The Kansas House Education Committee Did NOT Give Common Core the Boot

Kansas State Capitol Building in Topeka, KS. Photo credit: Doug Kerr (CC-By-SA 2.0)
Kansas State Capitol Building in Topeka, KS.
Photo credit: Doug Kerr (CC-By-SA 2.0)

If you were to read the Topeka Capital-Journal you would think the Kansas House Education Committee booted the Common Core. “It’s throwing the baby out with the bath water,” the education establishment says.

They report:

The House Education Committee passed Friday a bill voiding statewide academic standards for public schools known as Common Core and requiring the Kansas State Board of Education to present a new set to the Legislature before implementation in 2017.

The vote followed four years of debate in the Capitol about standards for English and math implemented in 2010 by the state school board. The guidelines, renewed on a seven-year cycle, identify what the state board expects children to learn in each grade.

Rep. Amanda Grosserode, R-Lenexa, said the intention of pushing ahead with a revised version of House Bill 2292 was to offer a simplified approach for bringing to a close Kansas’ use of Common Core standards to influence instruction in fundamental subjects. In February, the same committee adopted a far more complex bill intended to derail Common Core.

“We want the current Common Core standards to end in 2017,” said Grosserode, a leading critic of the standards.

Rep. Nancy Lusk, R-Overland Park, expressed frustration with colleagues intent on producing the “ultimate throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bath-water legislation.”

The “far more complex bill” actually repealed the standards. This bill was already passed out of the Kansas House Education Committee. It was sent back to committee by the Speaker of the House, State Representative Ray Merrick (R-Stilwell).

Kansans Against Common Core who were present at the committee meeting when the vote took place outlined what happened, and it’s depressing.

On Friday, March 18th, 2016, the House Education Committee gutted a five-page bill and action that you have supported and elected people to vote for for multiple years, and substituted it with a PARAGRAPH that was not seen prior to Friday’s committee meeting, was written within an hour, and passed favorably based on an oral reading. It is clear that legislators are not serious about removing Washington D.C. education from Kansas. It was clear that the members were going to vote favorably for whatever motion Amanda Grosserode brought.

The Education Establishment (lobbyists, teacher union members and administrators being paid by YOUR tax dollars) has been putting in overtime, flooding your legislators with calls, cards, and emails. Even the PTA is promoting Common Core! We know you have been calling, as well. But, as you will see below, your legislators—especially the Republicans you elected to bring conservative principles—are only responding to the Establishment. Take note of the legislators’ actions from Friday, and unless they act to reverse their mis-informed actions, remember it this coming November. Make sure your dissatisfaction is heard at the voting booth.

Briefly, the new bill language does not address Kansas College and Career Ready Standards and all its alignments and entanglements, including assessments and data. THE NEW BILL LANGUAGE IN NO WAY AFFIRMS PARENTAL RIGHTS TO DIRECT THEIR CHILD’S EDUCATION.

I’ve been unable to find the current language to the bill which reinforces Kansans Against Common Core’s objection to what was done in committee last Friday.  Be sure to check out their action alert and act accordingly.