The Ohio House Rules and Reference committee voted Sub.HB 597 (common core repeal bill) out of committee on 11-5-2014 on a 7 – 2 vote. It will go to the House floor if/when the majority caucus can get 50 votes for the legislation.
The most significant provision of this legislation, if approved, will be the repeal of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) as Ohio’s academic content standards and requiring the adoption of interim standards that are based on the pre-2011 Massachusetts standards. These standards would be in place for AY 2015-2016, 2016-2017, and 2017-2018. In the meantime, this bill would require the State Board to develop and adopt academic content standards that would emphasize “rigor” for English language arts, mathematics, social studies and science. These standards must be “distinct and independent” from the standards previously adopted by the State Board, presumably the CCSS, and prohibits the Board from adopting any standards developed by a process similar to that initiative.
In English language arts in particular, this bill requires “a systematic approach” to teaching phonemic awareness and phonics, as well as requiring that at least 80% of reading instruction focus on imaginative literature and consisting of literary works studied on the basis of literary merit and cultural and historical significance rather than current popularity or political consideration. An Academic Content Standards Steering Committee would be established, including a subcommittee in each of the academic content areas consisting of appointed individuals representing parents, teachers, curriculum experts, and institutions of higher learning.
Not only does this bill void the adoption of the CCSS, but it also prohibits the State Board from using the PARCC for AY2014-2015, or any other school year thereafter, as well as any other assessment related to or based on the CCSS. The new state assessments are to be based on the interim standards. Specifically for secondary assessments, the “end-of-course” examinations would be replaced by a “series of examinations” in English language arts and the other content areas of social studies, mathematics, and science.