Daily Archives: May 23, 2013

Education leaders pushing back in support of Common Core

There is still a push in the Legislature to block the Common Core education standards. But leaders of the state’s associations of school boards and administrators and teachers union are trying to push back. They wrote lawmakers to try to dispel some of the myths about Common Core and urge them not to defund its implementation. Among their points:
• We support these standards because they establish rigorous academic standards in English language arts and mathematics, and define the knowledge and skills all students should master by the end of each grade to be college- or career-ready upon high school graduation.
• These standards are included in the Kansas College and Career Readiness Standards, and our schools, under the guidance of the state board, have already invested significant resources and time in preparing our members to implement the standards.
• The standards are not a mandate of the federal government. They were created through the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers. States that adopted the standards were able to provide input into their development and to add state-specific content.
• The standards are not curriculum; rather they identify where students should be academically at any given time.

School district, voters wise to build storm shelters

When the Wichita school district included storm shelter safe rooms as part of its 2008 bond issue, some opponents of the bond questioned the expense. But the tragedy in Moore, Okla., shows why the rooms are important – even as we hope they are never needed. As The Eagle reported Wednesday, Wichita was the first public school district in the country to build a Federal Emergency Management Agency-approved storm shelter in a school. That was in 2000, and since then the district has built 69 safe rooms. Eight others are under construction, and 14 are in the planning or design stages.

Airport needs to have basement shelter ready

Full of windows and usually on the edge of town, an airport terminal makes a lousy storm shelter. At Wichita Mid-Continent Airport, that should make it a high priority to plan and practice for tornado warnings. So it was alarming to learn that at least some of the 500 to 600 people at the airport during Sunday’s warning were mistakenly informed that the terminal’s basement was full. One of the passengers who was turned away credited security with getting people to other safe places. But before and after the new terminal opens in early 2015, Mid-Continent officials need to ensure they have the basement shelter ready and procedures in place to use it fully.