Kan. Common Core foe: Get feds out of education
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An eastern Kansas Republican who is the main proponent of a House measure that would nullify Common Core reading and math standards in the state admits he hasn't read what's in them.
Rep. Willie Dove said told the Lawrence Journal-World (http://bit.ly/1f7EIbN ) that the real impetus for House Bill 2621 is his belief that the federal government shouldn't be involved in education. It also would nullify recently adopted Next Generation Science Standards and prohibit school districts from administering any tests aligned to those standards —
"The Common Core standards, I do believe, are not addressing the problems of the children," said Dove, of Bonner Springs. "When (No Child Left Behind) came along, that told me that individuals were teaching to the test. Now it seems the Common Core is just a replication of that in another format."
Dove serves on the House Education Committee, which on Wednesday will conduct a hearing on the bill. Leaders in both chambers say the measure isn't likely to go anywhere this year.
"I don't know if this year it's got enough votes to come out of committee," House Speaker Ray Merrick, a Stillwell Republican, said Friday. "The longer that thing doesn't come to a vote, the less opportunity it's going to be to change anything."
The bill would set up a 19-member Advisory Council on Curriculum Content Standards within the State Department of Education, with members to be appointed by the governor, legislative leaders, the Kansas Board of Regents and State Board of Education. The panel would have a direct role in developing future standards in all content areas.
Dove said he's not worried about the standards themselves, which he hasn't read.
"I do not believe it is within the scope of our federal government to put something together when it comes to education," he said.
The Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards were cooperative efforts initiated by states, not by federal mandates.
However, opposition groups in many states, including Kansas, argue that the Obama administration and U.S. Department of Education have pressured states into adopting the standards by making that a requirement for receiving certain kinds of grants or waivers from No Child Left Behind.
"In my opinion, it's these folks who are totally anti-Common Core, anti-President Obama, that are just attempting to destroy what all has been done," said state board member Carolyn Campbell, a Topeka Democrat whose district includes Lawrence. "Since 2010 when it was approved, our teachers, our educators, our superintendents, they all have supported the Common Core, and this Legislature is totally ignoring the positive" aspects of the standards.
Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com
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