18th Apr 2013 at 08:24 | By Jason Hart
Ohio Parents, Local Activists Look to Stop Common Core
The recently-formed Ohioans Against Common Core (OACC) is leading calls for legislators to strip budget provisions which would advance implementation of the national K-12 curriculum and testing regime in Ohio. Animosity against Common Core has grown this spring as conservative columnist Michelle Malkin and nonprofits in several states have drawn attention to the latest U.S. Department of Education power grab.
“The kickoff to the Ohioans Against Common Core effort has laid to rest the claim from Columbus bureaucrats that ‘the Common Core train has left the station’,” OACC wrote in an April 14 announcement. “From the sold-out event in Cincinnati to the overflow area in Columbus to the final stop in Cleveland, 1000+ Ohioans sent a message loud and clear; we will NOT accept this federal takeover of our children’s education.”
Noting that last week the Republican National Committee adopted a resolution opposing Common Core, OACC added, “As our demands for fiscal responsibility and limited government continue to be ignored, Governor Kasich and his minions appear to be unmoved. Maybe such a response signals we can look forward to a change in party affiliation thus saving the expense of an incumbent gubernatorial primary challenge.”
“Common Core – just like Medicaid Expansion – is the vehicle for the Feds to rob us of our liberties and state sovereignty through the promise of federal dollars on the front end to buy an eternity of control,” an OACC policy brief explaining funding for Common Core and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) opined.
“The language to legislate the PARCC Assessments into law is in Governor Kasich’s Education Budget, HB59 – Section 263.70. We must demand that the Finance Committee along with all House Members pull this section from the budget before the full House vote,” the Ohio Liberty Coalition wrote in an April 15 blog post supporting OACC’s efforts.
As its name would suggest, OACC is devoted to the singular cause of rolling back the actions Ohio legislators and bureaucrats have taken toward implementing Common Core – whose adoption was tied not only to federal Race to the Top funds but to federal money from President Obama’s 2009 stimulus bill.
“Ohioans Against Common Core is a single-issue education advocacy group,” the organization announced on March 16. “Through information and outreach, our goal is to reverse Ohio’s adoption of the national Common Core Standards and the PARCC testing agreement in its entirety.”
“We believe that children, parents, teachers and taxpayers are best served when education is locally controlled,” OACC explained. “We believe that officials of all political persuasions have facilitated the destruction of the local and parent led education model by ceding control to special interest groups and central planners. We believe that restoring local control is the most proactive and productive path to improving academic achievement.”
Malkin and others have criticized Common Core’s off-putting data mining and tracking elements, seemingly weak standards, and dubious insistence that DC tinkerers should set complex guidelines for K-12 schools nationwide. Critics have also pointed to the historic failure of vast federal expenditures to improve the American education system.
Stop Common Core strongly disputed claims that the standards were developed by a coalition of states, writing, “The bulk of the creative work was done by Achieve, Inc., a DC-based nonprofit that includes many progressive education reformers who have been advocating national standards and curriculum for decades. Massive funding for all this came from private interests such as the Gates Foundation.”
In response to the assertion that states have pursued Common Core willingly, Stop Common Core wrote, “Most states that adopted CC did so to be eligible to compete for federal Race to the Top funding. To have a chance at that money, recession-racked states agreed to adopt the CC standards and the aligned national tests sight unseen.”
Elsewhere on the Stop Common Core site, the group shared an infographic from Utahns Against Common Core tracing the federal spending used to coerce states into adopting the national standards.
On February 19, NPR’s StateImpact Ohio reported that “Ohio is standing firm” in its decision to adopt Common Core. But by April 11, StateImpact Ohio acknowledged that opposition to the national standards was spreading throughout the state.
“Thankfully, it’s not too late to reverse course,” Lindsey Burke of the conservative Heritage Foundation recently wrote at National Review Online. “Efforts in the 1990s to nationalize curricula, despite significant momentum, were ultimately rejected by governors. States and local school districts understood that Washington was overstepping its bounds to an unprecedented extent and chose instead to retain their educational sovereignty.”
A House vote on the biennial budget bill is expected as early as this afternoon.