State rep candidates on the issues: Eliminating ‘Common Core’ in Kansas


Today we run the responses to the fifth and final of our readers’ questions for the candidates running in two local statehouse primaries: incumbent Stephanie Clayton and challenger Jennifer Flood in District 19; and incumbent Barbara Bollier and challenger Neil Melton in District 21.

Here’s today’s questionnaire item:

Do you support the idea of repealing Common Core in Kansas? Why or why not?

Stephanie Clayton (District 19 incumbent)
The state legislature does not set curriculum. That is the responsibility of the Kansas Board of Education. If the Board of Education chooses to repeal Common Core, that is their prerogative as a duly elected body. As you have seen from my voting record, I do not believe in the state legislature attempting to override the decisions of other elected bodies.

Jennifer Flood (District 19 challenger)
Did not submit a response.

Bollier_225Barbara Bollier (District 21 incumbent)
I do NOT support repealing the Common Core Standards. Our local School Board has supported the implementation of Common Core Standards and I support local control. The teachers that I have discussed Common Core with support it because they can teach about the topics and not to a test. They see moving away from No Child Left Behind by using Common Core as a significant improvement. Common Core Standards are a benefit to students who move from one state to another by providing consistency in requirements. Of key import is understanding that Common Core allows each school district to choose its own curriculum, thus ensuring local control.

On a personal note, I served on the committee that wrote the Next Generation Science Standards and saw first-hand the wonderful input from educators, businesses, and citizens that shaped these standards. Concept oriented, thought-process driven learning that focuses on application to real life is the basis for Common Core and as such, it has my support.

Melton_225Neil Melton (District 21 challenger)
I support the repeal of Common Core standards in Kansas. Educators have called it No Child Left Behind on steroids. With no legislative or public input, ten people in the state of Kansas made the decision to adopt these standards when the federal government was offering Race to the Top grant money in 2009. Part of the condition for accepting this federal money was adopting Common Core. Proponents of Common Core will say that it was “state led”, via the National Governors Association. If this is so, why did the current head of the NGA, Mary Fallon, just sign a bill into law to repeal the Common Core standards in her state of Oklahoma? Nebraska never adopted the standards, and Missouri is moving to repeal the standards as well.

Thanks to the candidates for their participation this week!