www.mozilla.com Weather Central
Voices
Headlines

Farmers and property taxes -3/3/2015, 9:51 AM

What's next after Turnaround Day? -3/3/2015, 9:51 AM

Giuliani, once heroic, now simply foolish -3/2/2015, 9:34 AM

Money: The first primary -3/2/2015, 9:33 AM

Kansas' fate is more tragic than comic -3/1/2015, 12:43 PM

Tweeting -- and setting nation's 'chat agenda' -3/1/2015, 12:43 PM

Flying Hays, again -3/1/2015, 12:43 PM

The cancer of multiculturalism -2/27/2015, 9:14 AM

Supreme Court justice selection -2/27/2015, 9:14 AM

Welcome to Hays -2/27/2015, 9:14 AM

Sentencing reforms make us smarter on crime -2/26/2015, 9:23 AM

Presidential candidates -2/26/2015, 9:23 AM

Kochs and unions -2/26/2015, 9:23 AM

A future of guns -2/25/2015, 9:43 AM

Lesser prairie chicken -2/25/2015, 9:42 AM

Radical Islam -2/25/2015, 9:42 AM

Agriculture can do the job -2/25/2015, 9:42 AM

Brownback's first date OK -2/24/2015, 8:59 AM

Institutional racism? -2/24/2015, 8:50 AM

Continuing to march -2/24/2015, 8:50 AM

Going without meat -2/23/2015, 9:55 AM

Toward a transhuman future? -2/23/2015, 9:55 AM

Schools still struggle with religion -2/23/2015, 9:55 AM

Sacking the school finance formula -2/22/2015, 5:45 PM

Beheadings and Bill O'Reilly -2/22/2015, 5:45 PM

-2/20/2015, 10:00 AM

Kansas the Fruitcake State -2/20/2015, 9:59 AM

We know the drill -2/20/2015, 9:59 AM

The credit hour is not dead -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

Picking judges -2/19/2015, 10:13 AM

No gatekeepers -2/19/2015, 10:12 AM

Drone warfare -2/18/2015, 9:46 AM

Fire remains vital management tool -2/18/2015, 9:46 AM

Moore stands on the wrong side of history -2/18/2015, 9:46 AM

School board elections -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Supporting Washington -2/17/2015, 10:27 AM

Saving Washington -2/17/2015, 10:26 AM

Free tuition -2/17/2015, 10:26 AM

Gov. Brownback outlines education allotments -2/16/2015, 9:22 AM

The new 'normal' family? -2/16/2015, 9:22 AM

What's best for education -2/16/2015, 9:22 AM

Tourism sparks Kansas economy -2/16/2015, 9:22 AM

Worry about what's important -2/15/2015, 4:15 PM

You can't make this up, and, well, you shouldn't -2/15/2015, 4:15 PM

Unequal Kansas -2/15/2015, 4:15 PM

Fairness and justice -2/13/2015, 9:44 AM

Overcriminalization of America -2/13/2015, 12:50 PM

Reconsider repurposing -2/12/2015, 9:45 AM

Secretary of fraud -2/12/2015, 9:45 AM

Spontaneous order -2/12/2015, 9:45 AM

Elementary 'efficiencies' -2/12/2015, 9:45 AM

Gift of gab? -2/11/2015, 10:04 AM

Gambling with KPERS -2/11/2015, 9:55 AM

Out of jail, but not yet free -2/11/2015, 9:54 AM

No eggs for breakfast? -2/11/2015, 9:54 AM

Consequences of your vaccination decision -2/10/2015, 9:11 AM

What's in a name -2/10/2015, 9:11 AM

Measles outbreak -2/10/2015, 9:11 AM

Mental disability is not a fad -2/9/2015, 9:12 AM

New genes: angels or demons? -2/9/2015, 9:12 AM

'Can't anybody play this game?' -2/8/2015, 4:43 PM

Vaccines, science and the limits of freedom -2/8/2015, 4:43 PM

Tourney moving -2/8/2015, 6:34 PM

Tragic school stories -2/6/2015, 10:02 AM

Social Darwinist 'Christianity' -- Chapter 4 -2/6/2015, 10:02 AM

Fiscal insanity -2/5/2015, 9:45 AM

Parasites all around -2/5/2015, 9:45 AM

Bigger dictionaries -2/5/2015, 9:45 AM

Something obscene about civil asset forfeitures -2/4/2015, 10:05 AM

Feeding children -2/4/2015, 10:05 AM

Stop fowl play -2/4/2015, 10:04 AM

The 'Kansas Experiment' -2/3/2015, 9:48 AM

Free college -2/3/2015, 9:48 AM

Gun rights -2/3/2015, 9:48 AM

Clearly, it's still a mess -2/3/2015, 9:48 AM

Public business -2/3/2015, 9:48 AM

The governor's budget -2/2/2015, 9:14 AM

Committee hearings ongoing -2/2/2015, 9:13 AM

Pontiff wrong on freedom of expression -2/2/2015, 9:12 AM

Indiana's 'JustIn' thankfully on the way out -2/2/2015, 9:12 AM

Coming home in an unexpected manner -2/1/2015, 2:17 PM

The myth of the monolith -2/1/2015, 2:17 PM

Gifted students -2/1/2015, 2:17 PM

Defense against demagogues -1/30/2015, 9:44 AM

Kansas is at risk -1/30/2015, 9:44 AM

Football injuries -1/30/2015, 9:44 AM

A note on primitivism -1/29/2015, 9:55 AM

Owning ideas -1/29/2015, 9:55 AM

There's more -1/29/2015, 9:55 AM

Kansas' birthday -1/29/2015, 9:55 AM

Back to the future, locked and loaded -1/28/2015, 9:29 AM

Compromise -- make it happen -1/28/2015, 9:29 AM

Faith v. facts -1/28/2015, 9:29 AM

Counting on Les -1/27/2015, 9:22 AM

Building bills in the Legislature -1/27/2015, 9:22 AM

Tale of the tree -1/27/2015, 9:22 AM

Seismic activity -1/27/2015, 9:22 AM

Where are the good guys? -1/27/2015, 9:21 AM

Brownback's budget -1/26/2015, 9:59 AM

Committee meetings begin -1/26/2015, 9:50 AM

myTown Calendar

SPOTLIGHT
[var top_story_head]

Common Core

Published on -3/8/2013, 10:23 AM

Printer-friendly version
E-Mail This Story

Critics long have bemoaned the quality of public education in America. Educators likely have been hearing about it since the day we left the one-room schoolhouse behind and began offering more than the three R's, although critiques have become more pronounced in recent decades.

U.S. students fare poorly when compared with other countries. Universities here say incoming freshmen simply aren't as prepared as they need be. Businesses complain first-time employees are not equipped with the required basic skills. And nobody appeared to like the No Child Left Behind mandate from the federal government.

So the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers helped coordinate states around the nation to develop a common core of state K-12 English language arts and mathematics standards. Not a curriculum teachers are forced to follow, but a structure that emphasizes deeper critical thinking that better prepares students for college and careers. Local school boards would have ultimate control, teachers would be allowed to be creative once again, and students would be the biggest beneficiaries.

The research-based rigor proved so attractive to educators, no less than 46 states have signed on. Kansas adopted the concept in 2010, and schools already are transitioning to the Common Core State Standards Initiative. New assessments are to be fully implemented by 2015.

Enter the Kansas Legislature. Fed anti-President Barack Obama rhetoric by the Kansas Policy Institute in Wichita and the Foundation for Educational Choice in Indiana, the House Education Committee introduced a bill this session that would prohibit districts from using Common Core standards or spending any money on them.

Instead, House Bill 2289 would force the Kansas State Board of Education to "establish curriculum standards which reflect high academic standards for Kansas eduction in the core academic areas." The proposed law bill goes on to say: "No curriculum standards ... shall include the set of educational curriculum standards for grades kindergarten through 12 established by the common core state standards initiative."

A fiscal note attached to the bill suggests revising the standards would cost at least $9 million, and that's without validating the standards and developing test forms.

In essence the Education Committee, whose members include Rep. Sue Boldra, R-Hays, is instructing the state to do precisely what it's been doing for the past few years. Just ensure it's not called Common Core, and avoid all of the commonsense standards almost everybody in the nation believes is the best route to pursue.

The problem, apparently, is that both Obama and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan are amongst that majority. Neither had a hand in developing the standards, but they have endorsed Common Core. And that's enough to make it bad.

We were contacted by a local teacher who was at the recent Governmental Relations Workshop in Topeka sponsored by the Council of Superintendents and the Kansas Association of School Boards. This educator will remain anonymous, because we're fully aware of the retaliatory nature of those in charge inside the Statehouse.

The teacher was talking with Sen. Steve Abrams, R-Arkansas City, who is chair of the Senate Education Committee as well as vice-chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee's education subcommittee. Abrams said both he and the governor do not like the Common Core standards. Not because he read them or even knew how they were developed, but because "that Obama and that Duncan endorsed them."

Unfortunately, such a mindset is what passes for legislative leadership at this point in time. We would beg Rep. Boldra, herself a former educator, to explain to fellow members what Common Core actually will do for students. To undo all the work already accomplished by teachers and superintendents throughout Kansas and the rest of the nation would be a waste of time and money -- and a slap in the face of all the professionals involved.

To rub salt in the wound by then instructing these same professional educators to do all the same work but devise something less stellar is beyond the pale. Kansas children deserve better from their elders.

Editorial by Patrick Lowry

plowry@dailynews.net

digg delicious facebook stumbleupon google Newsvine
More News and Photos

Associated Press Videos