The Kansas House Education Committee Did NOT Give Common Core the Boot

Kansas State Capitol Building in Topeka, KS. Photo credit: Doug Kerr (CC-By-SA 2.0)

Kansas State Capitol Building in Topeka, KS.
Photo credit: Doug Kerr (CC-By-SA 2.0)

If you were to read the Topeka Capital-Journal you would think the Kansas House Education Committee booted the Common Core. “It’s throwing the baby out with the bath water,” the education establishment says.

They report:

The House Education Committee passed Friday a bill voiding statewide academic standards for public schools known as Common Core and requiring the Kansas State Board of Education to present a new set to the Legislature before implementation in 2017.

The vote followed four years of debate in the Capitol about standards for English and math implemented in 2010 by the state school board. The guidelines, renewed on a seven-year cycle, identify what the state board expects children to learn in each grade.

Rep. Amanda Grosserode, R-Lenexa, said the intention of pushing ahead with a revised version of House Bill 2292 was to offer a simplified approach for bringing to a close Kansas’ use of Common Core standards to influence instruction in fundamental subjects. In February, the same committee adopted a far more complex bill intended to derail Common Core.

“We want the current Common Core standards to end in 2017,” said Grosserode, a leading critic of the standards.

Rep. Nancy Lusk, R-Overland Park, expressed frustration with colleagues intent on producing the “ultimate throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bath-water legislation.”

The “far more complex bill” actually repealed the standards. This bill was already passed out of the Kansas House Education Committee. It was sent back to committee by the Speaker of the House, State Representative Ray Merrick (R-Stilwell).

Kansans Against Common Core who were present at the committee meeting when the vote took place outlined what happened, and it’s depressing.

On Friday, March 18th, 2016, the House Education Committee gutted a five-page bill and action that you have supported and elected people to vote for for multiple years, and substituted it with a PARAGRAPH that was not seen prior to Friday’s committee meeting, was written within an hour, and passed favorably based on an oral reading. It is clear that legislators are not serious about removing Washington D.C. education from Kansas. It was clear that the members were going to vote favorably for whatever motion Amanda Grosserode brought.

The Education Establishment (lobbyists, teacher union members and administrators being paid by YOUR tax dollars) has been putting in overtime, flooding your legislators with calls, cards, and emails. Even the PTA is promoting Common Core! We know you have been calling, as well. But, as you will see below, your legislators—especially the Republicans you elected to bring conservative principles—are only responding to the Establishment. Take note of the legislators’ actions from Friday, and unless they act to reverse their mis-informed actions, remember it this coming November. Make sure your dissatisfaction is heard at the voting booth.

Briefly, the new bill language does not address Kansas College and Career Ready Standards and all its alignments and entanglements, including assessments and data. THE NEW BILL LANGUAGE IN NO WAY AFFIRMS PARENTAL RIGHTS TO DIRECT THEIR CHILD’S EDUCATION.

I’ve been unable to find the current language to the bill which reinforces Kansans Against Common Core’s objection to what was done in committee last Friday.  Be sure to check out their action alert and act accordingly.

Kansas House Education Committee Votes to Repeal Common Core


Kansans Against Common Core sent out the following press release last Friday after their Common Core repeal bill passed out of the Kansas House Education Committee:

TOPEKA, Kan. (Feb. 19, 2016) – A step in the direction of upholding the U.S. Constitution and the Kansas Constitution was taken Wednesday. A step to uphold the state’s purview over Education and uphold parent rights and responsibilities to educate their children was taken Wednesday.

A Kansas bill to cut off education related ties with the federal government including the withdrawal of the state from the Common Core standards passed out of the House Education Committee on Wednesday. This bill would nullify nationalized education in the state.

A combination of thirty representatives introduced House Bill 2676 (HB2676), the Local Control of Kansas Education Act, on Feb. 10th.

HB2676 is nearly identical to last year’s bill, House Bill 2292 (HB2292), with only minor updates. HB2292 received a hearing and a vote in committee last year, but did not make it out of committee.

On Wednesday, a motion to reconsider HB2292 in committee was successful. This was followed up by a successful motion to substitute HB2676 into the bill, and finally a motion to pass Substitute for House Bill 2292 (Sub for HB2292). It was successfully passed out of committee, under Chair, Ron Highland. House members voting it out of committee were: Tony Barton, John Bradford, Rob Bruchman, Amanda Grosserode, Dennis Hedke, Becky Hutchins, Kevin Jones, Kasha Kelley, Charles Macheers, Peggy Mast, Marc Rhoades, and Jene Vickrey. Now it will move on to the full House for consideration.

The legislation declares “the state shall retain sole control over the development, establishment and revision of K-12 curriculum standards.”

Additionally, the bill forbids any Kansas entity or official from ceding any authority over Kansas education to any entity not explicitly named in the Kansas Constitution. It then voids any past or future action taken to implement Common Core or other national education standards.

“Any actions taken by any education entity or any state official to adopt, implement or align programs, assessments, testing, surveys or any educational materials or activities to the common core state standards, the social, emotional and character development standards, the national curriculum standards for social studies, the national health education standards, the national sexuality education standards, core content and skills, K-12 or any other academic standards not in the public domain, free of any copyright, are void beginning July 1, 2017.”

Local control of education is upheld. Parents’ rights to direct the education of their child through locally controlled schools is upheld. Local schools and teachers will be responsive to parents rather than implementers of state and federal education dictates. The bill mandates that new academic standards shall be developed through a state process but also makes clear that any standards developed will be “model” standards with local school districts having the authority to maintain their own curriculum.

A first of its kind step was taken to explicitly ensure parents’ and students’ rights to protect their intellectual property. The bill upholds parents’ control over their child’s data in regard to its creation, collection, use, and privacy. A significant step was taken to protect students from intrusive data mining and collection, programs that are inherent with initiatives like Common Core.

As the House Education committee learned on Wednesday, the all-encompassing federal intrusion in education is being rejected across the country including in states like Washington and New York.

However, you can be sure that the Education Establishment, including the KNEA, KASB, State School Board, and State Department of Education, will do everything they can to maintain the status quo, resulting in “rebranded” versions of the same program.

You can be sure that people you elected, who said they were against the federal intrusion into education and would work to remove it, will staunchly claim their commitment to protect the state, but will act to water down or prevent passing this bill.

Some claim that a bill recently passed by Congress, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), places a great deal more control in the hands of states, local communities, parents, and educators including cutting the federal strings of Common Core. That could not be further from the truth. The ESSA actually requires states to comply with College and Career Ready Standards, which are Common Core. The bill does not remove the federal government from the business of education, as it requires the federal education secretary to approve each state’s plans for education. In addition, state chief school officers continue to be held accountable for not reporting a 95% participation rate on student assessments. The ESSA also extends federal funding to states to review and improve their existing pre-K programs. We can fully expect, and have found, this extension of “assistance” to be laden with all the usual federal encroachments that accompany federal funding.

Federal involvement in education is about control, not education. The partnership between the federal departments of Labor and Education to further the development of fully functioning statewide birth-to-adulthood databases on citizens, and commonality of standards and testing across the country is reshaping the nation. It will result, as intended, in only people whose education they can control getting jobs, getting into college, and getting into the military. It’s a tool of control, not a tool of education.

It is extremely important that this bill move forward without any amendments. Changes that affect the intent or effectiveness of the bill will be attempted. “Rebranded” do-nothing bills occur when all aspects of federal intrusion are not addressed and repealed.

HB2292 (formerly HB2676) does address and repeal all aspects of federal intrusion, including Common Core.

We believe parents are those best equipped to direct the upbringing and education of their children.

We believe teachers are best able to be responsive to parents and meet the education needs of children when they are not encumbered by federal and state mandates.

We believe individual teachers are degreed professionals who are capable of creating their own lesson plans and deciding how to teach.

Rejecting nationalized education standards is the first step toward bringing true academic choice, freedom, and protection of personal property. Passage of this legislation, without amendments, into law represents a positive step forward for the children, parental rights, and the constitution.

Common Core is for the Birds


You may (or may not) have heard about the current news surrounding Kansas and the lesser prairie chicken….
Kansas will join lawsuit over federal listing of lesser prairie chicken as threatened


Kansas will join a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over listing the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species, Gov. Sam Brownback announced Friday.

“The federal government made this decision despite concerns raised by the states directly affected by this decision,” Brownback said.

“This is an overreach by the federal government and is another example of the Obama administration aggressively and unnecessarily intruding into our daily lives.”

Wouldn’t it be nice if our Kansas Legislature and Governor Brownback were leading on the issue of Common Core in the same way?

Pushing back against the federal overreach, and the loss of local/state control of education that Common Core brings to Kansas.

Kansas can do much better than Common Core! We hope the chickens are on the prairie – and not in Topeka.
The legislative session will be over soon. The time to reclaim Kansas education is now. STOP COMMON CORE!

Please take time to contact:
Governor Brownback

Office of the Governor
Capitol, 300 SW 10th Ave, Ste 241S
Topeka, KS 66612-1590

Toll Free: 877-KSWORKS (877-579-6757)
Local: 785-296-3232
For the Hearing Impaired: 800-766-3777

Kansas Legislators


Kansans to Rally Tomorrow in Topeka to Stop Common Core

Kansas State Capitol

FYI to our readers in the Sunflower State.  Kansans Against Common Core has put together a rally TOMORROW at the State Capitol Building in Topeka.  There is also a hearing for HB 2621 with the Kansas House Education Committee.  All of the information is below, courtesy of Kristin George:

Reclaim Kansas Education

We apologize for the short notice, but hope you will still find time to join us in as we meet and rally in support of HB 2621 before the House Education Committee hearing at 1:15pm.

WEDNESDAY, February 19th
First floor of the Capitol – North
11-11:30am – Meet & Greet
11:30am – Welcome
11:45am – Presentations and Discussion
1:15pm – Hearing for HB 2621

We will have buttons, signs and information.

* Please bring your own snacks – no food will be provided.

And we want to hear from you!
We plan to have short presentations,
by those attending that would like to speak.

If you need more information and directions for the Capitol
please visit:

Photo credit: Aviper2K7 (CC-By-SA 3.0)

Kansas Update: Keep Calling Legislators to Stop Common Core

From Kristin George of Kansans Against Common Core:

TODAY AND TOMORROW make calls to the following House and Senate leaders, they have staff answering phone calls.  Ask the legislator to “Please find a way to stop Common Core in KS this legislative session.” 

Sen. Susan Wagle – Senate President



Aly Rodee – Senate President Communications Director


Sen. Jeff King


Sen. Terry Bruce – Majority Leader



Peter Northcott – Chief of Staff to the Majority Leader



Rep. Ray Merrick – Speaker of the House



Christie Kriegshauser – Speaker Chief of Staff



Rep. Peggy Mast – Speaker Pro Tem


Rep. Jene Vickrey – House Majority Leader



Sen. Ty Masterson – Senate Ways & Means Committee Chairman



Debbie Luper – Chief of Staff to Sen. Masterson



Rep. Marc Rhoades – House Appropriations Committee Chairman



Also continue emailing, calling and tweeting ALL Kansas legislators.  Simple, polite emails with specific reasons why Common Core needs to be stopped this session.

You can find the full list of State Senators and State Representatives below:

Below is a list of Twitter Handles for State Senators and State Representatives complied by Parent LED Reform:

  • Sen. Abrams                      @AbramsforKansas
  • Sen. Bowers                       @EbowersKS
  • Sen. Brue                            @Sen_Bruce
  • Sen. Denning                     @JimDenning4KS
  • Sen. Faust-Goudeau      @oletha29
  • Sen. Fitgerald                    @fitz_steve
  • Sen. Haley                           @DavidHaleyKS
  • Sen. Hensley                      @SenatorHensley
  • Sen. Holland                       @TomHollandKS
  • Sen. Holmes                       @SenMitchHolmes
  • Sen. Knox                            @repnox
  • Sen. LaTurner                    @LaTurner4KS
  • Sen. Longbine  &nb
    sp;                @JeffLongbine
  • Sen. Love                            @garrett_love
  • Sen. Lynn                            @senatorlynn
  • Sen. Masterson                  @TyMastersonKS
  • Sen. Melcher                     @jeffmelcher
  • Sen. ODonnell                   @MichaelKansas
  • Sen. Petersen                   @MikePetersenKS
  • Sen. Pettey                        @SenatorPettey
  • Sen. Pilcher Cook             @imwithmary
  • Sen. Pyle                             @PyleforSenate
  • Sen. Smith                          @Greg4KS
  • Sen. Schmidt                      @SenatorSchmidt
  • Rep. Boldra                         @sueboldra
  • Rep. Bradford                    @Brad125
  • Rep. Bruchman                 @robbruchman
  • Rep. Christmann              @KSRepChristmann
  • Rep. Claeys                         @RepClaeys
  • Rep. Clayton                      @SSCJoCoKs
  • Rep. Concannon               @ConcannonforKS
  • Rep. Corbet                        @KSCorbet54
  • Rep. Couture-Lovelady @Travis_CL
  • Rep. Davis                           @PaulDavisKS
  • Rep. Dierks                         @realtordierks
  • Rep. Esau                            @keithesau      
  • Rep. Finch                           @BlaineFinch
  • Rep. Gandhi                       @ShantiGandhi
  • Rep. Grosserode              @amanda4kansas         
  • Rep. Hedke                        @DennisHedke
  • Rep. Hildabrand               @Brett4ks
  • Rep. Hoffman                    @RepKDH         
  • Rep. Howell                        @Howell4KS
  • Rep. Jones                          @kevinicolejones
  • Rep. Kelley                         @Kasha_Kelley
  • Rep. Kinzer                         @lkinzer
  • Rep. Lunn                            @LunnForKansas
  • Rep. Macheers                 @macheers
  • Rep. Mast                           @PeggyMast
  • Rep. McPherson              @craigmcpherson
  • Rep. Meigs                         @kellymeigs
  • Rep. Merrick                      @SpeakerMerrick
  • Rep. Perry                           @perryforkansas
  • Rep. Petty                           @PettyReid
  • Rep. Powell                        @JoshuaPowell86
  • Rep. Rooker                       @MelissaRooker
  • Rep. Ryckman                   @RonRyckman
  • Rep. Schroeder                 @RepDonSchroeder
  • Rep. Siegfreid                    @ArlenSiegfreid
  • Rep. Ward                           @RepJimWard
  • Rep. Weber                        @RepWeber
  • Rep. Whipple                     @BWhippleKS

Kansans Against Common Core Rally Tomorrow (Updated Info)

Kansas-State Capitol 2We appreciate all the support and look forward to seeing you in Topeka. 


Wednesday, May 8th at 2PM

*Please arrive early and use the east entrance –

Rally will begin promptly at 2pm*

2nd Floor Rotunda in the Kansas State Capitol, Topeka, KS

2pm- Welcome & Introduction

2:05pm – Kansas Legislators

REP. JOHN BRADFORD and other Kansas Legislators

2:25pm – Guest Speaker and Common Core Expert

SHANE VANDER HART with Truth in American Education

2:40pm – Parents and Citizens


SHIRLEY KOEHN, Concerned Citizen

ELEANOR POWERS, Sunflower Republican Club of Johnson County

DR. WALT CHAPPELL, President, Educational Management Consultants

2:55pm – Conclusion and Upcoming Events

Parking Information:

We also encourage you to contact your Kansas Representatives and ask them to defund and stop Common Core in Kansas.  Tomorrow is the first day the Kansas Legislature returns to Topeka to finish this session.  It is very important to call, email and write them to voice opposition to Common Core.  Thanks!

Photo credit: Franklin B. Thompson via Flickr (CC-By-NC 2.0)

Rally Against Common Core in Topeka, KS on May 8th


UPDATED – Time change!

From Kansans Against Common Core:

Kansans Against Common Core Rally in Topeka at the Capitol on May 8th

with special guest and Common Core expert

Shane Vander Hart

From Truth in American Education

2:30-4:30 pm on the South Lawn

We are very happy to have Common Core expert Shane Vander Hart with Truth in American Education joining us and speaking about Common Core.

Shane Vander Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Caffeinated Thoughts, a popular Christian conservative blog in Iowa. He is also the President of 4:15 Communications, a social media & communications consulting/management firm, along with serving as the communications director for American Principles Project’s Preserve Innocence Initiative.  Prior to this Shane spent 20 years in youth ministry serving in church, parachurch, and school settings.  He has taught Jr. High History along with being the Dean of Students for Christian school in Indiana.  Shane and his wife home school their three teenage children and have done so since the beginning.   He has recently been recognized by Campaigns & Elections Magazine as one of the top political influencers in Iowa. Shane and his family reside near Des Moines, IA.  You can connect with Shane on Facebook, follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Google +.

We hope to have a large turnout so grab your friends and family, make some signs (respectful and appropriate please) and head to Topeka! This is the first day the Kansas Legislature returns to start wrapping-up the session, so it’s a great day to let our opposition to Common Core be heard. We hope you will join us at the Capitol!

We have been working very hard over the last several months, many of you much longer, to spread the truth about Common Core and help return Kansas to locally controlled education. We appreciate your support in these efforts, and have been amazed to see the continually growing grassroots support to return to local/state education and STOP Common Core in our state.

Photo credit: J. Stephen Conn via Flickr (CC-By-NC 2.0)