Common Core Controversy: How a new bill could jeopardize your child’s college readiness

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki,File)

TOPEKA (KSNT) — Common Core may soon be kicked out of Kansas schools.

Wednesday a House committee pushed through a proposal to outlaw the controversial standards, but the public didn’t have a chance to weigh in this time around.

Now some are concerned it could impact your child’s success in college.

Common Core has always been a contentious issue, but right now it’s how student performance is compared from state to state.

“It just tells you what your child should be able to do at a certain grade level, in a certain subject,” said Dr. Julie Ford, Superintendent of Topeka Public Schools.

But some Kansans don’t like that outside influence, they want those standards to be controlled locally.

Which is why it’s been discussed in the House Education Committee each of the past three years.

“I felt the changes were minor enough, that I did not want to open up to a two or three day debate. We all understand it, we all have our opinions, and why go through all this again?” said Rep. Ron Highland, chairman of the House Education Committee.

So rather than holding another hearing this year, he committee decided to replace the bill that had a hearing last year, with a new one. Legislatively, a process called ‘gut and go.’

However that new bill has several new provisions, like eliminating any national tests or programs that have been designed around Common Core standards.

“They’re good high standards, so all of your textbooks, all of your national testing including ACT, SAT, AP, IB, they’ve all aligned themselves to it,” said Ford.

So schools could no longer deliver those high level classes, or even teach to prepare your student for the ACT or SAT.

All of that would be in jeopardy. Now I don’t know whether that’s really the intention of this legislation, but that’s a pretty significant risk that I think our schools are going to be concerned about,” said Mark Tallman of the Kansas Association of School Boards.

Ford says that could have been brought to the committee’s attention – but plans for this discussion didn’t even appear on the schedule.

A presentation on the history of education is all that was listed, but that turned out be a presentation against Common Core.

“It’s baffling because, first of all it’s a Democracy that we live in, and they push it through under a different title, a different name, give no one an opportunity to come and voice their concern. That doesn’t seem right,” said Ford.

“We’re tired of talking about this over and over and over again. So I decided it was just time to move forward,” said Highland. He wanted to give it a chance for debate on the House floor.

Now that the bill has committee approval it can be discussed by the full House.

The Speaker of the House will decide if that will happen this year or not.

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