Last week a meeting was held at Ottawa Memorial Park by residents against Common Core standards in schools. Among those meeting were (from left clockwise) Glenn Karhoff, Stephanie Stechschulte, Tammy Morman, Lincoln Bramlage, and Gini Mack. (Putnam Sentinel/Nancy Kline)
Last week a meeting was held at Ottawa Memorial Park by residents against Common Core standards in schools. Among those meeting were (from left clockwise) Glenn Karhoff, Stephanie Stechschulte, Tammy Morman, Lincoln Bramlage, and Gini Mack. (Putnam Sentinel/Nancy Kline)

PUTNAM COUNTY — When a third grade Fort Jennings teacher testifies on Aug. 12 in Columbus she will be speaking about her concerns on Common Core. It is a concern that is shared by a group in Putnam County that has been meeting regularly since the summer of 2013.

Loss of local control on curriculum and benchmark standards that will be too cumbersome to reach are only a few reasons a growing group of local residents give as reasons to stop implementing Common Core in Ohio and possibly the nation.

It is why Rose Stechschulte, a third grade teacher, will testify at the state capitol when hearings are started on proposed House Bill 237 that calls for a full repeal of Common Core in Ohio, according to members of a group against Common Core.

Glenn Karhoff, Glandorf, said he heard about the Common Core standards early last year that have been adopted for Ohio schools and began doing research.

“My research made me realize this is not good for kids,” Karhoff said. His concerns were shared by Gini Mack who had heard a presentation about Common Core.

“My mouth just dropped when I heard more about it,” she admitted. Then she saw Facebook comments by Karhoff and the two began meeting to discuss their concerns and what could be done.

The Common Core State Standards is an educational initiative in the United States that details what grades K-12 should know in English language arts and mathematics at the end of each grade. It has been adopted by Ohio and will be implemented in the schools during the 2014-15 school year.

“I think then our cause against Common Core started spreading by word of mouth,” Mack said. “And the number of people who came to our meetings increased.”

The group began getting scheduled on Putnam County School Boards to talk about their concerns.

They invited Heidi Huber to speak to residents about Common Core in Putnam County. Huber is the founder of Ohioans Against Common Core. She gave a presentation to a packed room at the Glandorf parish hall in April.

Glenn also started up a Facebook page, Putnam County Parents and Teachers Against Common Core Standards, in May 2013 to keep people updated on the progress of stopping Common Core.

Stephanie Stechschulte, a member of the group who works in education and has young children, spoke about proponents of common core saying individual school districts are responsible for choosing curricula based on the standards.

“The benchmarks set for the end of the year are so cumbersome to reach that you cannot deviate from this if you hope to pass the tests,” she said. “The local school boards don’t have control over the curriculum as a result.”

Stecchulte also said the “one size fits all”curriculum ignores the differences among classrooms and students. She also said it will take away the initiative from the teachers.

On the financial side, Lincoln Bramlage, Glandorf, said Common Core is a $7 billion train rolling down the tracks. He said the increased financial costs attached to Common Core is sending schools to fiscal cliffs.

Karhoff said when studying five year budgets of some area schools with the implementation of Common Core they are predicting they will run out of money.

“Common Core means new text books, new test books, and computers for all students since testing is scheduled to be done online.

“Im a mother, not a political person, Stechschulte said. “But this is a fight I feel I have to do for my kids. I don’t want my kids going through this.”

“We just want what is best for the schools,” said Michelle Doepker, Kalida, a member of the group.