Archive for Thursday, May 16, 2013

Budget provision would block state funding for Common Core standards

May 16, 2013


— The top Senate Republican budget negotiator on Thursday urged passage of a measure that would prohibit the expenditure of state funds to implement Common Core reading and math standards as well as new science standards in public schools.

Kansas formally adopted Common Core standards in 2010, saying they would help prepare students for college and careers. Numerous school districts throughout the state, including Lawrence, have spent the past two years getting teachers ready to implement them.

But recently, the standards have been attacked by several conservative groups.

State Sen. Ty Masterson, R-Andover, who is chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, said he believed a majority of senators opposed the Common Core standards.

"There is a general resistance to the federal government imposing on our schools," Masterson said. Common Core standards have been adopted by most states, and started as a project of the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers.

During a meeting of the House-Senate conference committee that is working on a state budget, Masterson proposed a measure that would block state funding for the next two fiscal years for Common Core standards and what are called Next Generation Science Standards.

State Sen. Laura Kelly, of Topeka and the ranking Democrat on the budget conference committee, criticized the measure proposed by Masterson.

"I don't know why my colleagues keep throwing our education system back toward the Stone Age," Kelly said.

Mark Tallman, a lobbyist for the Kansas Association of School Boards, said that many districts are already implementing Common Core standards. "This just leaves districts kind of adrift as to what they're actually supposed to be doing," he said.

On the science standards, Kansas was among 26 states that took a lead role in drafting them. But some have criticized early drafts of the standards, saying that they promote evolution.


deec 5 years ago

"... saying that they promote evolution." OMG!!! Science standards that promote, you know, science. Hide the kiddies!!!!

Frank A Janzen 5 years ago

"...promote evolution" ? I don't think you can "promote" evolution, it just is. Maybe that should be "...promote teaching evolution in schools."

chootspa 5 years ago

Everyone knows that science class is where you teach religion.

Liberty275 5 years ago

I like science. And standards, I like those too. I like the same standards you do although you are probably to my right on most of them.

We are in agreement then.

But tell me, isn't teaching in public schiool anything that contradicts a person's religion a violation of the first amendment?

What if they were teaching your kids that the world is 6000 years old? Would that not be an equal violation?

jafs 5 years ago


How would teaching science violate the 1st amendment?

true_patriot 5 years ago

How medieval are things going to have to get before Kansans wake up and quit tolerating wasting our taxpayer's investments in so much nonsense when there are serious and critical problems to be solved. Unbelievable.

chootspa 5 years ago

As long as 300 religious fanatics, home schoolers, and world government conspiracy nuts with a Facebook group can send people to testify at public meetings and call their representatives, we're going to have the crazies ruling the state.

The only way to end this is to have everyone call their reps and say that this is totally unacceptable. Call reps from other areas, and tell them it's unacceptable. Unless we're passionate about reasonable, the people passionate about unreasonable are going to win.

somebodynew 5 years ago

chootspa - I understand your point, but you are forgetting one thing. You have to have reps that CARE what actual people say. With this group, unless you spout "Christian", ALEC, or C of C, they won't listen. (Oh, unless you can somehow tie it to carrying a weapon.)

chootspa 5 years ago

Very true. It's a broken system all around.

tomatogrower 5 years ago

And if you live in Lawrence you already have someone who is going to vote pro education.

chootspa 5 years ago

Exactly. It's awesome to be well represented, but not so awesome when the rest of the state gets the best radicals Koch money can buy.

question4u 5 years ago

The College Board states the following: "The College Board will continue to invest — and is committed to building deeper alignment — to ensure the SAT reflects the key components of the CCSS."

So, our extremist, nutcase legislators want to put Kansas students at a disadvantage when they take the SAT, the principal college entrance exam. The Common Core was developed by STATES, including Kansas, to help students excel in reading, math, and science. Rejection of the Common Core, especially after representatives from Kansas helped to create it, would be so blindly ignorant that it would stigmatize not only every graduate of Kansas schools but every resident of Kansas. This is the stuff that Kansas stereotypes are made of. How do these people even tie their shoes?

tomatogrower 5 years ago

Double like. These are high standards. But the extremists in Kansas want schools to fail, so one of their buddies can earn a profit from it. No rich person earns a profit from public schools and in their fascist minds, that's just not right. Corporations should run and own everything.

Thomas Christie 5 years ago

What in the hell is wrong with this state?

Greg Cooper 5 years ago

What is wrong is easy to see: the takeover of the moderate Republican Party that has stood Kansas so well historically by the Neo-Republicans now in power. The corollary to that is the voters of Kansas who have taken no time to truly understand the "ideological" pablum handed out by that party, and have blindly followed talking points that promote fear and superstition.

oldexbeat 5 years ago

exactly. cult takes over -- brownbackistan rules with their weird religion -- state drops in the hell hole left by the (not in scienceless kansas) salt pits.

parrothead8 5 years ago

Masterson could have just stopped at, "There is a general resistance to the federal government." Um, hello? THE STATES collaborated on the Common Core standards.

average 5 years ago

"Collaborated" is just another word for "Communism-ated", and I don't need no dadgum College Board or college degree to tell me that.

chootspa 5 years ago

Oh, but I heard it's a slippery slope from "states worked together for more reasonable education standards" and the antichrist taking over the one world government where children will be forced to learn about Darwin while performing satanic rituals conducted by the Illuminati. Or something. Mostly my sources are people that aren't even sending their kids to public schools, but I'm sure they're totally not making up hyperbolic conspiracy claims.

somebodynew 5 years ago

Does NOTHING stop these idiots ??? (or the people who vote for them)

Greg Cooper 5 years ago

Yes! The vast hordes of people who vote in Kansas.

Oops, I forgot.................................

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

"There is a general resistance to the federal government imposing on our schools,"

No, this is just more ideologically driven drivel and holding of breath in childish tantrums because willful ignorance never produces good policy. Sadly, that's what the Republican Party, particularly in Kansas, has devolved to.

arch007bak 5 years ago

I wonder how many of these 'legislators' that were in office at the time took issue with the big bad federal government imposing standards when it was No Child Left Behind.

JayhawkFan1985 5 years ago

On an island of blind men, a one eyed man rules. Kansas is an island of blind men. brownbackward as you think...

arch007bak 5 years ago

I've tried to find out how much $ the state receives from the federal government for education, but I guess I'm not smart enough to find a clear answer. From what I can find, it seems to be nearly $400 million per year as of last year.

If the state doesn't want to follow standards set by the federal government, then why should the federal government provide funding? Think of it this way, if you want to open a McDonald's or some other franchise, you either follow their standards or rules or you can forget it.

optimist 5 years ago

The federal government has no Constitutional authority with regard to education. It is specifically relegated to the states to administer. For the federal government to take our tax dollars out of the state, move it around in the federal bureaucracy and then dangle in front of us with the caveat that we give up state control of education is blatant disregard of the Constitution. We should all be appalled by it whether we agree with what the federal government is trying to achieve or not and whether it is a Republican or Democrat in power.

pittstatebb 5 years ago

And yet, all that you have written has is not relevant to Common Core State Standards. These are not Federal Government standards. No matter how some people wish it, these standards were developed by a coalition of states. The attempt to not allow schools to spend their money as they see fit it the EXACT same issue as the Federal government not allowing states to spend their money as they see fit. Either we have local control of education in this state or we do not. This bill should not pass constitutional muster.

tomatogrower 5 years ago

Apparently when you try to give them facts these radicals just put their hands of their ears and sing la la la la.

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

The focus of the USA should be:

--- Removing these radical rt wing elements from state government

--- Reining in the CIA and military spending.

--- Jobs jobs jobs and more jobs.

--- Medicare Single Payer which would create an estimated 2.4 million jobs.

--- Get the massive highway rehab underway.

--- Bring on cleaner energy.

--- Replacing the anti american rt wing GOP with the Green Party.

--- Electing a whole lot of new democrats.

--- Funding education to the max = new business and new employment.

--- Break up the big banks.

--- Put the home loan criminals in jail!!!!!!

Frederic Gutknecht IV 5 years ago

We must get back to the fundamental, illiterate beauty of life.

Education has done nothing for us. How can you expect us to control society when our peons are being educated? The poor have always been our plow horses, soldiers and labor expansion units. We need them uneducated, desperate and pregnant.

If education must be provided, let it be provided by schoolmarms with a proper religious perspective and heavy rulers. Putting the fear of holy retribution into the hearts of rebellious youth units needs to begin at an early age and be encouraged by governmental initiatives, corporal punishment and generally sanctioned political thuggery.

Keep the peasants down on the corporate farms, working for controlled wage packages designed to allow for the production, and their consumption, of the fine, healthful foods that their good work provides.

  • Richard Weedygrowth (Imaginary Chairman of the Brownbeak Society)

Paul R Getto 5 years ago

But recently, the standards have been attacked by several conservative groups.

CONSERVATIVE? Do not make me laugh and spill my coffee.

verity 5 years ago

I think that word does not mean what they think it means.

oldexbeat 5 years ago

At least the districts that put the Common Core in place should have a much easier time getting good SAT scores for their students. But, then the others don't want their children educated much, so I guess that even supporting college will become optional.

texburgh 5 years ago

There are two reasons for this move. 1. The standards - even though they were created by the Governors and Chief State School Officers - will improve schools while Obama is in office. Kansas cannot allow a Democrat to get credit for that even if the Democrat had nothing to do with the improvement. 2. Remember when Rick Santorum criticized Obama for saying every child ought to have the opportunity to go to college? "He wants everyone to go to college. What a snob!" You see, education is "elitist." We need to become a nation of undereducated teapublicans willing to vote against our own economic self-interest.

This budget, if this proviso is approved, will dismantle education in Kansas in three ways. First it will stop the implementation of career and college readiness standards aligned with the other states and college entrance; then it will flat fund K-12 education which is essentially a funding cut since inflation will eat away at the buying power of that flat funding; and finally it will reduce funding for post-secondary education forcing up tuition and pricing more students out of our community colleges, tech colleges, and universities.

Brownback and the 2013 legislature represent the most anti-education collective in the history of this state.

verity 5 years ago

The devil is making them do it. They are being tempted beyond their capacity to resist. Pray harder, boys, pray harder. You can resist the temptation to destroy Kansas if you just pray hard enough.

JohnBrown 5 years ago

Another example of the "Don't Tread On Me" crowd treading on everyone else.

These Know-Nothings are trying to get the rest of us to know nothing too.

Unless good people show up at voting time these morons will continue to run this state into the ground.


chootspa 5 years ago

Exactly. I'm tired of home schoolers trying to ruin public education for everyone else.

William Weissbeck 5 years ago

Indiana did the same thing, after the local schools have already spend resources to to the preliminary work. I thought it was only the Army that dug ditches and then filled them in. Conservatives waste so much time hunting imaginary bogeymen. We live in a very mobile society. Children seldom finish school in the same school district that they started in. Many move to and from other states. The idea is to have as much as possible a universal model, so that students are learning pretty much the same things at the same grade level. I've sat in on school board meetings when this stuff is discussed (boring!). Hardly political. In many ways it's simply too much micro managing. But then, just like MBA's, what's the point of Ph.D.'s in Education if they don't have something to do? Far better them them than a bunch of legislators.

optimist 5 years ago

More like Common to the Core. Don’t let our children be common anything. Kansas and in particular Lawrence should strive to develop the best, most cost effective education system we can for our children. I want our community to be what other communities strive to be. This "standard" will result in administrative complacency, more bureaucracy and destroy what little competition is left in education. Education benefits from 50 states and local communities trying different approaches in their drive to do it better. If common core is a failure how will we know? The federal government will essentially mandate what is taught in every school in the nation by way of controlling education funding. This gives too much control to the feds. We should all be concerned because the "standards" can change with the political winds. I am equally opposed to Obama dictating what my kids learn and how they learn it as I was Bush or whoever the next President will be. No child left behind was a well intentioned waste of money. I think it did more to harm education than help and I think Common Core being even more politically driven will do even more harm. We should hold the line; and then beat back the federal government’s intrusion into the States authority over education. I know many people dislike Brownback’s positions on education and that is fine but I feel as though we have far more influence to effect change in our child’s education the closer it is to our communities. Keep education local.

chootspa 5 years ago

You do realize that no state had to lower their standards in order to adopt common core, and that schools are free to adopt more stringent standards on top of it? You also realize that Kansas was an early participant in the creation of the common core standards? And that it wasn't a federal dictate and the states opting out are not being punished for doing so?

Why should a kid at the top of his class in Mississippi end up being behind when they move to Massachusetts? Why is that a good thing? I just don't get it.

optimist 5 years ago

That is flat false. At least two members of the Common Core Validation Committee have refused to sign-off on the so called "standards" because of concerns about adequacy ( In addition there are law suits currently underway pertaining to the invasive nature of the data (longitudinal data system) that will be collected on each child from their first day in a classroom through adulthood including their post education careers. The data collected goes far beyond just that which is specifically education related. The suits surround wording in the original program that grants the Department of Education sole authority over what data is compiled, how it is controlled and who has access across any governmental agency and private individuals or companies. This is too big brother but this is what government does. By its nature it will continue to grow whether it is by Republicans or Democrats. The political class in the country has effectively distracted us by dividing us. If we truly want to value our liberty we must be united against the expansion of government which is in conflict with said liberty.

chootspa 5 years ago

No state had to lower their standards. Two early members of the committee feel that the standards should be even more rigorous and/or emphasize different things. The two statements are not mutually exclusive. Therefore, you have not proven the first statement to be false. You do realize that Common Core of Data is different than Common Core State Standards, right? Oh right, you don't.

pittstatebb 5 years ago

You really need to get non-biased information about the common core standards. Each state may add up to 15% of additional standards if they feel they need additional standards. Kansas was making recommendations along the way to the standards writing group of what they wanted to see added to the documents. In each case, these suggestions were incorporated. Kansas saw no need to add additional standards.

When you compare these standards to the state's previous standards, I think you will find an emphasis on reasoning, problem solving, and communication (both in math and english). The old standards emphasis was more placed on fact recall. If you think these standards are going to somehow lower the academic achievement of the students in Lawrence, then you must be reading a different set of standards than I have.

Greg Cooper 5 years ago

Perhaps, no, you should read the actual Common Core curriculuum explanation before you go off on your tangent. The Feds had nothing to do with the making of these standards. Rather, as you wish to ignore, the states who really cared about education got together and formulated standards that, with the input of both politicians (governors) and educators (state education heads), they deemed sbest for the kids.

tomatogrower 5 years ago

This is not a federal mandate. It was created by the states. What part of this do you not understand? No Child Left Behind was a federal mandate created when your hero Bush was in office. This is not a federal program.

oldexbeat 5 years ago

Oh gee. You would rather have Connie Morris types decide what science education is than that NSF? Really? That's dumb.

Bridgett Walthall 5 years ago

I'm tellin alla yall, it's sabotage.

conservatives want privatized education, but they can't just shut down the public school system, so for the past however many years, they just keep effing with it, trying to dismantle the system, bit by bit, until the schools are so bad that parents give up and go the private route, and eventually they will achieve their goal: no more public education.

sciencegeek 5 years ago


You have summed up the intent of this crowd perfectly. They do not believe in public education and are killing it with a thousand cuts. Private education is available to the only ones who need to be educated--the financial elite who can afford it.

The John Birch Society, whose founders include the father of our current Koch brothers, believe that the government should provide roads, armies and nothing else. Those with means are superior to those without, so only their needs are important. "Common Core" might be of benefit to the common folk, and their benefit is a drain on the rich, so it is of no benefit.

The mind-numbing thing about this is that the common folk are participating in their own destruction.

Lura72 5 years ago

So Common Core created by the National Governors' Association is Horrible but NCLB behind (no comment on creation is the Wonderful?) Where was the outrage when schools, teachers, kids were pounded on the head with NCLB? NCLB is the most horrific educational law ever to come out of DC. WHERE WAS THE OUTRAGE OVER THE FEDS REQUIRING NCLB?


Frederic Gutknecht IV 5 years ago

I don't imagine that anyone believed that NCLB was anything but foolishness...unless they FAILED to recognize their own teaching to the test is teaching to cheat.

tomatogrower 5 years ago

I'm just not sure why teaching to the test is a bad thing. Would it be fair to test a child on division, if he/she has only just learned to multiply? Putting high stakes on test results will lead to cheating of course, but why test someone over something they have not been taught. The Common Core standards set up common goals in learning and seek to test those objectives. Schools can use whatever teaching methods they want to impart this knowledge to kids, but you have to know what your goals are first. Teachers don't just randomly teach stuff. They decide, or the district decides what the student will know and/or be able to do when they are finished with a course. They you plan how to teach them the skills needed to reach that goal. That's the problem with politicians trying to run schools. They don't understand the basic concepts of teaching.

chootspa 5 years ago

Exactly. People should be taught to the test, in that the test should measure what has been taught. Tests need not be bubble blanks and silly "pineapples have no arms" affairs. You can test a child by observing them to make sure that they've mastered the first set of objectives before moving on to the next lesson.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 5 years ago

I'm not saying that a core of knowledge is a bad thing or a bad thing to desire. I am saying that we need to think about what undesirable consequences arise from "teaching to the test".

grandnanny 5 years ago

Wow. Where did you get this information? The Common Core came from a group of states getting together to make sure that all kids were being prepared for higher education. Nothing keeps schools from developing more rigorous requirements. The federal government had nothing to do with the Common Core and money from the feds is not being given or withheld because of this curriculum. It is time that education be made more consistent throughout the country as children move from district to district, state to state. Why don't you want our children to be on the same footing as kids in other states? Or do you just want our kids to be like those in Louisiana who are learning that humans and dinosaurs shared the planet at the same time. Luckily for Louisiana kids, a judge struck down their voucher program so the State won't be paying for kids to learn creationism in science class.

jafs 5 years ago

I agree generally, but I've read that states that don't implement the CC don't get Race to the Top federal money.

pittstatebb 5 years ago

You know google is your friend. It would have taken about ten seconds to find out that states must adopt "standards and assessments that prepare students to succeed in college and the workplace and compete in the global economy". Notice nowhere was Common Core referenced. Kansas did implement CCSS in October of 2010. Kansas did not receive any RTTT money. I would kindly suggest you read more.

jafs 5 years ago

Well, from my ten second google search, I found that "adopting common standards (from the CCSS)" is in fact one section of the criteria for RTTT funding.

It has many other sections as well, and it's a complex project. So it may be possible for states to adopt those and not get funding, or to not adopt them and get funding.

Each section has a certain number of points, and the total is 500 if a state does all of the enumerated things.

jafs 5 years ago

I resent being linked with an amorphous "them" that generally refers to people with whom I have nothing in common.

chootspa 5 years ago

Not true. It was one optional path toward Race to the Top, but not the only path. States that didn't move towards CC (all five of them) were not punished for it.

grandnanny 5 years ago

Teachers knew that NCLB was a flawed system. We called it NTLS for "no teacher left standing." NCLB violated everthing we learned in our testing and measurement classes. But we were never asked. We were told to do it and that is what we did knowing full well that all schools would eventually fail. Even with countless weeks spent teaching to the test, 100% of our students will never reach proficiency. The only value of NCLB was to get people talking and working together to come up with something better. The Common Core resulted from those talks.

jafs 5 years ago

Why can't 100% of students reach proficiency (other than learning disabled, etc.)?

tomatogrower 5 years ago

Students whose parents are dirtbag druggies, students who are rebellious from day one. Besides, NCLB required all students, including those who are learning disabled to reach proficiency.

jafs 5 years ago

Proficiency isn't excellence.

I know about NCLB - I just question the idea that we can't teach all kids who don't have those sorts of problems to at least be proficient.

jhawkinsf 5 years ago

You can't teach what somebody doesn't want to know.

chootspa 5 years ago

You can't teach an unwilling student. Even in Finland, they don't reach 100% proficiency.

Bryan Anderson 5 years ago

Kansas was on the coalition that crafted the Common Core. Kansas had adapted them to our state by adding 15% state specific standards for the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards. They are standards more rigorous than our existing state state standards, and will help our kids to be critical thinkers who are able to access information on their own. I should know, because I'm a teacher, and have worked extensively with both. I'm tired of people with no knowledge of pedagogy or education trying to make politically motivated decisions that will be disastrous for the future of our state.

tomatogrower 5 years ago

Thank you. Great post. You know what the critics are going to say though. "I have a right to my opinion." Even though their opinion is based on a lie. They don't know the difference between fact and opinion.

Gary Denning 5 years ago

Of almost as much interest as the debate above is the way some far right legislators have proposed the statutory language prohibiting implementation of College and Career Ready Standards (Is anybody calling it Common Core anymore?): They couldn't get the language through the Education Committee so they try to sneak it in through the conference committee on budget. That way 2 R Senators and 2 R House members can add it to the budget and the rest of the legislature will have to vote thumbs up or thumbs down on the whole thing. There is no way that I know of that the legislature can amend something out of a change coming from a conference committee.

So this thing can now pass without full review and debate by the legislative committees tasked with oversight of education. This isn't the first time this maneuver has ever happened, but it smelled badly EVERY time it happened.

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