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.


palaytiasdreams 10 months, 2 weeks 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.


10 months, 2 weeks ago

The sole purpose of the legislation is as the article says, to woo people of the party of the teabag back to the "proper" conservative camp, pure and simple.

@mreed. Your video is from a group / person advocating the end of compulsory education. That in and of itself throws your evidence in the trash IMHO. Further, Oak Norton heads the website and is a critic of the national Common Core standards. The video script reads as exactly that, a slanted, biased script. Use something else next time, please.

It's shameful that our legislature (for want of a better word) is doing several things. They want to politicize education out of fear. They want to wrest education decisions away from the elected Stated Board of Education. They want to destroy good work done by school districts across the state (in concert with about 40 other states) out of manufactured fear. And most importantly, they want to do this with the sole purpose of bringing votes of those who wear teabags on their hats back to the republican fold. In other words, they're running scared because the only weapon they have now is fear as they've thrown away critical thinking and compromise in the same manner that Oak Park advocates.

As a final note, the video you post as evidence does little more than show that the English and Literature standards are engaging children in critical thinking. Go play fear monger elsewhere.


bearded_gnome 10 months, 2 weeks 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.


tomatogrower 10 months, 2 weeks 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.


Michael LoBurgio 10 months, 2 weeks 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.


oldexbeat 10 months, 2 weeks 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 10 months, 2 weeks 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.


Nani700 10 months, 2 weeks 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!


Tracy Rogers 10 months, 2 weeks 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.


Maracas 10 months, 2 weeks ago

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


somebodynew 10 months, 2 weeks 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.)


chootspa 10 months, 2 weeks 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?


optimist 10 months, 2 weeks 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”.


kansas_cynic 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Common sense left when the current GOP Tea Party legislators arrived there.


Bill Thompson 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Common sense has left the building!


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