Embracing the Common Core in the Buckeye State

Yesterday the Fordham Institute, Ohio Grantmakers Forum, and Achieve hosted “Embracing
the Common Core: Helping Students Thrive”
in Columbus.  It was the first event of its kind in Ohio to
address head-on the implementation plans and challenges that accompany the
state’s transition to the Common Core academic standards and aligned
assessments.  

Nearly 400 people gathered to discuss why the Common Core
standards are necessary to improve educational outcomes in Ohio, as well as the
challenges and opportunities associated with the new standards. The opening
keynote speaker was State Superintendent Stan Heffner, who stressed that Ohio’s
current K-12 system isn’t working and is letting kids down and not preparing
them for the future. He went on to emphasize that the Common Core gives us the
opportunity to do better and we must capitalize on that. Cleveland Metropolitan
Schools CEO Eric Gordon and Reynoldsburg City Schools Superintendent Steve
Dackin shared how they have already begun to implement the Common Core
standards in their districts. Mike Cohen, president of Achieve, spoke to the
specifics of PARCC (the assessment consortia Ohio joined last fall) and warned
that the implementation of the new standards in ELA and math will not be easy
and that districts should start the implementation process now. State Board of
Education President Debe Terhar; Deb Tully of the Ohio Federation of Teachers;
Melissa Cardenas from the Ohio Board of Regents; the new director of the
Governor’s Office of 21st Century Education Dick Ross also
participated.

The event was chock full of great discussion and interaction
not only among those in attendance but also those watching online and in the
Twitter-sphere. Here are some of the top tweets related to the event:

  • SchoolChoiceOH: Eric Gordon is breath of fresh air. Talking with districts
    across the country about how to approach common core. #ccohio
  • OhioGadfly:
    Gordon: we know we have to get better- we have to get serious about changing
    this educational system #CCOhio
  • Jen Smith Richards:
    Ohio Supt. Stan Heffner says schools could be using new Common Core standards
    in k-2 right now. Why wait? he asks. #ccohio
  • OHEducation:
    Heffner: College ready- proficient enough in English and Math to take entry
    level college courses without remediation. #ccohio #ohioed
  • OhioGadfly:
    Heffner: in 6th grade kids only have to get 35% of items correct to be
    considered to proficient- this is a problem #CCOhio

If you missed the event, or want to check it out again, you
can watch the video here and access all the materials on our event
page
. Stay tuned for more coverage in the weeks and months ahead on
implementing the Common Core in Ohio. 
And as always, for all things Common Core head over to our Common
Core Watch
blog.

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