Recently, I attended a meeting at OUE on Common Core Curriculum. As a new educator, I am concerned about CC and how it will affect my career. I was shocked when I heard that Andy Thompson would be attending to speak against this issue because he voted for the Third Grade Initiative, taking away the right for parents, teachers, administrators and school counselors to make decisions in the best interest of students. Thompson was once quoted saying, “Proponents of the Common Core say that the states and school boards still will have the flexibility in determining curriculum. This, however, is questionable at best. Standards drive curriculum, and the assessment tests will measure how well the standards have been absorbed.” That doesn’t sound very anti-CCSS to me. What bothers me is that suddenly Thompson is claiming to disagree with CCSS completely. Maybe that’s because in the first round of testing, 57% of Ohio’s third-graders would be retained. Meanwhile, Thompson argued that the standards were still not difficult enough for children.
When I had the opportunity to ask him why he voted for the TGI if he didn’t support it, Thompson said he is “reevaluating decisions he previously made”. This is the same excuse he used in the 2012 election after initially voting for the TGI, but he has failed to use his time in office to take action against it. No surprise, it’s election year and again, he is “changing his mind.”
The reason professionals are against the TGI is because instead of identifying possible problems and applying programs to correct them, children are simply retained based on one low test score. Additionally, most people aren’t aware that this is the second attempt to implement the TGI in Ohio and it previously failed miserably. As an intern, I watched children progressively become more discouraged because of testing. My cousin Jaykob is a third-grader from Woodsfield, OH. Jayke has never struggled in school, but emphasis on the high-stakes Ohio Achievement Assessment caused Jayke to become so stressed about retainment that he decorated his Easter eggs with the letters “OAA”. Andy Thompson clearly doesn’t care about Jayke, or local children like him.
Furthermore, if his apparent ignorance in regards to curriculum isn’t enough, Thompson is also responsible for taking our tax money away from schools and sending it to Columbus to finance massive special interest spending, while at the same time, CUTTING school funding! This, partnered with record amounts of property tax levies, failure to fight for our local manufacturing jobs like Ormet, refusal to aid in extending unemployment benefits for those workers, and his apparent attacks on our elderly, such as making cuts to The Homestead Exemption, only further proves that Mr. Thompson does not respect the people he was hired to represent. Andy Thompson has a radical agenda as a politician, and does not support the self-governing ideals that our forefathers built our nation upon. It is time for this radical extremist to go!