Archive for Friday, May 31, 2013

Bill sought by opponents of Common Core standards before the Legislature

May 31, 2013


— Legislation that would put the brakes on Common Core education standards and proposed science standards was marching through the Legislature on Friday.

The state's top public school officials — Education Commissioner Diane DeBacker and State Board of Education Chairwoman Jana Shaver — opposed the bill, but on a voice vote a Republican majority of the Senate Ways and Means Committee recommended approval of the measure.

Ways and Means Chairman Ty Masterson, R-Andover, and state Sen. Steve Abrams, R-Arkansas City, who is chairman of the Senate Education Committee, said they had received numerous e-mails from people in opposition to Common Core standards.

"A pause," in implementing the standards "is not just prudent, but necessary," said Masterson.

But state Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, said the proposed legislation would burden school districts that were already implementing some of the standards.

State Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, said legislators didn't know what impact the legislation would have. "I'm not sure we understand what kind of chaos we might be creating," Kelly said.

The bill would set up an 11-member oversight committee made up of legislators that would review educational standards and make recommendations next year to the full Legislature on whether the standards should be implemented.

For Common Core standards that have already been implemented, the committee would recommend whether the standards should be continued.

Education Commissioner DeBacker said an oversight committee was unnecessary because it was the elected State Board of Education's job to approve education standards.

Education Board Chair Shaver asked state Masterson how the proposed committee would interact with the board, which has authority over supervising schools.

Masterson said the education board handles policy and the Legislature deals with funding.

The Common Core standards are academic standards developed by states through a project that was launched by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.

The State Board of Education adopted them as the official English language arts and math standards for Kansas in October 2010, renaming them the Kansas College and Career Ready standards. Teachers are already using them in classrooms in Lawrence and throughout the state.

DeBacker said all school districts have been implementing Common Core through hiring teachers, professional development, purchasing textbooks and changing local curriculum.

The bill would have no effect on the math and English language arts standards but would prohibit school districts from moving forward with history/government standards adopted in March, and new science standards that will be before for the board next month.

The last-minute move against Common Core and science standards was seen by some as a way to woo Tea Party-backed legislators to vote for a sales tax increase sought by Gov. Sam Brownback. A number of Tea Party affiliated groups have come out in opposition to Common Core.

The action came on the 98th day of the 2013 legislative session, which was only supposed to last 90 days, and which GOP leaders had earlier said would be finished in 80 days.


optimist 4 years, 10 months ago

"The last-minute move against the education standards was seen by some as a way to woo Tea Party-backed legislators..."

Who is some in the context of your statement Scott? It seems obvious that you are the “some” in the above statement. This is the insidious way that liberals in the press inject their own views into what should be objective reporting. Scott has created a boogie man to rile people up. I happen to have a different viewpoint on this issue than Scott Rothschild. The difference is I am not in a position to affect the debate the way he does here and I find that not only inappropriate but irresponsible. If the reporter wishes to share their opinions then the reporter should write an opinion. I for one have read Common Core Standards and various perspectives on them and drew my own conclusions. I've communicated them to elected representatives as is what we do in a representative republic.

My concerns are that Dr. James Milgram, the only mathematician on the validation committee and Dr. Sandra Stotsky a life long educator and chair of a university education department have both refused to sign off on the standards and articulated well thought out concerns. Dr. Stotsky is an advocate of standards but appears to take issue with the final Common Core standards. Dr. Milgram’s goes so far as to point to the politicization of the standards as one of his concerns but more importantly that the standards set out by Common Core are lower than standards already in existence. Their comments have indicated that there was a concerted effort by the committee to lessen the challenge with the new standards in order to ensure more children can meet the standards. While I'm hopeful that all those that contributed to Common Core were well meaning there is much concern that the goals have not been met with this program and more time needs to be taken to come up with better and I prefer multiple competing solutions.

I’ve said this before but it’s worth saying again. Common Core is just that; striving to make everyone “common”.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 10 months ago

I agree that it was a bit sloppy of Scott to resort to the common Dolphism of referring to an ill-defined "some" people, although given that his beat is covering the legislature and state government, I think it's a fair assumption that he was referring legislators and others involved in state government.

I am curious, though, with your obvious fandom of Dr. Milgram, would you support increasing school funding to the extent that would allow cranking up the math curriculum to the degree he advocates? Or do you believe that good, quality education can be provided for free by volunteers?

Jock Navels 4 years, 10 months ago

in the 13th century it was illegal in christendom to use or refer to zero...the dark ages, when the church ruled...huh?

Alyosha 4 years, 10 months ago

It's easy. You misunderstand it. Christianists agitate against Set Theory because they believe it to be an attack on their beliefs:

tomatogrower 4 years, 10 months ago

Wow. I learn something new everyday. I also am still amazed at the twisted logic of some people. Good Grief!!! It's math people!! Without math we'd still be living in grass huts, or maybe even caves!

chootspa 4 years, 10 months ago

In the same letter, he also called all religions "childish superstition." What's your point?

jafs 4 years, 10 months ago

That's unlikely.

Einstein believed in God.

srothschild 4 years, 10 months ago

Optimist: The `some' refers to other legislators, Republican and Democrat, who have been quoted in previous stories as saying there is a link between getting a vote on Common Core and winning votes for a sales tax increase. I should have been more clear.

Alyosha 4 years, 10 months ago

Then again, a "common" definition of the word "common" is "general" — so your last assertion falls fairly flat.

There is nothing wrong with having "general" core educational materials or standards or goals.

mreed 4 years, 10 months ago

Excellent comment optimist, and surprising to see here in the Peoples' Daily. I agree that this is a transparently biased, and even bigoted, report, dishonestly showing no regard for facts. Your concerns are shared by many, and most are not "some people" or "tea party members", they are well educated professionals. I only part ways with you as to the level of concern and description of the problems with these standards. It is not just that it's lowering standards, it's the lowering of "expectations" and the inclusion of political and social indoctrination materials. Some recommended texts sound more like Young Pioneers' training manuals than anything else. Literature and Writing for grade school such as this should literally frighten thinking parents and the public as a whole: It is not alarmist or reactionary to find these texts objectionable in the extreme. Parents and taxpayers in general should be made more aware of what lies beneath the misleading terms used to promote these standards and their recommended texts.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 10 months ago

Given that you just registered for this forum today, and that this is the only thread that you've posted on, I'm curious whether you're making similar comments on other newspaper forums on this same topic.

BTW, same question I posed to optimist-- are you willing to advocate for education expenditures that would truly allow high-quality education that Dr. Milgrim advocates for?

tomatogrower 4 years, 10 months ago

I watched part of this video. The speakers were aghast that students would be taught to detect the use of emotions in what they are reading. Gasp. How will they be controlled by fear, if they can detect that's an emotion, not necessarily a fact. How can you sell them things using ads that appeal to emotions, if they can detect that they are being manipulated by an appeal to emotion. Heads up. Our state standards have always tried to teach the skills of analyzing and writing persuasive text. It's also teaching critical thinking, not indoctrination. If they can detect the persuasive methods being used on them, by either the left or the right, they will be less likely to become radicals. Maybe you don't want your kids to learn critical thinking and just believe only things you indoctrinate them to. You can then teach them at home. Of course, don't be surprised if they eventually question you. It's a human thing whether it's taught or not.

Budgets_Smudgets 4 years, 10 months ago

Optimist is obviously a tea-party acolyte, who is up to date on the Koch/AFP talking points.

chootspa 4 years, 10 months ago

Doesn't everyone want their children's educational standards determined by a body of radicals so incompetent that they can't even pass a budget this year?

somebodynew 4 years, 10 months ago

"Masterson said the education board handles policy and the Legislature deals with funding."

One more time (with feeling) - You will do what WE say. WE have the power. WE control everything and everyone in this State. No one knows any better than us. It doesn't matter what your responsibility is, we tell you what to do.

Now, of course, these guys are ignoring the fact that the BOE has already studied this issue and made determinations based on that study, their committee will decide what is best. (After ALEC tells them what to think.)

mreed 4 years, 10 months ago

Somebodynew... Funny how you can approve of the BOE on this and yet have no respect for anything else they do, huh? Situational Support, like Situational Ethics, is a slimy, slimy thing to behold.

chootspa 4 years, 10 months ago

Astroturfing sock puppets with tea party flag decorated Facebook groups are also slimy things to behold. You have a point?

Maracas 4 years, 10 months ago

Current state government is out of control. Unfortunately, it's our own fault. We elected these idiots.

Tracy Rogers 4 years, 10 months ago

Sounds like we can get rid of every department that exists right now. Legislators think they can do it all, let em. We'll become the new Mississippi.

Lynn Grant 4 years, 10 months ago

From the way the Legislature and its leadership has done its job the last couple of years, how could we the people expect a sensible non-partisan outcome from a committee to study Common Core? Think redistricting last year, tax and budget bills this year and the large number of bills considered that are ridiculous. Let the duly elected Board of Education do their job!

Blackwidow 4 years, 10 months ago

How hard is it to research things before you form an opinion? I have researched this thoroughly. Common Core is designed as part of the communist agenda. Students graduate in math 2 year behind where they graduate now. Algebra will not even be introduced until high school. Assessments are designed to track data on students. Assessments ask personal family questions. Students are indoctrinated and dumbed down. Everyone should be calling and email legislatures to stop this curriculum.

tomatogrower 4 years, 10 months ago

Where did you get your information? What are your sources? If they are Tea Party emails, posts, and websites, then you need to do your research.

Blackwidow 4 years, 10 months ago

If you really care to know the truth, you will seek out some of this curriculum and look through it yourself. The Department of Education did have the assessments on their website, but took it down do to the backlash. You can easily find it. Ask a school kid to show you their textbook for English or Math this fall. This is not difficult to see, but many people do not want to believe it.

tomatogrower 4 years, 10 months ago

For some students middle school can be a place to introduce algebra, but for many they are still developing the abstract thinking that is required to understand algebra. They have been introducing algebra at younger and younger ages which has created frustration for those who are not yet developmentally ready yet, and creates a life long sense of failure when it comes to math. Many school already have advanced math classes in middle school for those students who are developmentally ready to move to algebra. This wouldn't change. And besides, I never had algebra until I was in high school, and it never held me back. I always earned A's in my college math classes.

GMom05 4 years, 10 months ago

Wow! Seriously, Blackwidow? Reaching a bit much, don't you think?

chootspa 4 years, 10 months ago

Researching the bottom of the whisky bottle, methinks.

Blackwidow 4 years, 10 months ago

Well, all I can say is this fall check out a students math or English book. Then again, don't be surprised if you hear that they are not allowed to bring them home. That is what they were doing with C-Scope in Texas. Parents were left in the dark. Do some research into C-Scope, which has just been removed from Texas schools because of it Communist nature. If you want the truth you will seek it out. But, most people want to make people look crazy, if they do not just shut up and be good little sheep. As a congressman recently told me, we wouldn't be in this mess if parents cared what their students were learning.

kansasteacher 4 years, 10 months ago

As a Kansas teacher, that is absolutely NOT what Common Core is. Why don't you observe a classroom where Common Core practices are being taught, and see the amazing things these students are doing. We are preparing them for college and their careers more than we ever have in the past! Why is this such a bad thing??? We are just trying to compete on a more global level!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 10 months ago

It appears that the primary objection that the creators of the video (and you?) see in the textbooks discussed is that it teaches kids to learn how to develop and express THEIR opinions effectively, rather than merely parroting the indoctrination they (and you?) want to shove down their throats.

Blackwidow 4 years, 10 months ago

It has only been toyed with until now. When it is fully implemented you will see. The assessments and curriculum is available for viewing by parents. Its not hard to see beyond the facade. You will find out soon enough. People do not want to believe this is happening, but it is. In fact, I have personally spoken with many members of the House and Senate, who know for a fact that Common Core is about Communist Indoctrination.

I know you think you are know all about this because you are a teacher. But, you have only seen a very small fragment of Common Core. You will understand soon enough.

chootspa 4 years, 10 months ago

Thanks, brand new poster, for that incredibly insightful and not at all ridiculous and weirdly paranoid sounding warning about the "communist agenda." Excuse me while I go pop some popcorn now.

midnightrider 4 years, 10 months ago

"How hard is it to research things before you form an opinion? I have researched this thoroughly."

From the CCSS Grade 6 Overview: • Apply and extend previous understandings of arithmetic to algebraic expressions. • Reason about and solve one-variable equations and inequalities. • Represent and analyze quantitative relationships between dependent and independent variables.

oldexbeat 4 years, 10 months ago

"Communist agenda" --- oh thank you -- I needed a huge laugh this morning and that is as funny as it gets. So nice to have that level of humor in the comments. Thanks again.

Blackwidow 4 years, 10 months ago

You won't be laughing when you see your child's math and english book, I assure you of that.

mreed 4 years, 10 months ago

Look up Young Pioneers and watch this. You live in town centered on higher eduction, so educate yourself so that you may reply intelligently, instead of childishly dismissive.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 10 months ago

The "young pioneers" were never taught to think for themselves and openly express opinions that ran counter to the party line.

Ironically, what you appear to advocate much more closely resembles a "Young Pioneer" approach to education (aka indoctrination) than the Common Core standards do.

chootspa 4 years, 10 months ago

The Common Core standards considers nonfiction works such as the Constitution to be great additions to the curriculum. So weird that they'd oppose kids reading the Constitution in class.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 10 months ago

They would also encourage students to consider critically who wrote the Constitution, and why, which is strictly verboten in Tea Party/ALEC/AFP circles.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 10 months ago

Yea-- "Liberty" University, Bob Jones University, Brigham Young University......

Shelley Bock 4 years, 10 months ago

I'm in agreement with you, Bozo. The video describes taking things which are relevant to a young student such as recess, parents and school and crafting a topic out of something they understand and can be creative. I see it as an effort to keep their interest and maintain their learning focus. I've been told that in order to keep young people's attention, they do better if they can relate to the topic. Does mreed want them to discuss the finer points of the US Constitution of which they have no understanding at the age of 6?

Last Saturday I was in Berlin and visited the DDR museum which clearly showed the corrupt policies of the East German government. Common Core curriculum bears no resemblance to the communist effort to standardize thinking along party lines and elimination of critical thought.

To label these standards as comparable to the teaching of the "Young Pioneers" is clearly myopic and paranoid. The detractors of science and education who insist on intelligent design rather than evolution, who debunk climate change even though 98% of the scientific literature says it is occurring, are the ones attacking the Common Core program. Their past advocacy does not increase their credibility.

oldexbeat 4 years, 10 months ago

DDR -- no paper in the country, but 16 million files on citizens. Free German Youth -- "Erich, Erich, Erich" -- what a place. The bank account of Honecker had 40 million DMarks in it, money paid by West German families to released East Germans relatives. Corruption all around. I stood, with student friends, graduates of the last year of DDR schools, in the bunker that was to protect them from an invasion from the West. Yup. That was to be their fear.

Speaking in whispers over a kitchen table at dinner every night. Radios turned to the lowest sound level and held against their ears in the early morning bathroom visit to hear the illegal news from the West radio stations. The fools that compare a national standard of science and math education to 'communism' have no freak'n idea of what they speak.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 10 months ago

Are you implying that Common Core standards ban stories and poems and fairy tales?

Michael LoBurgio 4 years, 10 months ago

Kansas Republicans want to raise your taxes.

Sounds crazy, right? It is, but it's also true.

Below is a list of Kansas House members (all Republican) who voted to raise taxes by $857 million on hardworking Kansans. It’s time to stop hiding the facts and face the truth. The tax plan that these public servants are trying to pass would raise taxes on lower- and middle-income Kansans while it would create even more tax breaks for the richest Kansans.

So how are taxes going up? Here is a breakdown of what this plan would mean for you:

Reduce itemized deductions such as charitable contributions and the home mortgage interest deduction.
Slash standard income tax deductions for families by almost one half, a move that will primarily harm low- and middle-income Kansas families.
Raise sales taxes from 5.7% to 6%.

You may be asking yourself: why do so many Kansas Republicans want to raise my taxes?

Here's why: for the past year Gov. Brownback and the Kansas GOP have worked tirelessly to give tax breaks to big business and millionaires. Now, they are working just as hard to raise your taxes so they can pay for those reckless tax breaks. Because of tax breaks for the rich, middle class Kansas families like yours will have to carry the burden and support our schools, prisons, and highways.

Gov. Brownback and Kansas Republicans are robbing working-class Kansans blind so billionaires don’t have to pay their fair share. It’s time we let them know we’ve had enough. Click on a name below to tell your House member why they should stop trying to raise taxes on Kansas families.

tomatogrower 4 years, 10 months ago

The Tea Party people politicize everything. They reject a comprehensive education plan created by educators, you know the people who specialize in educating students, which creates a working set of standards that would allow schools across the country to follow, so that when students moved, they wouldn't have to be ahead or behind the other students. The standards are even broad, so that teachers can add or subtract what they feel is needed at a certain time. Unlike the lockstep common standards used in Texas, where teachers all have to be on the same page on the same day. It is created by educators. And it is paired with programs to help the struggling student and the disabled students without slowing down the bright students. Is it a perfect plan? Probably not, but then nothing is perfect. At least this is a flexible plan, that doesn't rely on a legislature to make a law to change it, it relies on research about what is or is not working.

But all of the sudden it's "commie", "liberal", "nazi" indoctrination. How is learning math liberal or conservative? Do you choose your vegetables that way? Oooo, the tomato is red and that stands for commie, so I can't eat tomatoes. Get a grip people.

bearded_gnome 4 years, 10 months ago

suspect TG and others haven't read any of the proposed standards. I have read some of them myself.

not good.

what they do regarding history is shameful, bobliterating major points in american history for example.

excessive emphasis on making productive workers and almost no prep for students to become educated citizens.

we already have too many idiots walking around thinking: Judge Judy was nominated to the Supreme court; or, you can send the sequester to North Korea; or that republicans are to blame for the sequester when it was Obama's idea and he could've moed money around to lessen the impact if he'd chosen to.
these proposed standards would further weaken education in american government institutions.

*funny how "tea Party is used by posters and Scott to demonize when the term just refers to fellow american citizens who seek redress from their government. people, who by the way, are far better behaved than Occupy.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 10 months ago

Actually, what the standards really do is to encourage kids to be independent critical thinkers, so I can understand why the reactionary right is so thoroughly opposed to such heresy. After all, the only useful knowledge anyone can have was revealed at the creation of the earth 6000 years ago.

tomatogrower 4 years, 10 months ago

Could you point to a source that says anything in the history standards that you put in above? No Tea Party sources, please.

Pr0digy 4 years, 10 months ago

This includes fox news or conspiracy theory sites or anyother site with tin foil hat designs

tomatogrower 4 years, 10 months ago

Then they can home school their children and build their own roads. Try reading the constitution. The government is us. The money is ours. If they are too lazy to get off their duffs and participate in our government, then they aren't true citizens. And you haven't read the standards. They are very broad. What major points in history are they not using? Washington didn't lie about cutting down the cherry tree?

Scott Morgan 4 years, 10 months ago

Up to the early 1960s federal domination in education was unheard of. What was heard was the outstanding educational system we had in the USA.

How are we doing in 2013? Costs up, educational levels down?

palaytiasdreams 4 years, 10 months ago

Nobody has to choose between relying on the proponents of Common Core, or relying on the opponents of Common Core.

To find out what Common Core really is and does to education and to liberty, study for yourself. These are just a starter batch.

There are more!

These are .gov and .edu sources. Some of these are Utah-specific. For Kansas specific, do a related word search to easily find your own.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 10 months ago

Wow, all that lipstick and eyeliner is all I needed to win me over. Great link!!!!

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