Ohio committed itself to embracing higher standards that cross state lines when it joined 45 other states and the District of Columbia in adopting the Common Core standards in math and English language arts (ELA) in June 2010.

But, adopting rigorous academic standards is just the first step in a long journey. High academic standards do not automatically translate into stronger student performance. These higher standards must be accompanied by adequate, on-going training for current and future teachers, principals, and district leaders to understand the new standards; new, aligned curriculum at the local level; and aligned and well-designed assessments.

Ohio could ultimately develop its own assessments, though that is costly, challenging, and time consuming. And even if Ohio were able to muster the money and capacity to develop its own rigorous, content-aligned assessments, it would not be able to compare Ohio students and schools with those in other states and the nation as a whole. Further, Ohio would have to go it alone in terms of developing curricula, professional development tools, and computer systems.  

Alternately, Ohio can move forward with one of two voluntary consortia of states working, with nearly $200 million of Race to the Top funding apiece, to develop Common Core assessments: the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) and the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC). (Ohio is presently a member of both but a decision-maker in neither.) This primer outlines the characteristics of SBAC and PARCC and raises implementation concerns for Ohio as it moves forward with this decision.

Kathleen is the Superintendent and Chief Academic Officer at the Partnership for Inner-City education and a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Before joining the Partnership, Kathleen served as the Senior Advisor for Policy and Instruction at the College Board, as the Director of Curriculum and Professional Development at Achievement First, and the Director of Teacher and Principal Professional…

View Full Bio
Jamie is the former Senior Ohio Policy Analyst for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. She has authored hundreds of articles for the Ohio Education Gadfly, and has published op-eds in the Columbus Dispatch, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Akron Beacon Journal, Dayton Daily News, and Cincinnati Enquirer. She also works with a network of high-quality charter schools who are preparing low-income Ohio students for success in high…
View Full Bio

Emmy formerly served as director of Ohio policy & research for the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. In this role, she advocated to state policymakers for smart improvements to Ohio education laws and policies; conducted research and policy analysis on a wide variety of education issues facing the Buckeye State; and managed the development, production, and dissemination of Fordham’s Ohio research studies and policy events.…

View Full Bio