Ohio's Learning Standards
Ohio's education system has improved in recent years, with better early childhood education programs, improvements in testing, and more emphasis on holding schools accountable for student achievement. Yet this year, Ohio ranked 11th among the 50 states in the quality of its education system, with only a C+ grade. We still have work to do. Part of that work is setting higher expectations for what our children learn in the classroom.
What is changing?
In 2010, Ohio adopted new, higher learning standards for students in math, English language arts, science and social studies. These standards set goals for what students should know and be able to do at each grade. They prepare all kinds of learners for college and skilled jobs.
The math and English language arts learning standards are called Common Core State Standards because Ohio and other states - not the federal government - chose to develop them. Ohio education leaders and teachers developed the science and social studies standards. Together the four sets of standards are called Ohio's New Learning Standards.
What the standards don't do.
These standards do not tell teachers how to teach or which textbooks they must use. Curriculum is created by teachers, principals, superintendents and local school boards and tailored to the individual needs of the students in their community. The standards do not involve collecting data on students.
How will these standards be different?
Students will study only the most important and useful concepts within each subject, each year. They will drill much deeper into each area, learning to apply more knowledge and skills in the subject than ever before. As a result they will be better able to understand and use math concepts. They will be able to think more critically about what they read. They will be better able to explain their thoughts in writing. And they will have a better foundation in science and technology.
Why is the change needed?
More than 40 percent of Ohio high school graduates who enroll in Ohio public colleges are not prepared for college-level work. Some Ohio employers believe that Ohio will not have enough graduates to fill the good, higher-paying jobs and careers that will be available. It's time to make sure our students are learning more in school.
Because of Ohio's New Learning Standards, a high school diploma will mean more. Students will graduate with the abilities they need to compete for Ohio's and the world's best jobs. They will lead Ohio forward into a brighter future.