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Common Core Debate Hits Pause As Leaders Push In New Directions

More than a hundred people have participated in the argument over a repeal of Ohio’s current education standards called the Common Core. Now at least one leader would like to see the debate take a slight change in course.

The Common Core was created by a group of education experts from around the country, including Ohio. The state adopted the standards in 2010, and school districts implemented them starting this year, with full implementation and testing set to roll out in the 2014-2015 school year currently udnerway.

During six recent hearings for a bill that would repeal the Common Core, questions and concerns surrounding the creation of the standards have been brought up numerous times by opponents of the Common Core and subsequently defended by supporters.

Now Republican Representative Matt Huffman of Lima, who co-sponsors the bill and chairs the committee in which it’s being heard, says he wants to take a deeper look at the actual standards.

“The testimony I would like to hear is an analysis by someone who wrote these standards as to why—you know—‘here’s an example as to what we’re trying to do’,” he says, adding he’d like to “have someone who’s against the standards come in and say ‘and here’s why that won’t work.’”

Common Core supporters who helped create the standards have appeared before the committee, including a professor of mathematics from the University of Arizona. Huffman acknowledges that the panel has heard from experts but says it’s been in a “patchwork” sort of way.

The Ohio Standard Coalition is made up of teachers, administrators, school board members and business leaders working to defend the Common Core standards. Coalition director Lisa Gray says she could call on thousands of educators to take on that debate.

“We’ve looked at those standards very carefully—we’ve seen how those have been implemented, so if that is something that Representative Huffman wants to do we’re absolutely willing and prepared to do that,” she says.

There’s no word yet on when the committee holding hearings on the bill will meet next. While it could be voted out of committee in the next few weeks, no votes are scheduled on the House floor until after the November election.