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Cincinnati Public excited about new state standards

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The state of Cincinnati Public Schools is good but challenges are expected moving forward. That's the message today from Superintendent Mary Ronan.

CPS is transitioning this year to Ohio's new Common Core standards program.

“The standards are going to be more rigorous. So I think all of us will see a dip in test scores initially. We’re starting to use the new standards but we’re also having to cover the old standards because the old standards are being tested. It won’t be until the 2014-2015 school year before everyone transitions – both testing and assessment - into the new standards,” she says.

Ronan says Common Core focuses on covering fewer topics but more in depth.

The district plans to add reading specialists in elementary schools and beef up its focus on individual academics and college and career planning at the high school level. It will also use a $5.3 million grant from GE Aviation to help prepare teachers to implement the new standards.

Ronan also plugged the district's upcoming renewal levy on the November ballot, which she says won’t raise taxes but does account for 11 percent of the district’s operating budget.

Cincinnati Public Schools earned an 88.4 – its highest score ever – on the most recent Ohio Report Card and Ronan says the district is hoping that number will improve to around 90 once credit is given for its “value added” measures.

Students head back to class next Wednesday.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Prior to joining Cincinnati Public Radio, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She enjoys snow skiing, soccer and dogs.