MYTH BUSTERS – Common Core State Standards – Reality of Prohibition – September 2013, Issue 7

MYTH Kansas will experience minimal disruption in our local school districts if the 2010 Common Core State standards (CCSS) are prohibited. Kansas could just revert back to the old standards, save money in the process and avoid invasive student data collection.

 

FACTS: Prohibiting the current mathematics and English language art standards would create major disruptions in Kansas classrooms.1 Schools across the state have implemented

the new standards, in full or incrementally, since they were adopted in October 2010.2 A legislative mandate to override the judgment and expertise of our elected school board members would require Kansas educators to disregard years of investment in time, resources and energy expended to strengthen educational outcomes for Kansas youth.

 

REALITY OF DISRUPTIONS AND COSTS

FACT 1 – Standards Cycle. Changing the standards now, prior to the Kansas 2017 scheduled review period, would create an undue financial burden on the state in addition to a step backwards for Kansas kids. The allocated budget has been expended in the recent process of updating Kansas education standards across four content areas (language arts, math, history/government, science – along with English for speakers of other languages). Each core subject required for graduation is to be reviewed every seven years according to state statute.3

 

FACT 2 – Textbooks. Pulling the state standards will not eliminate textbook expenses. Local school districts and school boards make their own decisions regarding which curriculum resources to purchase, updating textbooks on a routine cycle or as financially feasible. While many districts have aligned recent resource purchases with the new state standards, it is an inevitable expense regardless of whether or not standards have changed.

 

FACT 3 – Professional Development. Educators routinely participate in professional development throughout the school year, an evidenced-based practice that supports continual school improvement effort.4 The content of the professional development is a local decision, whether focused on Common Core, Kansas College and Career Ready standards, school safety, or some other local priority. Professional development is a basic line item of district operating budgets.

 

 

FACT 4 – Technology. The K-12 Kansas Assessment system has been computerized for several years, well before the CCSS were developed.5 Kansas public school students have taken the state assessments online since 2005, placing our state at the top of the nation in terms of technology readiness. The call to prohibit Common Core because of associated technology costs is a non-issue.

 

FACT 5 – ACT Test Alignment The high school ACT standardized tests are being redesigned and aligned with the mathematics and reading CCSS, effective as early as 2014-2015 school year.6 ACT has also developed an assessment system for grades 3-10 – called ASPIRE. A few Kansas school district have even applied for permission to use the ASPIRE and ACT as their assessment measures, while the Kansas assessment system is in transition. Kansas students who choose to take the ACT will be better prepared with the adoption of our new state standards. 

 

References

1 KS Commissioner of Education, Diane DeBacker (SMAC PTA Action Alert, email communication, May 31, 2013).

6 ACT and Common Core Standards http://www.act.org/standard/

 

www.kansas-pta-legislative.org

Publication of the  

Kansas PTA Advocacy Leadership (2013).

Karen Wagner   klw.wagner44@gmail.com

Brian Hogsett   bhogsett12@gmail.com

Mary Sinclair, PhD    mfoxsinclair@gmail.com