Ohio is seventh state to adopt common standards

Image courtesy of Flickr user Roswellsgirl's

By a 17-0 vote of Ohio Board of Education, the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), Ohio has become the seventh state in the nation to adopt common math and language arts standards. The Common Core Standards Initiative (CCSI) was originally spearheaded by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

CCSI enlisted the participation of 48 states, two territories and the District of Columbia in their creation. Only Texas and Alaska refused to participate in their creation. Since the Common Core standards were released earlier this month, Virginia decided to opt out, keeping its existing academic standards.

State adoption of the Common Core Standards has a significant connection to the Department of Education’s Race to the Top (RttT) competitive grant program.

Each state that applies for RttT funding is graded using a 500 point rubric.States can add up to 40 points of the 500 points that are possible for their involvement in the creation and adoption of what the rubric defines as “common standards”. Applicants that assist in the creation of common standards can be awarded up to 20 points. A further 20 points can be awarded to states that adopt common standards by August 2, 2010. Ohio was awarded the full 40 points available for common standards for its first round application.

The passage of House Bill 1 in July of 2009 directed ODE to adopt new academic standards in math, language arts, science and social studies by June 30, 2010. House Bill 1 also directed ODE to revise the standards every five years.

While members of OBE voted unanimously for adoption of the Common Core Standards, the adoption of the science and social studies standards was not. OBE members voted 16-1 for adoption of social studies and science standards.  Critics of the science standards have complained that the new standards are less rigorous than the ones they are replacing.