***UPDATE***

KACC would like to send a special thanks to Representatives Joseph Scapa and Tony Barton. In addition, we would like to thank Dr. Duke Pesta for coming to speak to the House Education Committee today. Finally, to all of you grassroots warriors out there, thank you!

Now, for some awesome news…we passed our REPEAL COMMON CORE BILL OUT OF THE HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE!

The battle has begun in earnest, so please prepare yourselves for more activation and whatever else we need to pass this bill, without amendments, on the House floor. The bill number, for a couple of reasons, has changed back to HB2292, so if you make any calls of thanks or to encourage your representatives to get on board, use HB2292 and remember, “WITHOUT AMENDMENTS.”

We will keep you up to date with things to help with and what the schedule is as it becomes available, but for right now, it is a time for a quick prayer of thanks and a promise to see this through.

Thanks!
KACC
grass

Heads Up…And OPT OUT of State Testing

Fine Followers-

Two years ago the Kansas Department of Education declared that we were out of the Smarter Balanced testing consortium and that our state assessments would be returned to the University of Kansas (CETE). For a brief moment, we were thrilled. That is until we dug just a little deeper to find out that CETE then farmed out that testing to none other than Smarter Balanced. So, it was really nothing but a poorly veiled smoke screen.

Fast forward to February 2016–present day. According to The Street and PR Newswire,

“Questar Assessment Inc. will administer the spring 2016 English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21) summative assessments for grades K-12 for the State of Kansas.”

You can read the whole thing here: http://www.thestreet.com/story/13454317/1/questar-assessment-inc-to-administer-elpa21-k-12-summative-assessments-for-state-of-kansas-in-spring-2016.html

So, at first glance, this too seems like it might be a good thing. However, let me point out two damaging facts. 1. Questar is ALIGNED with Smarter Balanced. Here it is from the Questar website (and I will add the screen shot below as well):

“Our system features a bank of 26 technology-enhanced items types that include all recommended by the Smarter Balanced, PARCC and ELPA21 consortia, as well as a unique audio item type that allows students to respond with, and be scored on, recorded voice responses.”
Here is the website:
Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 10.35.42 AM

2. The Kansas Education Commissioner, Randy Watson, is telling Kansans that we do not have Common Core in Kansas. That is just not true. The Kansas College and Career Ready Standards ARE Common Core. The fact that this Questar test has connections with SBAC (Smarter Balanced) and PAARC, means that the tests ARE ALIGNED to the Common Core Standards, AKA Kansas College and Career Ready Standards. Abraham Lincoln said, “How many legs does a dog have if you count his tail as a leg? Four. You can call a tail a leg if you want to, but that doesn’t make it a leg,” so do not let this twisting of words fool you.

So….what to do??? OPT OUT! Opt out your kid(s) from state testing! It’s not too late! Here’s all you need to do:
1. Write a note to the principal saying that you want to opt your kid out of state testing–both formative (little tests that happen during the school year) and summative (the “big” tests in the spring). KEEP A COPY for yourself. Make sure that it’s dated and has your kid’s full name on it and your signature.
2. Know that your child cannot be punished for not taking the test.
3. Some parents pick up their kids during state testing times. Some parents help provide another activity for their kids. Some kids work on existing assignments (not additional assignments), some read for pleasure, some do an art project or practice their instrument, and some help a teacher. These are just some suggestions.
4. This isn’t about what’s “best for the school,” but rather “what’s best for your kid.” Always keep that in mind. YOU are your child’s first and best advocate.

Let us know if you have questions and thank you for all your support!
KACC

Call to Action: Let’s Win This One!

Our bill, HB 2676, has been submitted in the Kansas House, and will fully expel Common Core from Kansas schools!

Despite this good news, the fact remains that your actions are needed immediately. This bill is subject to a fast approaching legislative deadline, and must be heard, debated, and voted on within the next two weeks!

Not only that, but our contacts in Topeka are reporting that opponents of HB2676 are planning to use the same tricks and schemes they tried last year!

These tactics include:

>>>Lying about the contents of our bill
>>>Lying about the constitutionality of our bill
>>>Proposing large last minute amendments to gut our bill
>>>And even proposing last minute amendments to replace our entire bill

That’s why we need your help to ensure that this important bill gets a fair vote in committee.

The following 8 members of the House Education Committee have signed on as sponsors of HB 2676. Contact them immediately and urge them to stand firm for the exact language in HB 2676, and nothing more or less! Your courtesy and professionalism is always requested and appreciated when calling or emailing our legislators.

Rep. Tony Barton 785-296-7522 tony.barton@house.ks.gov
Rep. John Bradford 785 296-7653 john.bradford@house.ks.gov
Rep. Dennis Hedke 785 296-7699 dennis.hedke@house.ks.gov
Rep. Becky Hutchins 785-296-3971 becky.hutchins@house.ks.gov
Rep. Kevin Jones 785 296-6287 kevin.jones@house.ks.gov
Rep. Jerry Lunn 785 296-7675 jerry.lunn@house.ks.gov
Rep. Charles Macheers 785 296-7675 charles.macheers@house.ks.gov
Rep. Marc Rhoades 785 296-7671 marc.rhoades@house.ks.gov

It is amazing to think that the Kansas legislature has still not expelled Common Core from Kansas schools.

You would think that a legislature with a 3-1 “conservative” majority in the Kansas House, and a 2-1 “conservative” majority in the Kansas Senate, could have done this by now.

To make things worse, with the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) last fall, many want us to believe that Common Core has been eliminated by the federal government.

Unfortunately, the ESSA keeps the College and Career Ready standards, which are essentially Common Core.

Worse, the ESSA forces states to comply with these standards to receive any money from the federal government.

If Kansas complies with the ESSA, the feds will control the standards and assessments in Kansas schools, possibly forever.

The Feds only contribute less than 8% of total Kansas spending on education, but they want to control 100% of the standards and outcomes.

The good news is that HB 2676 will fully repeal Common Core.

The other good news is that the bill has 8 cosponsors in the House Education Committee. Please call them immediately to urge them to stand firm for the exact language in HB 2676, and nothing more or less!

Rep. Tony Barton 785-296-7522 tony.barton@house.ks.gov
Rep. John Bradford 785 296-7653 john.bradford@house.ks.gov
Rep. Dennis Hedke 785 296-7699 dennis.hedke@house.ks.gov
Rep. Becky Hutchins 785-296-3971 becky.hutchins@house.ks.gov
Rep. Kevin Jones 785 296-6287 kevin.jones@house.ks.gov
Rep. Jerry Lunn 785 296-7675 jerry.lunn@house.ks.gov
Rep. Charles Macheers 785 296-7675 charles.macheers@house.ks.gov
Rep. Marc Rhoades 785 296-7671 marc.rhoades@house.ks.gov

Thanks to your efforts, last year we got a hearing on our Common Core repeal bill in the House Education Committee. Almost identical to HB 2676, our bill last year would have fully repealed Common Core, including the College and Career Ready Standards.

But last year, the debate and vote on our bill were fraught with shenanigans! There was literally no debate on our bill, only on the amendments that would have destroyed or seriously watered it down!

This year, we want a real debate and vote on the Common Core Repeal bill in House Education, so that we know who is for expelling Common Core and who is for keeping Common Core.

You need to know where your legislators stand! You need to know who says they are against Common Core, and who really has the courage to vote for a full expulsion of Common Core from Kansas schools!

With your efforts again this year, we can pave the way for a victory against Common Core, forever. But this is a slow process, and winning takes hard work.

And the lame excuses and false statements are already starting to flow:

Some legislators are trying to claim the bill is unconstitutional, but they said that about last year’s nearly identical bill as well, and Secretary of State Kris Kobach wrote that last year’s bill was not only constitutional, but that he enthusiastically supported it!

Some legislators naively or diabolically claim that the ESSA already eliminated Common Core standards, so we don’t need to pass our bill. They either have not read the ESSA, or do not understand that the College and Career Ready standards are now forced on Kansas by the ESSA and are also really Common Core.

Some legislators whine and complain that the bill is “too strong” for them to support, but in other states which recently passed weaker Common Core repeal laws, teachers are finding that Common Core “is alive and well and we are kicking and screaming.”

HB 2676 was written very deliberately, because your Kansans Against Common Core team did their homework. Experts in Kansas and across the country were consulted to learn what works and what hasn’t worked.

So, please call the sponsors of HB 2676 in the House Education Committee immediately to urge them to stand firm for the exact language in HB 2676, and nothing more or less!

Rep. Tony Barton 785-296-7522 tony.barton@house.ks.gov
Rep. John Bradford 785 296-7653 john.bradford@house.ks.gov
Rep. Dennis Hedke 785 296-7699 dennis.hedke@house.ks.gov
Rep. Becky Hutchins 785-296-3971 becky.hutchins@house.ks.gov
Rep. Kevin Jones 785 296-6287 kevin.jones@house.ks.gov
Rep. Jerry Lunn 785 296-7675 jerry.lunn@house.ks.gov
Rep. Charles Macheers 785 296-7675 charles.macheers@house.ks.gov
Rep. Marc Rhoades 785 296-7671 marc.rhoades@house.ks.gov

With your help, we can get a full debate and honest vote on Common Core repeal, and set the stage to expel Common Core from Kansas forever! You deserve to know who has the courage to stand up to the paid lobbyists in Topeka!

Your calls and emails got our bill to the House Education Committee last year, where we exposed the shenanigans of those opposed to Common Core repeal. Help keep this bill moving!

Contact the cosponsors in the House Education Committee immediately!

Thank you for your support and efforts-
KACC

Link to the HB2676: http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2015_16/measures/hb2676/

Call To Action–It’s Time to Bug Some Representatives!

CALL TO ACTION—IT’S TIME TO BUG SOME REPRESENTATIVES:
Fine Followers:

Today, we have a new list of representatives for you who will need a little extra attention from all of us this week. Time is of the essence. Please, do not delay!

These folks need a little encouragement to sponsor RS2855 which is the Repeal Common Core preliminary bill the revisors have that is awaiting a bill number. For some reason, many House members will “hear” big lobbyists but not the grassroots. Let’s show them what a mistake that is by lighting up their phone lines! It’s time to bug them. Call the people below and ask them to sponsor RS2855 and the rep should contact Rep. Tony Barton to sponsor.

We have personally asked each of these representatives to sign on their support for our Repeal Common Core bill and they have given us a few different explanations as to why they will not “yet” sign on. You may recall that we posted a few of these excuses, with a little sarcasm to boot, a few days back. Here is part of that post with the excuses:
“election year”
“getting a lot of heat”
“we’ve done this before, not doing again”
“don’t want to make people mad”
“so-and-so told me not to vote for it”
“costs too much”
“not constitutional”
“will be challenged in court”
“too controversial”
“do we still have that in Kansas?”
“I thought that was going away with ESSA.”
“Representative so and so said we don’t have Common Core in Kansas…”
“my best friend is in the bathroom, so I have to wait for him to come out, to know what to do”
“check w/ me tomorrow, I left my brain at home today”

So, we need you to do what you do best…FLOOD THE PHONE LINES! It’s not enough to make one call. It takes persistence and determination and we have just the grassroots group who fits that bill! If you are in one of these rep’s districts, then it is even more important. Remember that one call from a constituent is the equivalent to one hundred opinions. If you are from that rep’s district, make sure to say you are from his district! Get your friends and neighbors to call too. If you’re not from that district, then gently remind the rep that you are a Kansan! Time will run short and so these folks need to hear from you again and again. Don’t be shy!

If you can, let us know what they tell you.

Representative:
Esau – 785 296-7688 (from Olathe)
Gonzalez – 785 296-7500 (from Perry)
Hawkins – 785 296-7631 (from Wichita)
Highland – 785 456-9799 (from Wamego)—also the House Ed. Chair…so make sure to ask him for an
honest hearing, debate, and vote on this!
Lunn– 785 296-7675 (from Overland Park)—the Vice Chair of the House Ed. committee—so he needs to
get with the program as well!
Mast – 785-291-3500 (from Emporia)
McPherson – 785 296-7695 (from Overland Park)
Osterman – 785 296-7689 (from Wichita)
Ryckman Jr. – 785 296-5481 (from Olathe)
Ryckman Sr.– 785 296-7658 (from Meade)
Thimesch – 785 296-7105 (from Spivey)

Thank you for your help to expel Common Core from Kansas and to help push these so-called “conservative” or “republican” representatives to do the job that you, the people, sent them to Topeka to do! Keep this bill moving forward. Only YOU can make it happen!

KACC
bug cartoon

2016 Call to Action #1

Everyone-

Now is the time. Now is the time to come together. Stopping Common Core in Kansas will absolutely not happen unless YOU, the PEOPLE, stand up and make your wished heard. The legislative session is very short and we need you to act tirelessly, right now and for the next ten days. Here is where you can see the House Education Committee. Just click on their names and their contact info pops up. The link below is copy/pasted and so it should work. If it does not, then please go to KsLegistlature.org, go to the “House” tab and select “Committees” and then scroll down to “Education.”

http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2015_16/committees/ctte_h_ed_1/

Tell them that you expect them to support Common Core Repeal Bill RS2855 and that you want them to contact Rep. Scapa to sign on to this bill.

These are the representatives who require our immediate attention:

John Barker

Sue Boldra

John Bradford**

Rob Bruchman

Amanda Grosserode

Becky Hutchins

Kasha Kelley

Nancy Lusk

Charles Macheers**

Jarrod Ousley

Charles Smith

Ed Trimmer

**= Rep. has signed onto the bill, but his actions have been inconsistent and it’s critical that you let him know he needs to stand firm.

Thanks!

KACC