The Kentucky Education Department on Monday launched an online survey—called the Kentucky Core Academic Standards Challenge—to gather feedback from the public on the new education standards at the center of a national debate.
The Common Core is meant to unify standards in math and English for what students learn from state to state. States could choose whether to adopt the standards, which had the support of the federal government. Kentucky was the first.
Some critics call the Common Core a federal government takeover of public education, but supporters argue that the federal government wasn’t involved in creating the standards. (The standards were designed by the Council of Chief State School Officers along with the National Governors Association.)
Kentucky adopted the Common Core in 2010, and state Education Commissioner Terry Holliday on Monday said it’s time to review them—and to clear up any misperceptions.
Participants will have a chance to offer feedback on the standards, either by giving a thumbs up or down (officials liken it to social media) and offering research or thoughts on why they feel a particular way.
“If you want to go in and do thumbs down, great. But don’t tell us it’s a communist conspiracy to take over our education by the federal government. Tell us what’s wrong with the standards and how to fix it,” Holliday said.
“So what we need to do is change the conversation from ‘us versus them’ to focusing on the standards themselves and what our Kentucky children need to be able to do.”
Most states have signed on to implement the Common Core. However, Indiana and others have backtracked their support and are moving forward with designing their own standards.
As reported by NPR, two polls on the Common Core released this month demonstrated the polarization over the new standards.
“Poll No. 1, out today, puts support for the Core at just 33 percent. But Poll No. 2, released yesterday, puts it at 53 percent. That’s a big difference.
Which one is wrong? Or can they both, somehow, be right?”
Kentucky’s education department will accept feedback via the Kentucky Core Academic Standards Challenge from anyone until April 30, 2015.