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Thu March 13, 2014
Legislators Take Aim At Common Core Standards
Kentucky Senate members heard debate on the Common Core and Next Generation education standards adopted by the state in 2010.
Senate Bill 224, sponsored by Sen. John Schickel, would do away with the guidelines and seek to replace them with standards bill supporters argue would better reflect the priorities of Kentucky educators.
Schickel told the panel that Common Core, while not mandated by the federal government, is an attempt to insert more federal control into education.
"It's an association of states designed to developing a curriculum to bring more federal money into education, and... I believe and many of my constituents believe that this is part of the problem and not part of the solution," he said.
The panel also heard testimony that Next Generation standards overemphasize climate change and evolution.
Kentucky Education Association president Stephanie Winkler defended the standards, arguing they provide more flexibility for educators.
"After years of No Child Left Behind testing and curriculum requirements that foster teaching to the test, our standards allow teachers to guide students through the content using the arts, literacy, and STEM activities that engage and inspire students to achieve their personal best. That's because these standards are just that, standards, and not a prescribed curriculum," Winkler argued.
State Education Commissioner Terry Holliday also told the panel any attempt to start from scratch on a new set of standards could cost the state more than $35 million.