Kansas Seeks Public Comment on Education Standards


Kansas education officials recently created an online tool that can be used by the public to comment on the math, reading and writing standards in the state.

Referred to as “Join the Conversation!” the tool will available for use until October 30 of this year.  The public can use the tool to read about the standards and make suggestions concerning rewriting standards, moving them to a different grade level, or creating new standards.

The standards currently in use in the state are based on the federal Common Core standards, which have come under heavy criticism.  They are meant to replace a variety of standards that differed across state lines.

The standards, called the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards (KCCRS), were adopted by the State Board of Education in 2010 and will be up for review in 2017.

The state has also filed an appeal to a ruling that found Kansas is not spending enough money on the public school system to allow for a suitable education.

According to the Shawnee County District Court panel during its December ruling on the subject, the current funding level is “inadequate from any rational perspective of the evidence.”  The panel ruled that basic state aid should raise to at least $4,654 per student, or $548 million per year.  The panel continued to say that figure could be much larger.

Beginning in the fiscal year starting July 1, the state is facing a shortfall of around $600 million.

Meanwhile, the Incoming Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson has been holding education forums across the state, called the Kansas Education Listening Tour, giving parents and teachers the opportunity to offer their opinions concerning school options throughout the state.

Watson is holding the forums in an effort to create a strategic plan for the public education system in the state.  The area most people seem to be concerned with when asked is the budget.  Teachers across the state are concerned that the budget cuts will in turn hurt students, writes Sarah Hollenbeck for KSHB.

“Here in KCK, we are just trying to come into the 21st century as far as technology,” elementary school teacher Leanne Richardson said. “If we get cuts, what happens to all the innovations we are trying to make? Does that mean the gap widens even more?”

In all the commissioner has held 15 community forums throughout the state.  Each were attended so well that Watson is considering hosting more in the future.

02 24, 2015
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