Thursday, November 21, 2013

Three House Bills Address Common Core

Guest Column from State Representative Jim Buchy

There are currently three bills before the Ohio House that address new educational standards, known as Common Core. In talking to and meeting with the residents of the 84th House District, I know this is a very important issue in our region.

I encourage you to continue contacting my office in Columbus and also sharing your thoughts with local school administrators. Ensuring a solid education for our children is one of the most important components of healthy families and strong communities. To provide what is best for the students in west central Ohio, it is important that decisions be made at the local level.

As I stated earlier, three bills have been introduced in the House that are relevant to the Common Core debate. The first is House Bill 181, which I am cosponsoring. HB 181 states that neither state law nor any regulation from the Ohio Department may require a public school from giving a student’s personally identifiable information to the federal government. That kind of information includes a student’s name, the names of parents or family members, or any list of personal characteristics that would make the student’s identity easily traceable.

Privacy has been a concern shared by many regarding this topic, and while this bill is a good start, I understand that work is being done to make it even stronger.

The second bill is House Bill 193, which would change Ohio’s graduation requirements to allow students to graduate by providing proof that they are college and career ready through alternatives such as the work keys assessment for a career tech path or a certain score on the ACT for a college path student. These changes will reduce the costs for schools when implementing the new PARCC assessments and it may in some cases allow students to avoid the PARCC which is a component of the common core.

The third bill affecting Common Core is House Bill 237, which was introduced by Rep. Andy Thompson of eastern Ohio. This bill would effectively repeal the Common Core standards in Ohio. This bill is a good way to start the discussion about what Common Core will do, but it became clear that some additional work needed to be done with it, which led to the introduction of a substitute bill.

This week each of these bills underwent hours of scrutiny in the committee process. I am pleased to report that many residents in western Ohio attended committee to have their voice heard on this issue.

Education is very important in the 84th House District, and it shows. Of the 20 schools in my district, 16 were graded as A’s, three were B’s, and one received a C. We should always be looking for ways to improve the educational opportunities for our young people, and I know that the school administrators across the 84th District agree and are constantly working toward that goal.

But at the same time, we must be careful not to intervene too much into something that has proven to be successful. As the old saying goes: “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” At the end of the day, our local schools will make the best decisions regarding the education of young people.

You can stay up to date with Common Core and its corresponding legislation at my newly created website: You may also provide feedback by completing an online survey regarding this and other topics in the news this week at

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