Common Core Advocates Tout Successes, Critics Unconvinced

Jan 21, 2015

A new video series produced by the Alliance for Excellent Education is seeking to highlight gains made under the Common Core academic standards adopted by Kentucky in 2010. But it’s not likely to halt Republican calls for repeal.

Kentucky is one of five states the Washington, D.C.-based national policy and advocacy organization has chosen to spotlight as what it considers a Common Core success story. During a conference call Wednesday, Dr. Dewey Hensley, the Chief Academic Officer for Jefferson County Public Schools, said the initial pushback in his district has largely subsided.

"We know if students are hitting the Common Core that they have a stamp of guarantee that they are college and career ready," he said.

But critics of the standards aren’t difficult to find – including in the Statehouse. During the previous legislative session, Sen. John Shickel argued the vision of Common Core isn’t a good fit for the Commonwealth.

"One is a vision in which education is controlled by big government and big corporations, and the other vision is that education is left to the state and small incubators of excellence," he argued.

While repeal remains a non-starter with Democrats in control of the House and the Governor’s Mansion, Republican Rep. Thomas Kerr has introduced another bill this session that would do away with both Common Core and the Next Generation science standards.

State Education Commissioner Terry Holliday has testified completely scrapping the standards and starting over could cost the state more than $35 million.