The Dumbing Down of Our Kids


“Common Core pretended that it was going to be raising standards, but what it did, in fact, is put enormous pressure on colleges, many of which are now succumbing to that pressure, to lower their standards.”


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Who’s fooling who??

“The curriculum that is taught in your school district is locally driven,” says Carney. “Our school-based, site-based councils have the legal authority to develop that curriculum.” Then why did the feds give $360 to two companies to write the test. Also you and KDE may want to call Common Core Kentucky Academic Standards but if it walks like a duck, if it quacks like a duck…then it is a duck!


The process for updating academic standards isn’t the kind of topic that inspires soaring rhetoric and passionate civic debate.

Yet the top legislative priority for Senate Republicans this year is a sweeping overhaul of how public school standards are reviewed and updated in the commonwealth. In essence Senate Bill 1 seeks to simplify the work of educators by ensuring that Kentucky’s academic standards align with the assessments on which student progress is scored.

“I call it the bill of taking control of our standards and allowing our teachers to teach,” says Sen. Mike Wilson (R-Bowling Green), who is chair of the Senate Education Committee and sponsor of the legislation.

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“Back in early June or late July of last year members of Kentuckians Against Common Core (KACC) met with Senate Education Chairman Mike Wilson and his education guru Dr. Joe Burks (former Asst. Superintendent at JCPS). We heard from reliable sources that they were looking into repealing Common Core. Sen. Wilson and Dr. Burks both complained about the over regulating and testing that KDE had imposed on the teachers and the school system in KY. Sen. Wilson brought up that he was probably going to rewrite SB 1 of 2009 and make changes in KY’s education system. When we asked Sen. Wilson will the bill repeal the Common Core standards, he responded with an emphatic Yes.”

KACC Statement Regarding SB1



Our statement on SB 1…the so called bill to eliminate Common Core. Our response may be lengthy but we thought it was a MUST to state all that is wrong with the legislation….mainly that it does not do what was promised…it does not eliminate Common Core.

The Kentucky General Assembly has taken up amending KRS 156.557 – a statute focused on education in Kentucky including primary and secondary school standards. It is very encouraging that the General Assembly is willing to take another look at this bill since it was the gate by which the educational experiment on our children, known as Common Core, came to Kentucky. There is much to like in the bill such as an attempt to reform teacher and school evaluations. Section 1.12.a.3 states that students get credit for arts and humanities upon completion of foreign language, application-oriented career and technical education courses, computer technology or programming courses that incorporate design and creativity.

But there are problems, the first of course being an absence of an outright repeal of the Common Core standards. Moreover, the Kentucky Constitution states in section 183: The General Assembly shall, by appropriate legislation, provide for an efficient system of common schools throughout the State. The most glaring deficiency in this bill is that the General Assembly once again evades its responsibilities by allowing the Kentucky Department of Education to implement all standards, policies, procedures and much of the methodology and regulations for teacher and school evaluations without the General Assembly’s approval much less a vote and signature by the Governor. What is the purpose of the Senate and House education committees, indeed what is the purpose of Section 183 of the Kentucky Constitution if all real decisions are left up to KDE discretion and whim? And where is all of the “local” control and parental input that Common Core advocates like to talk about? Even the officials elected by the people, much less the people themselves, have a say in what gets approved. It continues to track students by Social Security Number putting students at risk of privacy violations if and inviting academic researchers to hypothesize and test student data well after their educational years and without their consent. A separate student identification number would be easily implemented and suffice for tracking student progress through the time enrolled in public schools.

The bill mentions nothing about overall limits on the AMOUNT of HOURS of assessment testing that KDE is allowed to require. Currently JCPS tests 5th graders approximately 32 hours out of the year with KPREP testing and quarterly assessment tests. This excessive testing is one of the major complaints from teachers and parents about this experiment. Also, there is no prevision for parents to opt their children out of this testing like the ones that parents in Ohio, California and other states enjoy. Finally, all test results and related data should not be transferable to any non-government entity.

Disturbing still is that the General Assembly seems to leave the door open to further federal education experimentation regardless of the consequences to our children.

This bill does not eliminate Common Core as has been stated. We are asking the Senate GOP to rewrite SB 1 and follow the promise of Governor Bevin “that the Common Core will be no more”.

Senate GOP Makes Eliminating Common Core a Top Priority



“Senate Republicans unveiled their 13 “priority” bills Wednesday for the 2016 General Assembly, including a measure they highlighted as Senate Bill 1 that would eliminate the controversial Common Core education standards for Kentucky schools.”

Our battle has been long and tiring. But finally there is some light at the end of the tunnel.  This is where the rubber meets the road.  Call your reps and tell them to hold fast. We DO NOT want a rebranding of common core. We want it gone. We truly want local control just like SB1 intended in the first place. We’ve come too far to quit now!

Read more here:

KACC Response to Bottom Line article

A recent article in the Bottom Line that outlined an interview with Stephen Pruitt, Kentucky’s new Education Commissioner, where Mr. Pruitt unfortunately voiced support for continuing the experimentation on our children through the Common Core system of education.

Ironically, Commissioner Pruitt said that throwing the standards out would be harmful to teachers and students.  I say ironically because the implementation of Common Core standards has caused more harm and confusion than any other change to our education system.  A recent poll by the education organization NextEd shows that teacher support for Common Core has dropped from 76% in 2013, to 46% in 2014 and now 40% in 2015.  Among the general public, support has dropped from 65% in 2013, to 53% in 2014 to 49% in 2015.

What do teachers and general public know that Stephen Pruitt doesn’t know?  We know that Common Core, in Kentucky, requires students to undergo excessive amounts of testing.  5th graders alone, according to the JCPS 2014-15 Assessment Calendar, are required to sit for 8 science assessment tests, 8 math assessment tests, and 8 language arts assessment tests on top of KPREP testing.  The total is 24 hours of assessment plus 8 ½ hours of KPREP testing for a total of 32 ½ hours during the school year.

We know about Curriculum Frameworks in each district that tell teachers when to teach certain Common Core standards, in coordination with the assessment test schedules.  We know about the curriculum maps in every district that tells the teachers how to teach the standards.  We know that any attempt by a teacher to use a textbook that is not on the Kentucky Textbook Committee list requires pages of justification, the signature of the school’s Principal and the signature of the District Superintendent before being approved by the State.

More than that, we know the struggles that our students are going through as a result of this indefensible experimentation on our children.  Many of the Common Core requirements were simply pulled down from one grade level to the previous grade level. Requiring 3rd graders to perform algebra BEFORE they know their 1-12 times tables.  Asking them to “Identify the Dividend, divisor, and quotient in 24 ÷ 6 =” before they fully know how to divide.  The timed readings, the lack of emphasis on phonics, and the number lines all make the children confused, frustrated and hate learning.  Ask any parent or any, as the NextEd poll shows, and you’re likely to get an earful of complaints about Common Core.

Knowing all of this, Commissioner Pruitt’s concern about the “cost” is as infuriating as it is ridiculous.  How can we afford NOT to scrap Common Core?  This is the future of our children.  Kentucky has languished in the bottom 10% of all states in education and by extension in median income for too long.  The last eight years, we have had a Governor and Commissioners of Education who were much more interested in gathering up all of the Federal Race to the Top money he could get his hands one than in the education of our children.

Kentuckians Against Common Core is calling for the following process to replace Common Core, similar to the process that the state of Tennessee has indicated it would be following.  We propose that the state Senate nominate an equal number of stakeholders from three groups: 1) Kentucky parents of school age children; 2) classroom teachers and 3) education experts from Western Kentucky University, the University of Kentucky, and the University of Louisville.  It would be recommended that there be two groups formed from the three groups above, one for grades K-6 and one for grades 7-12.  The two groups would review many standards including but not limited to: Texas State School Standards, Pre-Common Core Massachusetts State School Standards, Virginia State School Standards as well as standards from abroad if desired.  The teams would then rewrite the K-12 Kentucky standards and present them to the Senate education committee.  The standards would then be presented and comment made at meetings in every school district in Kentucky.  After gaining opinion from across the state, the standards may be revised and finalized for presentation to the State legislature.  The state legislature would then vote on the standards with a simple majority vote.  The standards would then be signed by the Governor, or if vetoed return to the legislature for revote where a 2/3 majority in the Senate would override the veto.  If 2/3 could not be obtained, then the process repeats until signed into law by the Governor.

We feel that setting this process as precedent would not only result in a common sense set of standards that are representative of the values of Kentuckians, but would prevent future overreach by any Governor using Executive Action to impose his or her will on the state without proper consent of the people, such as Governor Beshear’s clearly unconstitutional action in implementing Common Core science standards.

I hope that Commissioner Pruitt will actually listen to teachers, parents and students and support this effort.  It is time for Kentucky to place our children above the partisan games in Frankfort, above the states addiction to Federal handouts and above the experimental desires of theoretical educators and administrators.  Our children must finally come first in Kentucky.



Karl Steutermann

Kentuckians Against Common Core