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Ohio Board Backs Common Standards

With a unanimous vote yesterday by its state board of education, Ohio became the seventh state to adopt the common standards in math and English/language arts.

Here's the Associated Press write-up, and another by the Columbus Dispatch.

Ohio joins Wisconsin and North Carolina, which approved them last week, as well as four other states—Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, and West Virginia—which gave conditional approval to the standards before they were issued in final form on June 2.

Meanwhile, my co-blogger Catherine has a new story about how a core group of advocates, with financial backing from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is providing information and advice to help build the necessary base of support to ensure widespread adoption of the common standards across the country.

Back in Ohio, I should note that the board didn't just adopt the common standards. Separately, the panel also approved revised standards in both social studies and science, though here, one of the 17 members voted no. I addressed some debate about the social studies standards in a blog item in February and a larger story in late March.

Apparently, the new science standards are also encountering some pushback. The AP story reports on testimony delivered by Lynn Elfner, the CEO of the Ohio Academy of Science. He said the update lacks required hands-on experience in the high-tech areas poised to save Ohio's economic future.

"Technological design, the heart of a modern economy, is missing," he said. "We see nothing to excite students like fuel cells, nanotechnology, green or alternative energy, and technology, biotechnology, liquid crystals, polymers, creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurial ideas."

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