Kansas Lawmakers Consider Defunding Common Core

Kansas-State-HouseTaking a page from the Michigan House playbook, Common Core defunding may be coming in Kansas.

Via The Wichita Eagle:

The implementation of new education standards could come to a screeching halt under a proposal floated by Republican lawmakers Thursday.

Republican budget negotiators said they’ll consider a move to block any money that would be spent to implement Common Core standards for reading and math or Next Generation Science Standards in Kansas’ public schools.

The idea to derail those standards, approved in Kansas in 2010, emerged early during this year’s legislative session. But it failed to gain traction.

Attaching it to the state’s budget could, however, give it new life.

Kansans who oppose the Common Core need to contact their legislators this weekend.  This move may occur Monday when the Legislature goes back to Topeka to wrap up their session.  They are already under a lot of pressure from the Kansas Department of Education and the Kansas Association of School Boards.

When you call let them know that you support the defunding of the Common Core and that you expect them to vote to restore your voice in education policy.  Here are three primary talking points that I’d encourage you to use.

  1. This is data-less reform – there is simply no evidence that centralized standards raise student achievement.
  2. Our elected representatives were circumvented in the process of implementation giving you no voice.  Education policy is too important to be decided this way.  It ignores the separation of powers.
  3. Federal involvement is illegal (not to mention, unconstitutional)– assessments are aligned to standards, assessments drives curriculum, Feds paying for assessment development and have created a review panel to look at content, not just implementation.
  4. These standards have content issues.  Kansas can do better (and had better).
  5. Cost – Kansans simply can’t afford this.  Assessments currently cost $10/student per test.  With Smarter Balanced Assessments that cost could at best double, but more than likely will cost up to $55/per student per test – quite a jump!  That isn’t even considering the cost of school districts making sure they meet the technology requirements.
  6. Data mining… The Kansas State Board of Education promised that no student-level data would be given out, but they have a signed agreement with Smarter Balanced Assessments who does have a memorandum of understand with the U.S. Department of Education saying they will provide student-level data.  We are just supposed to trust them?

Here is a list of House Members with contact info:

2013 Kansas House Roster

Here is a list of Senate members with contact info:

2013 Kansas Senate Roster

Update:  Here is a copy of an excel spreadsheet with legislator emails that you can use for a group email.

Photo credit: Stuart Seeger via Flickr (CC By 2.0)