Archive for Sunday, February 23, 2014

Editorial: Common core ruckus

Nothing derails a good argument faster than a closer examination of the facts.

February 23, 2014


The attack by some Kansas legislators on the Common Core standards adopted for public schools in the state includes two elements that appear to be all too prevalent in the current session.

The first is to shoot first and ask questions later. The main architect of the bill that would declare the Common Core standards “null and void” recently admitted he hadn’t actually read those standards. The main objection Willie Dove, R-Bonner Springs, has to the standards, however, is that they are part of a federal government mandate. That’s a common misconception, but, nonetheless, wrong. Development of the Common Core standards and the Next Generation Science Standards was a cooperative effort of education officials in the states. The standards, which are designed to prepare students for college and the workforce, have been adopted in most states and have the support of educators in Kansas and elsewhere.

The second characteristic of this measure is the Legislature’s desire to take over duties that are allocated in the state constitution to other government entities — in this case, the elected Kansas State Board of Education. Never mind the time and effort that state board members and Kansas Department of Education officials put into reviewing the Common Core standards and adapting them to the needs of Kansas students. Dove’s bill would simply throw those standards out and force the education department and board to start over with the assistance of a 19-member advisory council appointed by legislative leaders, the governor, the state school board and the Kansas Board of Regents. To give an idea of the power shift he envisions, legislative leaders would appoint eight members of that council; the state school board would appoint four.

A Wichita newspaper report quoted Dove as saying he has “no beef with the Board of Education. They’re elected officials. People elected them to do their job, and the people elected me to do my job. We just happen to be on opposite sides.”

It would be interesting to poll Dove’s constituents and see whether they think vetoing the curriculum decisions of the elected State Board of Education — without even reviewing the curriculum he is throwing out — is really part of his job description.

State education officials probably should have communicated better with Kansans about the goals and process involved with the Common Core standards. That’s part of their job. Part of a legislator’s job is to be fully informed on an issue before introducing legislation that takes extreme action based on largely unfounded fears. There are too many examples in the current session of legislators falling short in that duty.


Richard Heckler 4 years, 3 months ago

Are legislators actually qualified to make decisions on education? No. Is the Chamber of Commerce? No. These come from the same pie which is not a pie that has any education ingredients in the recipe.

Being a business person does not make for a qualified person. No way jose'.

This new rather poor example of a republican party take their leads on education from ALEC which is essence wants to privatize all education to make a profit. Yes they see a ton of tax dollars supporting education in general and that's their agenda.....put more tax dollars in their bank accounts.

So that should raise a lot of eyebrows.

If parents want to use private schools they are not hard to find. The public school enrollment numbers speak for themselves which say parents are good with public education.

In my mind is the ALEC and Third Way thinkers that portray public education as this evil institution that brings in a ton tax dollars that could be big profit for them. ALEC is Koch money and Third Way is Walton money of Wal-Mart.

ALEC eliminates the GOP from the GOP. Third Way is working to eliminate the democrats from the democratic party. Both are very right wing and indulge in the same agenda's. Deception and dishonesty are their strong points.,_Higher_Ed_Policy,_and_Teachers

Julius Nolan 4 years, 3 months ago

Willing to bet Dolph never saw this editorial before it was printed. If he had, he would have killed it and insisted on one supporting the bill and ranting in favor of it.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 3 months ago

No Child Left Behind and K-12 Inc were designed to produce negative results overall. These concepts originated from the same crowds that want to kill public education. Thus moving forward their agenda to close public schools in favor of industrial Charter Schools for PROFIT subsidized with the nations public education tax dollars. More fraud coming through the back door.

Common Core standards and the Next Generation Science Standards in addition to the new Blended Learning Approach could very likely make USD 497 among the top public education districts in the nation. Thank this current USD 497 school board and Rick Doll often.

Public education is the best bang for the tax buck.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 3 months ago

Meet the billionaire profiteers lurking behind closed doors waiting to pounce on those trillions of public school tax dollars.

Beator 4 years, 3 months ago

When public schooling starts teaching the Earth goes around the sun, I'll start taking "thinkprogess" seriously.... and just my guess, I bet all surveyed would know how to put a condom on a cucumber. Public school does teach that.

A quarter of Americans surveyed could not correctly answer that the Earth revolves around the sun and not the other way around, according to a report out Friday from the National Science Foundation.

Bob Smith 4 years, 3 months ago

The role of ALEC in the suppression of the Lollards has never been fully investigated.

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