The final version of Senate Bill 1 from the 2017 Kentucky Regular Legislative Session (SB-1/2017) is now awaiting the governor’s signature, and a very interesting statement from the original version of the act remains in the final.
On Page 99 of the Engrossed Version of the act (which goes to the governor), it says:
“Section 18. In adopting the amendments to KRS 158.6453 contained in Section 3 of this Act, the General Assembly intends, among other actions, to repeal the common core standards.”
Assuming Governor Bevin signs SB-1/2017 as is with no line item veto, it would seem that the Common Core State Standards are officially on the way out in Kentucky.
But, looks might be deceiving.
You see, SB-1/2017 also outlines in considerable detail a process to review all of Kentucky’s academic standards beginning in 2017-18. In fact, the core teams that will actually write the standards are called “Standards and Assessments Review and Development Committees.” However, nowhere in the discussion of how the many committees and panels are to operate does it clearly direct those panels to start with a clean slate – a slate without a Common Core State Standards basis.
In fact, including the term “Review” in the base groups’ titles clearly does not mandate either revision or replacement. A “Review” could leave the standards EXACTLY as they are, for example. If these teams were clearly charged with replacing Common Core, they would be called something like “Standards and Assessments Development Committees.”
Because teacher members predominate on the major committees and panels that will actually write the new standards, it is highly likely that the Common Core will be the basis for whatever comes next.
It seems likely that this new standards process will result in some changes from the current Common Core based standards used in Kentucky today, but will those changes be very substantial? Will those changes incorporate some rather recent research that shows some basic ideas in Common Core are not optimal for real classrooms? Will the changes actually amount to something most would call a “repeal?”
Only time will tell.