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Fight for Academic Freedom in Ohio

For kids around America, school is starting soon. Kids are stocking up on school supplies and learning their new schedules. Parents are making sure that everything is ready for their children to head off to another year of learning. In Ohio, though, some last-minute legislation could change what the upcoming year will look like for families in that state.

Representative Andrew Thompson (R-Marietta) has introduced legislation to block Common Core standards. Co-sponsored by 13 other Republicans, it would leave the state and local school districts to decide for themselves when it comes to education. “I’m not sure the Common Core standards are that great,” Thompson said. “Beyond that, I don’t think Ohio is just like California or just like Montana.”

Not only would Thompson’s legislation, House Bill 237, prevent Common Core standards from being implemented, it would prohibit Ohio’s state board of education from using Common Core-based assessments and outlaw the collection of data on students except for administrative purposes. That’s right, Common Core would also collect data on children and report it back to the federal government. With Common Core set to begin this fall, in just a matter of weeks, this is an urgent piece of legislation for Ohio’s children.

If this legislation passes, Ohio would be the third state to block Common Core before implementation. Neighboring states Indiana and Michigan have both succeeded in keeping Common Core away from their classrooms. “Indiana has stopped. Michigan is stopping, and Ohio needs to have a serious discussion about this before we invest in an elaborate testing system,” Thompson said. “We need to do what we never did, which is to have a sit-down discussion about standards.” Let’s hope that academic freedom continues to spread from the little bastion of Academic freedom in the Midwest.

joel giampaola

I'm from Michigan and proud were in that mix.