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Superintendents Like Controversial Education Reform Plan

A new study released this week gauges the views of Ohio school superintendents on education reform in the state. As Emily McCord reports from Ohio Public Radio member station WYSO, it finds superintendents favor the initiative known as the Common Core.

Ohio is one of 45 states that have adopted the Common Core. It’s a set of standards for student achievement in reading and math at each grade level. The new curriculum will also have new ways of testing. Not everyone is on board with the Common Core. Some parents and lawmakers worry that it will take local control out of the schools, and there have been problems in other states over implementation. But the Common Core does have support from Ohio superintendents. That’s the finding of a recent study by the Fordham Institute, a supporter of the Common Core. The study surveyed superintendents across the state and 68% reported that Common Core will lead to fundamental improvement in education. Terry Ryan with the Fordham Institute says superintendents are concerned, though, about how the assessments will be put into place.

"That said, even despite their concerns with implementation, they think that the Common Core is a positive and they think 5 years from now, it’s going to be in place and it’s worth pursuing," says Ryan. "I think they would also like the state to help for some of the cost, as especially as it related to technology and they’re worried about that."

The study also found that only 42% of superintendents think evaluating teachers based on student testing will improve education. And only 20% think the third grade reading requirement will do any good either. Ryan says he hopes the study will help lawmakers and educators work together to bring about effective reform in Ohio