By Jeff Gallatin
As state legislators are again taking a look at the Common Core State Standards, the Bay Village school board mulled having one district official testify about the issue.
Char Shryock, director of curriculum for the district, told the board at its Aug. 11 meeting that she had been asked to testify about what she knows about the Common Core standards before the legislature. Legislation has been introduced that would effectively end the Common Core standards currently utilized by Ohio school districts.
Superintendent Clint Keener noted it’s an issue with potentially big ramifications, as the district had spent a lot of time and resources working on making sure the district and its students met Common Core standards.
“If they pass that legislation, it essentially would do away with the Common Core, and we and other districts would have a lot of work to do,” he said.
Shryock said she wanted to talk to board and district officials before agreeing to testify. She noted that state and educational officials are aware that she is director of curriculum for the Bay Village school district. She added that many are also aware that she is active in educational work in other areas, since she also is a cadre leader with the Ohio PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career), an organization that works in several states by developing assessments to help gauge whether students are on track for success in education and careers.
She said the legislative officials would most likely regard her as an education official with expertise in the area of Common Core and not as a representative of the school district. She said she would not say she was representing the district.
Keener and board members expressed support for allowing Shryock to utilize her knowledge about the issue in some form, noting her strong educational background had benefited the district and students with her knowledge.
“It’s good for our district that we have someone like Char who they would like to testify about an important issue,” Keener said.
Board member Mike Caputo, who in handling state and local government affairs for McDonald Hopkins spends a lot of time around the legislature, said there is strong interest in the bill in Columbus and throughout the state.
Board members said they did not want Shryock to speak specifically on behalf of the district, noting they had not had a chance to see the current form of the bill. However, they indicated that they did not have a problem with her testifying and speaking about her general knowledge about the Common Core standards and education issues. They noted she also has a right to her personal opinions, but said the district itself has not spelled out any specific opinions on the bill.
As it currently stands, officials said Shryock is likely to testify the week of Aug. 25. Right now, proponents of the bill to do away with the Common Core standards are scheduled to testify this week with testimony about Common Core set for next week.