Roberts, House members fighting Common Core standards

The professionals at the Kansas State Department of Education have invested significant time and money in helping develop the Common Core standards, a multistate effort to align standards and progress measures on English and math. And it looks like the standards may escape a legislative attempt to scrap them in Kansas. But Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., was among nine GOP senators who signed a letter last week asking for language in an appropriations bill that would bar the use of funds to develop, implement or evaluate state-level education standards. Also last week, Kansas Reps. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, Kevin Yoder, R-Overland Park, and Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, and 31 other House members sent a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan complaining that the “burdensome and misguided” Common Core standards “fail to address the specific needs of our states,” and raised concerns about how the federal government collects and distributes student data. The Common Core standards have been adopted by 45 states, including Kansas, and the District of Columbia, and officials have said it would cost Kansas $30 million to develop other standards and tests at this point.