Why would anyone subject Ohio’s students to sub-par (Common Core) education

JamesStergios_CC_HB“What’s happening in Ohio is very exciting. HB597 takes a new approach to the repeal and replace effort, with a huge step towards returning control to local districts and utilizing high performing, proven standards,” Huber said. “Speaker Pro Tempore and Rules Committee Chairman Huffman sized it up well within his remarks, ‘…putting aside the process and financial interest debate, what was adopted is a bad product…'”

“With a large Republican majority caucus heading into a general election, the demise of Common Core in Ohio seems imminent,” Huber added. “Why would any politician subject Ohio’s students to a sub-par education program?”

Heidi Huber

From a school board member.   This is written testimony to the house committee hearing the witnesses for and against HB 597. I think everyone should read this and write their own.

House Rules and Reference Committee

Hon. Chairman Huffman, Vice-Chairman Batchelder, Ranking Member Buddish, and members of Committee, thank you for the privilege to submit testimony to the Committee regarding the repeal of the Common Core State Standards.

My name is Jim Rigano. I am an elected school board member for Springboro City Community School District located south of Dayton, OH. I am in the third year of my second term on the board. I am also a registered Professional Engineer in Ohio. While I agree with many that Common Core State Standards should be repealed because they will result in a loss of local control, because they are not as rigorous as other existing standards, and because they will weaken American culture, I want to focus my testimony in another direction that I hope is different from the other witnesses you will hear from.

First, let me state that I do not agree with the position of the Ohio School Boards Association and their sister organizations OASBO and BASA with respect to Common Core. While they may purport to represent all school boards and elected board of education members in Ohio, the truth is their opposition to HB 597 is derived from their leadership and not from the opinions of the member school districts or the thousands of elected school board members in Ohio. OSBA leadership established their position on CCSS Common Core long ago attempting to rally school board members against Representative Thompson’s HB 237 when it was introduced. It was just two weeks ago, presumably in preparation for their testimony to you, that I received the first ever OSBA correspondence (a web survey) seeking opinions of the membership about the CCSS. This occurs after months of activism trying to rally support for the Common Core. In their latest bulletin they “urge members to oppose HB 597” because “there is neither time nor resources” for a change. However, according to our Superintendent our recently purchased curriculum materials will support whatever standards are eventually put in place because they are but one tool in his education toolbox. And as you recently confirmed in HB 487, a local board is free to teach to whatever standard it chooses – if they like their Common Core they can keep their Common Core. My larger point is that although our school district is a member of OSBA, we were not consulted by OSBA leadership about our opinions either as a board or as individual members except as an afterthought. Please be aware their agenda is driven by their leadership and not OSBA members at large.

As an engineer, I am trained to deal in facts, logic, and reason. As a profession charged with public safety and responsibility for ensuring the prudent expenditure of capital, Engineers insist that important decisions be based on proven solutions. Some lesser decisions are left to professional judgment, but for large expenditures and for the BIG decisions we demand, and our clients demand of us, some clear evidence that the intended goals will be achieved. Mr. Chairman, the education of Ohio’s children and their future is an important decision that demands hard evidence that CCSS will improve their knowledge, skills, and ability. Unfortunately, the CCSS proponents have no such evidence, and a decision of this magnitude cannot be left simply to the judgment of so-called experts.

In 2001 Ohio rolled out new educational standards and state-wide testing. In the following years, millions were spent aligning curriculum, training teachers, and implementing tests. We were told by the experts these things are necessary to “raise the bar” on academic performance because we need to do more for Ohio’s children.

Now, we’re being told by the Common Core proponents that those standards did not make children “college and career ready”, did not “prepare them for a 21st century global economy”, and were not sufficiently “rigorous” after all. I don’t know whether those 2001 Ohio academic content standards were pilot tested. My guess is they were not, but even if they were, the CCSS proponents tell us today that those standards are not good enough and that new, improved standards must be implemented. They tell us we need these new Common Core standards, and they assure us that this time we can trust them. Of course everyone is in favor of higher standards, but may I observe that many of these “experts” would benefit greatly from a renewed procurement cycle in the education industry.

My point is this. We’ve traveled the road of unproven (or at least inadequately tested) standards before. Those 2001 standards were foisted on millions of Ohio’s children, and according to the CCSS proponents for the last 13 years we’ve provided them an inadequate and insufficiently rigorous education.   Their solution: to implement a new set of unproven and untested Common Core standards. They tell us we are to spend millions (billions?) to implement those new standards and the associated achievement testing, but with respect to whether these new standards will actually improve academic achievement we are told to simply trust their good intentions and judgment.

As an engineer dealing in the realm of reason I am often frustrated by Common Core proponents who constantly deal in emotions and slogans. For example, try to get even the most rudimentary explanation of “increased rigor”, “college and career ready”, and what is a “21st Century education”.   While these sound like laudable goals, my research shows these are empty phrases used to pitch an untested and unproven set of standards developed without public hearings, public reviews, and public input. In science, new work is subjected to peer review, then published and subject to critique. Inexplicably, CCSS was rolled-out to the nation’s schools void of any such scrutiny.

Thanks to grass roots efforts some independent peer reviews have been done and CCSS does not measure up to other standards in place today. Even CCSS advocates agree. The Fordham institute, a common core proponent, rates Massachusetts 2001 English Language Arts standards as superior to the CCSS. These standards have been proven superior by virtue of Massachusetts’ perennial position at the top rankings among the 50 states. Achieve, one of the founders of CCSS, rates Singapore Math superior to CCSS. Singapore has topped all nations in international mathematics benchmarks. And no one can call a set of standards that omit pre-Calculus “college ready” or “rigorous.” For some inexplicable reason, the authors of Common Core feel that by teaching less, students will learn more.

Mr. Chairman, when it comes to the future and education of Ohio’s children, who are the future of Ohio, I cannot understand why any decision maker would choose an untested, unproven alternative when superior proven and tested alternatives are available. Elementary reason tells us to choose a doctor who has a proven remedy for an illness and to run from the one who wants to experiment with an untested, unproven treatment on you or your child.

I urge the committee and House to repeal the Common Core State Standards and to replace them with a tested and proven solution that protects Ohio’s children and our investment in Ohio’s future.           They are the ones who will sustain Ohio’s economy and our culture into the future.

Respectfully submitted
Jim Rigano
Board of Education Member
Springboro Community City Schools
8786 Wildwood Pl.
Springboro, OH 45066

House Bill 597, jointly sponsored by Reps. Andrew Thompson (R) and Matt Huffman (R), would eliminate the controversial standards after the coming school year, implement the former Massachusetts standards for the next two years, and then impose new Ohio-created standards beginning in the 2017-2018 school year. (READ MORE)


24 responses to “Why would anyone subject Ohio’s students to sub-par (Common Core) education

  1. Are you serious? A simple web search confirmed exactly what I suspected:

    So do tell, which of the three different Ten Commandants do you want taught? You do know that the Protestant, Catholic and Jewish Ten Commandments are all different?

    1. Our current education is NOT working, ask any teacher or employer
    2. Common Core HAS

  2. Ben; EXCELLENT link – Hopefully other Toledoans will read this and follow suit.

    The article shows what happens when a local school district makes their own decisions on how to educated their own children. Why would Springboro Schools want to adopt Common core when according to your article, they are; “Springboro’s public schools have been nationally recognized for excellence”

    Parents and Teachers from Toledo should be looking at Springboro Schools and emulate what they are doing.

    As for education failure – If the current system isn’t working, why would we adopt a system that is untested and unproven? Why not adopt the Massachusetts standards, they are proven .

    • John, you either didn’t read the article or are pulling a “Fox News” number. They want to change the schools AWAY from Common Core standards and people fear the education will suffer because of that.

      Last I checked, The Bible was NOT a science book. Maybe you ought to pick up a paper and read what happens when fanatics try to force their own personal religion into the public arena. Can we say ISIS, Taliban, Hamas, etc.?

  3. Ben, Yes, Excelllent article. No mention of Common Core. There is nmention that the board members want to teach stuff about the constitution (God forbid) and Creationism (God made this).

    TPS should be teaching this stuff.

    ALSO The article makes no mention the “Tea Party Control” has been at Springboro for about 8 years now. Maybe thats why they are one of the top in the nation.

    WHY would Springboro want to adopt Common core when their current system is superior.

    We should hire the Springboro board to come up here to Toledo and show us how its done.

    • Um……isn’t your whole argument about outside influence and/or control?

      (And the Board members want to CHANGE what has been taught about the Constitution. You know, rewrite history the way THEY want it remembered. And are you saying “Creationism” is not a religious belief as opposed to the scientific facts of evolution?)

  4. SHAME ON YOU JOHN! Now you’re trying to rewrite history.

    They were voted out….you do remember what part the VOTERS play in local elections, don’t you?

    (Although, I do like the way you inspire me to search for the truth. Thanks.)

  5. Ben – Correct. Local control. If the local parents wish to set their standards high, then thats wonderful. Who am I to tell them they must teach to a set of standards and curriculum that is below their standards.

  6. Ben – According to the Testimony provided by Jim Rigano, he is in the third year of his second term.

    If Springboro wishes to elect liberals, moderates, or conservatives to their school board. Thats wonderful, its their choice.

    If that school board decides to take the Federal money and implement Common Core, Have a ball.

    However, The State should NOT adopt these low standards and force schools to adjust / modify their curriculum and testing in order to meet the standard.

    Its unproven in effectiveness and cost.

    I agree with the testimony provided in the above article. What part of Rigano’s testimony is it that you don’t agree with?

    • Why do you keep referring to Common Core as ” low standards”, which is totally untrue, then complain they make school harder? You can’t have it both ways.

      1. You want creationism taught as a science, which it is not.l
      2. You want history rewritten the way a small group wishes it had happened, not the actual true facts.
      3. You keep harping on “the way it used to be”, but isn’t the past how we arrived at today?

      (I’ll get to Rigano’s testimony later. In the meanwhile, could you please supply a credible source of your information?)

  7. This one I gotta share, it’s very much important reading on the subject. And if you’re smart enough to vote intelligently, you’re smart enough to verify statements in the article:


    (If you have to hide what you’re doing, maybe you’re doing something wrong. If religion is so important, why are they always breaking the “bear false witness” commandment. Exodus 20:16)

  9. Ben- Your failing to read my comments. .and placing words in my mouth.

    Lets try this again.

    1) If the local school district wishes to teach creativism, so be it.

    2) History is history – don’t re-write it, teach it. (

    3) Yes – so lets make the same mistakes we made in 2003 by adopting unproven, untested standards instead of adopting standards that are proven and tested.

  10. Ben,

    I supplied the actual testimony. I don’t think I can get any more reliable than that.

    Please review the testimony from provided in this article, If you find errors, address them.

    I might add – Proponent testimony is this week, Perhaps you should take a day off and testify your support for Common Core at the state house.

  11. “I am in the third year of my second term on the board.”
    “My larger point is that although our school district is a member of OSBA,…”
    “As an engineer, I am trained to deal in facts, logic, and reason.”
    “…whether these new standards will actually improve academic achievement we are told to simply trust their good intentions and judgment.”
    “…untested and unproven set of standards developed without public hearings, public reviews, and public input. ”

    ***I supplied the actual testimony. I don’t think I can get any more reliable than that.***
    (You might want to check the reliability/truefullness of statements in the actual testimony before posting it.)

  12. Ben,

    I provide a transcript of testimony that was provided under oath at a State committee hearing, and you suggest I check the validity of the statements made by the witness.

    If you have data that supports this witness made false statements under oath, then you need to bring that data forward so we can have this witness held in contempt.

    On the other hand, You provide a link to an article written by a anti church /state blog with second and third hand information and assume all the information is accurate. Perhaps you need to check the reliability and truthfulness of your third hand blog links before posting them as factual data.

  13. Actually, almost all of that information was gathered from websites that you would consider “friendly” (you were the one who posted a letter from someone so far to the right, they’re practically left).

    So let’s get back to Toledo, Ohio (Springboro School District compares to Ottawa Hills here).
    1. Is Creationism a subject better taught in science class, than in social studies or religion?
    2. EXACTLY how would Common Core LOWER the standards now used in Toledo, Ohio area schools? Please be specific.
    3. EXACTLY how is local control lost when teaching Common Core. Please be specific.

    By the way, it hasn’t been lost on me that you’re a slippery one when it comes to responding to particulars. I will assume I have your permission to point this trait out the next time you do it. If you want to have an honest discussion, you have to be honest.

  14. 1) anywhere they decide to. Or not.

    2) http://pioneerinstitute.org/news/lowering-the-bar-how-common-core-math-fails-to-prepare-students-for-stem/

    3)See item #2, “Race to the top” and “No child left behind” grants. Toledo takes the money, Toledo complies with the grants. If Toledo doesn’t want to refund the grant money, they will sign up for Common core. And thats exactly what they did according to one of the TPS board members.

    Yes, I am. As are most people. Generally, I refuse to engage if its just re-hashing over and over and over and over with no new information, just the same ole arguments. No sense in wasting my time or bandwidth. And thats what some posters wish, they get the last word in and wear you down)

  15. Fine, no further discussions. The article you linked has several area of flawed logic*. Let the people decide. Here is an article I found helpful:

    * I attended a school in Northwest Ohio and could have graduated when I was only 16. But I knew I was going to college so I took all FOUR (4) years of math. If the student arrives at UT for an engineering degree, OF COURSE THEY WILL HAVE PROBLEMS IF THEY ONLY TOOK TWO (2) YEARS OF HIGH SCHOOL MATH. If you’re going to point your finger at imagined flaws, make sure you at least have anything to replace it!

  16. John, I finally have the time to properly respond:
    1. Certain persons (i.e. Jim Rigano) were trying to dictate what was to be taught in Springboro’s science classes and is was NOT what they (the voters) had decided. Got most of em voted out of office and who’s left will be after the next election. And the high ratings were achieved with an entire administration that has since resigned due to the back door politics of these certain persons (i.e.Jim Rigano).
    2. You linked to a group, the Pioneer Institute, that want to privatize schools. And the statements they made in the article are blatantly untrue.
    3. Contrary to what you’ve been told, Race To The Top and No Child Left Behind are NOT tied in anyway to Common Core. Right off the bat, there are two things YOU should have noticed. Those two programs are Federal and Common Core is NOT Federal, but state run. One of those programs was started and the other funded way BEFORE Common Core.

    And don’t think I didn’t notice you keep posting “Comments Off” articles so this discussion keeps getting pushed further down. You sir are attempting to hide facts that do not support your argument. Shame on you! Keep this up and you might be compared to cold war Russian newspapers.

  17. Ben;

    Shame on you for making false accusations against me; You are not being polite and respectful to me. If you wish to be respected, then you must show respect.. Disrespect for commentators will not be tolerated on this site and is approaching the point where posters will be banned if this continues.

    “Comments off” – I explained this once before, perhaps I wasn’t clear, let me try again;

    1) You cannot comment on any article that appears here via an RSS feed. These articles are easily identified by three methods, You’ll notice some RSS Syndicated articles don’t have the Facebook, Twitter, Share buttons.You’ll also notice that “Posted In” (at the bottom of the article) all RSS syndicated articles are marked as “FEED” and also “Comments Off”. If you made any attempt to read any of these articles, you would have noticed that it takes you back to the original site where the article resides. You can comment there on that site for the article. You are not able to comment on RSS syndicated articles on the Remote site. An RSS Syndicated article may be appearing on hundreds of sites around Ohio and the US. All comments must be done at the original site, that way all commentators can see all comments.

    As for local articles:

    We do not turn off comments on any article, PERIOD. In fact, Our comment policy is very, very liberal. (This may change)

    Let me repeat that one more time to make sure your very, very clear on this.

    We do NOT turn off comments on any article. Period.

    2) Please review your understanding of Race to the Top (RTTT) and No child left Behind (NCLB) funding. Particularly what happens when a grant recipient cannot meet the obligations of the grant.

    This is important, Google the following; “race to the top waiver for Common Core”

    You will find several very informative articles that explain how RTTT and NCLB Federal programs are linked to CC.

    You will also find opposing articles that say RTTT and NCLB have nothing to do with CC.

    I found this particular article addresses the connections in a fair manner. http://www.hslda.org/commoncore/topic3.aspx

    Take your pick. Have a nice day.

  18. I’m sorry John, my intention was definitely not to disrespect anyone. The biggest surprise to me was that you did NOT delete any of the links I posted. Now that’s the American spirit of understanding our fellow citizens and probably the main reason I do respect you.
    I do get very frustrated by articles that are chock full of misinformation and there is not a way to respond. My hope is that people will review both sides of an issue and form their OWN opinions based on fact. And believe it or not, we agree on more than we disagree. For example, I think it’s crazy that English in not declared the official language of the United States. Can you imagine having a military where the soldiers couldn’t communicate because of language differences? And how can anyone attend college if they don’t understand English. I bitched and moaned when my college instructors’ ascents were so bad I couldn’t understand them. And just try even getting an interview for a job if your English is poor. I can’t count the number of times I have been called intolerant because I demand to communicate in my native language. And you would probably get a laugh listening to me when I call a service center and can’t understand a word they say. I tell them I paid for the service with money printed in English and I want to be assisted in the same manner.
    Now, back to Common Core. The I.R.S. is the best example I can think of a Federal agency run amuck with power over helpless people. I don’t want Creationism taught in science class, but I sure as hell don’t want somebody teaching kids against their personal beliefs. I actually first heard of evolution in a Roman Catholic school; maybe you don’t know, but Roman Catholics aren’t big on literal translations of the Bible. But it’s the best book I know of to maintain a moral compass in life. The Sister teacher said believing in one doesn’t discount the belief of the other.
    I think you’re old enough to remember when the different churches used to be less than civil to one another. Now just imagine how it would be if they started to fight over whose religious beliefs would be taught in public schools. Why does it always have to be all or nothing?
    If you could indulge me one more time, I did find this article very enlightening and it addresses many of the concerns about Common Core mentioned here on your website. Thank you.

  19. John, one more thing. Talk about government overreach, how do you feel about the “regional” sales tax they are proposing to fund TARTA? I thing when they say “regional” what they really mean is Wood County too. You’d have thought they got the message when they tried the zoo tax. I hate socialists!

  20. You know John, that after a allowing an article containing debateable information to be posted here, you could open a post that allows back and forth discussion. Isn’t that a Tea Party ideal? Your top article says Common Core is losing support, but a reality check shows that may be in doubt. The anti-Common Core groups seem to be spreading a lot of misinformation that some people are believing as fact. When poll respondents are pressed for reasons they oppose Common Core, they consistently state false pretenses. When informed of the correct facts, they change their minds and support Common Core. I know you hate it when I say this, but shouldn’t people be allowed to form their own opinions based on true facts? Censure me if you wish, but isn’t that the first things (censure dissent) dictators do when they take over a country? Here’s another interesting article from the conservative bastion of Utah of all places: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/58335522-78/standards-core-poll-state.html.csp

  21. Ben,
    I disagree. From my observations, the more people learn about CC, the more they realize this is not the system we want for our schools or our children.

    You’ve made claims that the information submitted here is false. I make claims that the the information your submitting is deceptive and not entirely truthful.

    I believe your being hypocritical by claiming that I should spend my time, resources, etc to provide pro CC venue, yet you have made no offering to set up your own site and offer anti CC people a venue.

    I’m looking forward to seeing your pro CC web site. Perhaps if I’m able to find time, I’ll post comments and links to support an anti CC point of view.

    I did a good reading from the Home Schoolers web site about Common Core. I found this to be one of the most informative I’ve run across,


    It answered many questions I had and I have a deeper understanding of it and my opposition to cc has increased even more.