Taft signs curriculum bill as last formal act as governor



The Ohio Core program will take effect for the class that's now in the fifth grade.
COLUMBUS (AP) -- Gov. Bob Taft performed the last formal public act of his administration Wednesday, signing legislation he made a priority that will bring a more rigorous curriculum to Ohio schools.
"This Ohio Core legislation is the result of a tremendous amount of hard work and discussion amongst all those committed to student success -- educators, business and community leaders, legislators and of course the families and students themselves," Taft said at a bill signing at Fairmoor Elementary School in Columbus.
Taft was joined at the event by the bill's Republican sponsors, state Sen. Randy Gardner of Bowling Green and state Rep. Arlene Setzer of Vandalia; Columbus schools Superintendent Gene Harris; and Ohio State University President Karen Holbrook.
The Ohio Core program takes effect for the graduating class of 2014, now in fifth grade, and affects the courses students must take to graduate and the entry standards for Ohio's public colleges and universities.
About the plan
The plan calls for high school students to complete more science and math in order to guarantee entry into Ohio's four-year public colleges and universities. A student still could earn a high school diploma without taking the core, but would need to opt out of the college-preparation courses.
Taft spokesman Mark Rickel said the governor, leaving because of term limits, has no other public events planned before his last day in office Sunday -- only some informal goodbyes as associates from his chief of staff and lieutenant governor to some of his young staffers move on to new jobs as his eight years in office end.
Rickel said a private tribute for Taft and his past and present staff members was held earlier in the month, and the governor wants to leave without fanfare. His office has already been packed and most of the artwork, furniture and other belongings that had been on display at the Governor's Mansion in Bexley have been returned to their owners, he said. Democrat Ted Strickland is sworn in as the new governor at 12:01 a.m. Monday. He will be the first Democrat to hold the office in 16 years.

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