The Thomas B. Fordham Institute has long advocated for high quality academic content standards nationally- and in our home state of Ohio. The Buckeye State committed itself to adopting more rigorous academic content standards in 2010: Ohio is one of 45 states and the District of Columbia that has adopted the Common Core standards in math and English language arts, and will implement them by the start of the 2014-15 school year.

With the 2014-15 Common-Core transition looming, we wondered: How are Ohio’s educators preparing themselves for this big change? Who is doing this work and what can other schools and districts learn from the early adopters? What are lessons, hopes, and fears facing those on the frontlines who have to lead Ohio’s embrace of significantly more rigorous academic standards?

To answer these questions and more, we enlisted Ellen Belcher—former editorial page editor of the Dayton Daily News—to interview educators from select school districts, county educational service center, and charter schools. Their stories are the basis of this report. Belcher’s findings are largely encouraging and educators are not shying away from embracing the rigor of the Common Core.