The Toledo Blade reports that Governor Kasich noticed “a handful of sign-carrying protestors outside the windows” and responded as follows,
“The high standards that have been set were set by experts across the country, not in Washington.”
“These are people who understand educational standards, and they’re high standards. To meet those high standards, the school boards have locally designed the curriculum. … If it wasn’t working that way, I wouldn’t be for these standards.”
It’s good to see Governor Kasich acknowledge what we all know to be true: the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were not written by Ohioans. They were written by out-of-state concerns whose core values as they relate to education may not align with those of Ohio parents and teachers.
But, Governor Kasich was not so accurate when he stated, “To meet those high standards, the school boards have locally designed the curriculum…”
As concerned parents have made clear to the Kasich administration and to state legislators, the CCSS drive curriculum and so do the PARCC state achievement tests which are aligned to the CCSS. PARRC makes this point in an August 2014 press release. PARCC CEO Laura Slover is quoted in the release,
“High quality assessments go hand-in-hand with high quality instruction based, on high quality standards. You cannot have one without the other. The PARCC states see quality assessments as a part of instruction, not a break from instruction.”
Breitbart reports that Governor Bobby Jindal agrees and responded to PARCC’s statement,
“The proponents of Common Core and PARCC continue to insist that tests and standards are not about curriculum, but that’s a ruse. Teachers already know that what is tested at the end of the year is what is taught in classrooms throughout the year. PARCC may not mandate one textbook or one pacing guide, but the CEO of the federally funded PARCC has admitted one thing: PARCC controls instruction and instruction is curriculum.”
The importance Common Core proponents place on standards driving curriculum is also demonstrated through the start-up of a new non profit organization. Breitbart tells us that Bill Gates, a major financial supporter of Common Core, is helping fund EdReports.org which will offer free online reviews of instructional materials. The reviews will focus on “alignment to the Common Core” and other “quality indicators.” EdReports.org’s reviews will put pressure on publishing companies to ensure their instructional materials match the CCSS.
“EdReports.org, a new, independent nonprofit designed to improve K-12 education in the United States, will launch in winter 2014. EdReports.org will provide free, web-based reviews of instructional materials series focusing on alignment to the Common Core and other indicators of high quality as recommended by educators, including usability, teacher support and differentiation. These Consumer Reports-style reviews will highlight those instructional materials that are aligned to the higher standards states have adopted so that teachers, principals and district and state officials charged with purchasing materials can make more informed choices.”
Ohio school districts can do as Governor Kasich says and design their own curriculum, but their students won’t do well on the PARCC tests. And EdReports.org will make it difficult for districts that have the gall to design curriculum to find instructional materials not aligned to Common Core.
Governor Kasich told the attendees at the Lorain County rally, “If it wasn’t working that way (school boards design curriculum), I wouldn’t be for these standards.” (Emphasis added.)
It’s time for Governor Kasich to put his money where his mouth is. A bill to repeal Common Core, HB 597, is working its way through the Ohio House. It could use Governor Kasich’s support so that Ohio school boards, teachers, and parents can go back to controlling instruction in Ohio schools.