Monday, September 16, 2013

State GOP adopts resolution demanding withdrawal from Common Core, science standards

By SCOTT ROTHSCHILD, The Lawrence Journal-World

The Kansas Republican Party has adopted a resolution that demands state leaders reject Common Core school standards and prohibit adoption of new science standards.

State GOP Chair Kelly Arnold said today there is "a groundswell of people" who are opposing Common Core standards for reading and math, which are going into effect in Kansas and 44 other states.

"We feel we lose control over what we are allowed to teach our children here in Kansas," Arnold said.

The resolution approved by the state GOP committee says the Common Core standards "obliterates" state control of language arts and math standards, and represents "an unconstitutional and illegal transfer of power to the federal government and unaccountable private interests."

A number of tea-party affiliated groups have targeted Common Core.

Supporters of Common Core, including the State Board of Education, insist the standards are aimed at improving student performance and will not result in a federal takeover of curriculum.

The GOP resolution also insists that state leaders "prohibit adoption of any standards that require the state to cede any measure of control over their drafting and revision, including but not limited to the Next Generation Science Standards."

In June, the State Board of Education approved the science standards that supporters said would give students a better understanding of science.

The standards were opposed by some because they treat evolution of species as a fact and offer no discussion of religious-based theories such as creationism or intelligent design.

GOP officials also approved resolutions opposing the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, elimination of the income tax, and support of Gov. Sam Brownback's efforts to cut state income tax rates.

The committee rejected a proposed resolution that would have asked U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, to reconsider his stand that supports military intervention in Syria.