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I’ve been asked to comment on an ad that Americans for Prosperity has been running in recent months touching on several topics: the total amount of spending per pupil in Kansas (over $12,000 for the past five years), the share of that money going to teacher salaries, and claims over the past decade, for every two teachers, five “non-teaching” positions have been added.  ...  What is the truth about these claims?Let’s start with some definitions.  Discussions about “dollars in the classroom” usually rely on a federal reporting definition used by all districts and states for “instruction.”  This includes salaries and benefits for teachers and (importantly) teacher aides and paraprofessionals.

In alignment with the 2013 Kansas PTA Legislative Platform passed at the Kansas PTA state convention, April 2010, the Kansas PTA Legislative Priorities for the 2014 Kansas legislative session are the following:
 
EDUCATION

MYTH Kansas must prohibit further implementation of the 2010 Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in order to avoid invasive student data collection. Kansas can just continue to use the pool of existing assessment items currently housed by the University of Kansas.

 

FACTSThe Kansas Department of Education is not adopting new, invasive student data reporting practices. Rather, Kansas merely updated the state education standards, which it does routinely every seven years, and is revising the associated state tests and

MYTH Kansas will experience minimal disruption in our local school districts if the 2010 Common Core State standards (CCSS) are prohibited. Kansas could just revert back to the old standards, save money in the process and avoid invasive student data collection.

 

FACTS: Prohibiting the current mathematics and English language art standards would create major disruptions in Kansas classrooms.1 Schools across the state have implemented

MYTH:  Common Core State Standards are a federal government takeover of K-12 public education and must be stopped.

 

FACTS:  The federal government is not taking over Kansas schools. Nor have Kansas schools lost local control of K-12 education. The initiative to develop the Common Core States Standards (CCSS) was a voluntary effort on the part of

Kansas PTA will spend the next year training our members on advocacy and educating parents and communities across the state about the Kansas College and Career Ready Standards. These standards, if properly implemented, will increase achievement for Kansas’s children. Kansas PTA along with National PTA fully supports the implementation of the standards.

What does Kansas PTA provide?
• Accurate information about Kansas’s College & Career Ready Standards

What are the Common Core State Standards? The CCSS are a set of internationally benchmarked K-12 educational standards to ensure every students’ college and career readiness in English language arts and mathematics. These standards increase rigor in every school, and provide clarity and consistency for what all students need to know once they graduate from high school. To date, 45 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoan Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands and the Anchorage, AK School District have voluntarily adopted CCSS.

What Every Parent Should Be Asking about Education Data

Schools and districts collect a lot of information about students. Empowered parents should demand to get value out of these data. Here are questions you can ask of your school officials to ensure that your child is on track to graduate college and career ready:
 

Education Week summarizes of the 3 bills being considered for re-authorization of the federal public education act - No Child Left Behind (previously known as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act).  Click Here

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