Kansas poised to discontinue maligned Common Core education standards

Dan Weinbaum
October 18, 2017 - 6:53 am

Kansans can say good bye to Common Core education standards, but not because some people believe the program is controversial.

Common Core is a set of K-12 academic standards in mathematics and language arts with goals that outline what students should know at the end of each grade. In development since the 1990s, the standards were rolled out in 2010, with most states adopting them within months. 

Conservative opponents of Common Core say central planning is a bad idea in education just as it is in economics. Advocates believe the collective wisdom of educators in all 50 states produces better programs.  

Common Core became the whipping boy for everything perceived to be wrong with schools, said Ken Willard, Kansas State Board of Education member.

"(The standards) have been beaten up pretty badly, mostly because people misunderstood what they were," Willard said.

According to Kansas law, education standards must be reviewed and refised every seven years. That process is underway now.

"So now we have standards that were not written in collaboration with other states but are, as usual, just written by Kansas educators," Willard said.

The revised standards will be teacher-friendly and still rigorous and demanding, Willard said.

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