TOPEKA – An effort by Kansas lawmakers to repeal Common Core standards could mean the end to Advanced Placement classes and International Baccalaureate programs.
The House Education Committee approved a measure on Wednesday that would force Kansas school districts to develop new standards for reading, math, science and other subjects.
Those standards would replace the Common Core-inspired Kansas College and Career Ready Standards that have been in place since 2010, The Wichita Eagle reported.
The measure calls for AP, IB and similar courses and tests to be aligned with pre-Common Core Kansas standards. A similar bill was proposed last year.
Educators say the directive would be difficult or impossible because such courses are modeled on national or international frameworks.
Judy Deedy, executive director of the statewide advocacy group Game On for Kansas Schools, said the bill would “undo everything.”
“You don’t eliminate Kansas participation in AP and IB by saying you can’t do anything that Kansas doesn’t control,” Deedy said. “That’s not fair to the kids. You can’t just change curriculum overnight.”
The committee’s vote came after members heard from Duke Pesta, an English professor at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh who has traveled around the U.S. denouncing Common Core.
Before advancing the bill, the committee added the measure’s contents to a substitute House bill in a move known as a “gut and go” to speed up the legislative process. It could be heard on the House floor as early as next week.
The Kansas State Department of Education estimates the development of new standards would take two years and cost $9 million.
Opponents of the bill complained that the committee approved the measure without hearing from both sides.
Scott Rothschild, a spokesman for the Kansas Association of School Boards, said Pesta spoke for more than an hour Wednesday on what the meeting agenda had said would be an informational briefing on “The History of Education.”
Rep. Ron Highland, a Wamego Republican, brought up the bill after Pesta’s presentation.
When some committee members complained that opponents weren’t allowed to testify, Highland responded that testimony was provided last year during debate on a similar measure.