National education standards could be repealed in Kan., Mo.

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OLATHE, Kan. -- Both Kansas and Missouri are considering repealing national education standards designed to better prepare kids for college and careers. The standards are designed to provide deeper and more thought-provoking learning in classrooms.

But some lawmakers want to abolish the so-called "Common Core" standards that have been adopted in 45 states, including Kansas and Missouri.

The Olathe school superintendent last week testified in support of what many educators call more rigorous learning.

Those opposed to the Common Core say it would expand data collection on individual students and teachers. They also question the role of the federal government in setting the standards and collecting information on individuals.

But at Frontier Trial Middle School, teachers support standards they say represent the knowledge and skills kids should have when they graduate. Olathe school leaders are quick to point out that the Common Core was developed and implemented by governors of the states not Washington, D.C.

Common Core standards are being implemented on both sides of the state line. Supporters claim data collected under Common Core is already being collected by the state departments of education.

"There's a lot of myths out there," said Alison Banikowski, deputy superintendent of Olathe schools. "People feel Common Core is something that's being dictated nationally. That' it's going to require certain textbooks and certain teaching strategies. And certain lessons that really is not true. We look at this as something we are doing locally developing our curriculum and our teachers in selecting resources."

There are also efforts in Missouri to abolish Common Core standards and opponents fear the standards will limit local school districts' ability to design their own curriculum. In Olathe, administrators call the Common Core a nice framework for determining what is taught locally.

There is some concern about assessment tests associated with the Common Core.
Testing is supposed to be more complicated and computerized, but Banikowski says her district already has been administering online and computerized state tests since 2005.

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