The Kentucky Senate last week voted 35-0 to pass SB 1 a bill that supposedly would repeal Common Core from the Bluegrass State according to the local media and the key sponsor. The Lexington Herald-Ledger reports:
Under Senate Bill 1, revisions would be made to the Kentucky academic standards in 2017-18 and every six years after that. Teams of educators from public schools and higher education would recommend changes with suggestions from citizens.
Senate Bill 1 would repeal the controversial Common Core academic standards, but not until the new standards are rolled out in a staggered fashion, the bill’s sponsor State Sen. Mike Wilson, the chairman of the Senate Education Committee, has said.
There was some key language added in committee that could be problematic.
The amendment passed in part reads, ” require the Department of Education to be responsible for implementing the process for reviewing academic standards and assessments; clarify the role of the standards and assessment recommendation committee and rename it the standards and assessments process review committee.”
Richard Innes of the Bluegrass Institute also noted the actual bill doesn’t clearly repeal Common Core.
SB 1 does vaguely state, “In adopting the amendments to KRS 158.6453 contained in Section 3 of this Act, the General Assembly intends, among other actions, to repeal the common core standards.” But there’s no clear and outright mandate for such a repeal.
The bill does require a new process to review all standards and make recommendations for changes as deemed necessary. However, there’s nothing in the bill that directly repeals Common Core.
There also is no guarantee that the standards-review teams established by the bill will recommend any substantial changes to the existing cut-and-paste adoptions of Common Core in Kentucky’s current public school standards. The review process might lead to materially changed standards, or it might not.
We’ve yet to see a review process that has led to an incredibly favorable process. Innes notes some other concerns such as the requirement for post-secondary educators is thin. Hopefully the Kentucky House will include clear repeal language and Kentucky will not be headed for a weak rebrand.