The Cost

If the testing will cost more, will Kansas look to what a school district in Ohio is proposing – a permanent tax increase?
And don’t forget the additional phone tax.

Common Core Standards cost will be more in the future – KSN.COM

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Kansas education officials believe the cost of testing students on the new Common Core standards will be less than national estimates but more than what the state has currently been paying.

Kansas schools will start testing students on the Common Core reading and math standards in 2015. The standards were developed by a national consortium of states and other educational interests and adopted by Kansas in 2010.

The state spends about $4.6 million annually to give the current battery of tests to about 250,000 students a year. Kansas Department of Education Commissioner Diane DeBacker told the Lawrence Journal-World ( ) the cost of the Common Core-based tests will be below the national estimate of $11.2 million to $13.4 million because Kansas won’t use all the services offered by test developers.

“We’re expecting it to be more than what we’re paying now because we’re asking the assessment to do more,” DeBacker said.

Kansas has contracted with the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation at the University of Kansas, and those tests have always been multiple-choice exams graded by machines. The new Common Core process asks states to use complex testing that includes more writing by students.

“We’ve said for many years (the current test format) doesn’t tell us what students know and can do,” DeBacker said. “It’s just regurgitation of information. When you enhance a test or want to make it more relevant and informative, then you have to look at constructive responses. … That’s going to cost more money.”

The State Board of Education has yet to decide what test will be used in 2015.


Academic Freedom

You may have already seen this speech by Dr. Everett Piper at a Common Core forum in Edmond, Oklahoma, but it is worth posting again.  Thanks to Restore Oklahoma Public Education (facebook) for sharing!

Speaking at a Common Core forum in Edmond, Oklahoma, Dr. Everett Piper makes the case that Common Core State Standards are indeed ‘common’ and that a true liberal arts education has no place for ‘common’. Ideas have consequences. Ideas matter. Every human and every human institution is blessed or cursed by their guiding principals – by the importance they place on their ideas. In many ways, we inevitably do practice what we preach.

Dr. Piper is the author of “Why I’m A Liberal and other Conservative Ideas”.

You can also read his speech here

Upcoming Events – July & August

Mark you calendars for these upcoming events! 

Saturday, July 27th – Common Core Discussion – Admire, KS at 9am
Common Core Discussion – guests invited include legislators, local school board members, principal and superintendent.
Admire Community Center – Admire, KS

Event information on Facebook –

Tuesday, August 6th – Common Core Presentation – Hutchinson Tea Party Group at 7pm
Ramada Convention Center, Hutchinson, KS
Common Core Presentation by Joy Pullmann, Research Fellow of Education Policy at the Heartland Institute and Dr. Walt Chappell.

August Monthly Meeting:
6:15 pm social time
6:45pm PFA business
7:00pm Program
Visit for more information

Event information on Facebook –

Tuesday, August 13th – State BOE Meeting – Topeka, KS at 10am
Arrive before 10am to sign-up to speak in the Citizens Open Forum at 10:30am.

View more about the meeting details and find the agenda here:

If you can’t attend in person or you want to watch a previous meeting, you can watch online:

Common Core Discussion – Thursday in Liberal, KS

Thursday, July 18th – Common Core Discussion – Liberal Chamber of Commerce, Liberal KS

Legislative Brownbag
Liberal Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Legislative Brownbag Roundtable discussion at the Depot.

Common Core Curriculum
Thursday, July 18
Noon to 1:00 PM
Roundtable discussion panel will consist of:
Kansas School Board member Sally Cauble
State Rep. Reid Petty
USD 480 Superintendent Paul Larkin
USD 483 Superintendent Elton Argo
USD 483 staff Donna Argo.

Comments and questions will be taken from the audience.

Bring your lunch!
Tea and cookies will be provided
sponsored by AT&T

Event information on Facebook

Tonight & Tomorrow – Common Core Presentations in KS

Thursday, July 11th – Common Core Presentation – Southeast Kansas Conservative Group at 6:15pm
Homer Cole Community Center,  3003 N Joplin, Pittsburg, Kansas
Learn more about Common Core! Thursday night meeting on July 11th at 6:15pm with Dr. Walt Chappell and Kansas Rep. John Bradford.

Event information on Facebook –

Friday, July 12th – Common Core Presentation – Topeka 9/12 Group at 5:3opm
Annie’s Restaurant, 4014 SW Gage Center Dr  Topeka, KS
The Topeka 9/12 group will have their monthly meeting on the Common Core.  July 12th 5:30pm @ Annie’s restaurant, Gage Center.  Megan King, Kansans Against Common Core, will be presenting, followed by Rep. Lynn Jenkins discussing current legislation in Washington.

Event information on Facebook –

July – State BOE meeting

We had another good turnout at the State BOE meeting yesterday. We asked that they stay with Kansas University’s Center for Education Testing and Evaluation (CETE) to develop and administer year-end reading and math tests.

We had 5 people speak for 3 minutes and we had 8 written testimonies to present. As a result, the Board had a lot of questions of KSDE staff during the Assessments agenda item at 2:30 this afternoon. They asked about costs, technology upgrades, bandwidth, security of student-level data, when the CETE tests will be revised and how much time the SmarterBalanced tests will take. The multiple problems with SBAC and PARCC pilot tests in Oklahoma, Kentucky, Indiana, New York and Minnesota were brought up. Even the fact that the SBAC website does not open to the sample questions was raised.

As you know—teachers teach what is tested. Therefore, stopping the national tests will help reduce the costs, improve the curriculum and secure the privacy of student, parent and teacher individual data.

Thank you all for the great support!

Reminder: State BOE Meeting Tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 9th – Kansas State BOE meeting at 10am
Board Room of the Education Building, 120 SE 10th Avenue, Topeka, KS
Citizen Open Forum starts at 10:30am – arrive before 10am to sign up to speak for 3 minutes.
For more information visit and view the July meeting agenda here.

Event information on Facebook –

We want to have another great turnout this month, and hope you will join us!
Tomorrow we will ask the State BOE members to
and to withdraw from the Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBAC) and ACT Aspire testing for Common Core reading and math.
There are concerns among Kansas superintendents and local school boards:
–  The cost of implementing these national assessments is 2 to 5 times more than the cost for Kansas University to administer the English and Math assessments.
–  Smarter Balanced (SBAC) assessments are also estimated to take up to 8 hours to complete.
–  There have been serious computer failures and issues with these pilot tests this past Spring.

At the June meeting, after the public comments were completed, the State Board heard a presentation on Smarter Balanced (SBAC) and ACT Common Core tests.  At least four of the 10 State Board members voiced concerns about the costs of both national tests, and the loss of student, parent and teacher privacy if these tests are given to Kansas students. 

There are efforts being made in other states to do the same.  In fact, Oklahoma just announced it would be leaving PARCC on Monday.  Alabama, Georgia, Utah, Pennsylvania and now Oklahoma have decided not to force their students to take either the Smarter Balanced (SBAC) or PARCC national tests.  They are joined by Texas, Virginia, Alaska, Nebraska and Minnesota.  There are similar efforts to stop this waste of time and taxpayer money in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky.

If the Board will vote this month to stay with the Kansas University assessments of English and Math:
– It will save millions of dollars which local school boards can keep in Kansas classrooms rather than purchase expensive technology.
–  The risk of sending “student-level data” and “individual” data on every Kansas principal and teacher to the Federal government is far too great for the State Board to force our schools to give these tests.


Event information on Facebook –