Last night, CURE was present and live-tweeting from the Community Education Meeting Co-Sponsored by the Washington-Centerville Library and Centerville City Schools. Approximately 100 members were in the audience. Superintendent of Centerville City Schools (CCS), Dr. Tom Henderson, opened the meeting commending CCS on the results of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee.
Within CCS, only 10 children failed to pass the Third Grade Guarantee. 9 of those children had exemptions such as English as a second language.
Dr. Tom Lasley of Learn to Earn spoke next and gave some background on why the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are being implemented in Ohio. He emphasized that the future of the United States depends on a skilled and educated population and that in order to have a useful community discussion “we need to set aside politics and offer a sufficient skill set to students. We need to engage thoughtfully and critically.”
Senator Peggy Lehner began by emphasizing how the U.S. is facing an “education crisis threatening the future of our country.” She stated that “American students are falling behind” in the international workforce.
Senator Lehner addressed several members of the audience as people she has seen before who oppose Common Core. Lehner stated that the development of the CCSS has been happening for years and that the state of Ohio alone held 18 hearings regarding its development.
Rather combative she added, “teachers have been learning about CCSS for years and out of the blue there is now an anti-Common Core movement.”
She stressed that state standards are not the same thing as curriculum and that “there is nothing wrong with the Common Core that we can’t fix,” and said that the CCSS implementation time-line in Ohio has been extended because “we expect scores to drop while we all adjust.”
She finished by suggesting that “we are seriously threatening years of work and millions of dollars spent by schools because of the political arguments about the Common Core.”
During the Question and Answer segment after the presentations, a CURE member asked Senator Lehner why the state isn’t footing the bill for the Google Chromebooks required for state mandated testing, but instead is passing that bill onto Ohio schools? In Centerville’s case, PTO’s have then been asked by Principals to fund some of the burden.
Lehner responded by suggesting that because the Chromebooks are useful technology that will be utilized in environments other than for state testing, the state was not necessarily required to provide them.
Following Senator Lehner was Vice-President of the Ohio Department of Education, Tom Gunlock. Gunlock stressed again that state standards are not the same thing as curriculum and that he firmly believes in the Common Core. He was adamant that curriculum belongs to the local school districts, “have concerns about the standards? Call me.”
We encourage you to do so:
10147 Putterview Way
Centerville, Ohio 45458
Phone: (937) 609-6951
Part 2 of our wrap-up will focus on CCS Director of Curriculum, Jeremy Miller, and his presentation regarding the Third Grade Reading Guarantee, it’s components, and assessments.