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Published: Sunday, 8/31/2014


Common Core looks less attractive

Ohio’s adoption of the Common Core educational standards will present a great deal of problems for Ohio’s schools, students, and taxpayers (“Stick with Common Core,” editorial, Aug. 24). As citizens, lawmakers, and teachers are learning more about Common Core, support for it is dropping rapidly.

Traditionally, capable eighth-grade students take Algebra I. Under Common Core, schools might not offer algebra to eighth-grade students. Without this early preparation, students will be unprepared to take calculus as seniors.

Engineering students who have completed high school calculus are much better prepared to enter rigorous college courses in science, math, and engineering than are those without high school calculus.

While Common Core offers many improvements over prior standards, it must be adopted 100 percent, word for word. This is enforced by the developers of Common Core through copyright law.

As a practical matter, Common Core is an all-or-nothing proposition. There is no mechanism to amend or adjust Common Core standards.

The Common-Core-associated Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests also have been adopted by Ohio. The PARCC tests have so many problems that many states are disassociating from the PARCC consortium. Continuing in the consortium may result in substantial additional expenses to Ohio’s taxpayers.

Educational reform and appropriate educational standards are needed in Ohio. However, a successful reform effort should seek a broad consensus of educators, parents, and lawmakers.

The development of Common Core, and its adoption in Ohio, took place without such a consensus. The more you learn about Common Core, the less you support it.


Shakespeare Lane

Editor’s note: The writer is an associate professor of engineering at the University of Toledo.

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