Thursday, May 20, 2010

Lawmakers Work to Ensure Quality Education Standards

Columbus – State Representatives Gerald L. Stebelton (R-Lancaster) and Ronald Maag (R-Salem Township) recently delivered testimony on jointly sponsored legislation to postpone the required adoption of new social studies and science K-12 curriculum standards by one year. The bill will move the deadline from June 30, 2010 to 2011.

“It’s important to instill the best education for Ohio’s students, especially in the realms of social studies and sciences,” said Maag. “These subjects are integral pieces to quality education, and the children of our state would benefit from our diligent construction of these new standards. This bill plays an important role in maintaining high standards for K-12 education that are critical in producing Ohio’s future work force.”
Under these new standards, schools will be required to place more emphasis on critical thinking and innovative problem solving than having students simply remember and recite facts. Many concerns have been raised on the drafts of these standards but have not yet been resolved for social studies and science related courses.
“While changing to this type of learning will better prepare our students for success in college and beyond, the proposed science standards lack important scientific inquiry components and leave open the risk of cutting out subjects completely,” said Stebelton. “The social studies standards are also troublesome, particularly for history studies, and may leave students with a thin and incomplete outlook unless we carefully and meticulously design these new standards.”

House Bill 494 will allow stakeholders more time to thoroughly develop quality comprehensive curriculum standards. HB 494 is currently supported by the Ohio Academy of Sciences, the Ohio Aggregates and Industrial Minerals Association, the Clermont County Veterans Services, the Ohio Earth Sciences Teachers Association, and various individual interested parties.