There are understandably questions about Ohio’s Learning Standards. Because of this, we’ve compiled this list of commonly asked questions to go deeper into the standards, once you’ve mastered Ohio Standards 101.

Q: What subjects are included in Common Core State Standards?

A: Common Core State Standards focus solely on mathematics and English Language Arts. Ohio’s Learning Standards, of which the Common Core mathematics and English standards are just a part, also incorporate science, social studies and other subject areas.

Q: Are the Common Core State Standards the same thing as curriculum?

A: No, standards are different than curriculum; standards represent expectations for what students should know and be able to do, and curriculum is a road map teachers use to meet those goals or expectations. Ohio law specifies that districts, schools, and teachers determine the curriculum, through textbooks, lesson plans, literary texts, and other instructional materials created and selected by teachers and districts.

Curriculum and instruction will continue to be local decisions, as those closest to our students are best positioned to know how to support their learning. Ohio’s Learning Standards will remain under the full control of our state—the federal government will have no authority to intrude by changing the standards, dictating curriculum, or violating the privacy rights of our students.

Q: How will the Standards be measured? Will we have new assessments in Ohio?

A: Yes, we will have new assessments, and initial test scores will very likely show a temporary decline under Ohio’s next generation of assessments. Ohio’s Learning Standards, including the Common Core State Standards, reflect a real-world view of what students need to know. These standards are more challenging than previous standards taught in Ohio. Stated another way, we know our achievement in Ohio needs to improve significantly, and when the new tests are given, they will show this need for improvement.

Q: Why did Ohio adopt the Common Core? 

A: By including Common Core State Standards in Ohio’s Learning Standards, the state is ensuring that our children are challenged by real-life expectations, and that they master the knowledge and skills necessary for success in college and career. In an increasingly competitive global marketplace, Ohio has set its standards high enough to assure our students succeed after high school.

Q: How will Ohio’s children benefit from the Common Core State Standards?

A: The standards focus on developing students’ critical thinking, problem-solving, and writing skills—real-world skills that students need to be successful in today’s workforce. In addition, Ohio’s Standards focus on a deeper understanding of materials, not just basic memorization and test-taking skills. The standards are also clear and focused, allowing teachers to explore fewer topics in more depth with students, rather than skimming the surface of numerous topics to prepare students for tests.

Q: Are the standards developmentally appropriate for our youngest learners?

A: Understanding a child’s learning and development is critical to both families and educators. The standards were developed with significant input from K–3 teachers and early childhood professionals and have been deemed appropriate for our youngest learners by educators and early childhood organizations in Ohio and across the country.

While the development of academic skills is essential to a strong start for Ohio’s youngest learners, we must take a comprehensive view of their education. In addition to the academic skills, Ohio’s teachers are encouraged to focus on a child’s social and emotional well‐being, and physical and motor development. These standards, coupled with the Ohio’s Entry Early Learning and Development Standards, will ensure our youngest learners are on a successful path.

In addition, Ohio’s New Kindergarten Readiness Assessment will give kindergarten teachers a comprehensive picture of a child’s learning and development at kindergarten entry, pinpointing where each child is in physical well‐being and motor development, language and literacy, mathematics, science, social studies, and social skills.

Q: Who led the development of the Common Core State Standards?

A: The nation’s governors and education commissioners, through their representative organizations the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), led the development of the Common Core State Standards and continue to lead the initiative. Teachers (including many from Ohio), parents, school administrators, and experts from across the country provided significant input into the development and revisions of the Standards.

ESSA Stakeholder Meetings White Paper

From late August through early October, 2016, Philanthropy Ohio and other Ohio Standard members partnered with the Ohio Department of Education to host 10 regional meetings across the state around ESSA, where local students, parents, educators, funders and community members could share their perspectives and contribute to the state plan. You can find an in-depth overview of the feedback here.