Dismantling Common Core Tops GOP Senate Agenda
State Senate Republicans have made scrapping Common Core education standards their number one priority during the 2016 General Assembly.
Kentucky became the first state to adopt the standards in 2010, but GOP critics contend the guidelines modeled on national standards have teachers and education officials caught in a maze of compliance requirements. Senate Education Committee Chair Mike Wilson told reporters Wednesday Senate Bill 1 would hand more control back to local school boards and put a stop to "teaching to the test."
"That is our hope, that it would free teachers to be able to do more of what they love," Wilson said. "Right now they're bound up with a lot of extraneous filling out reports, even you talk to principals and they have to hire somebody because they don't have time to fill in all the data that has to be filled in for them."
Proponents of Kentucky's transition to Common Core, including former State Education Commissioner Terry Holliday, point to higher test scores and an improving graduation rate since implementation.
The Senate legislation was part of a series of priority bills unveiled this week, which also include measures enacting right-to-work laws, prohibiting the sale of fetal tissue, and increasing pension oversight.