Kansas Core

New Kansas legislation could change the face of public education

Lexi Hart and Sami Jansen

Bill HB 2676 is one of the many bills that was sent to the Kansas State Legislature last week. If passed, new regulations would affect all schools in Kansas currently working under common core standards. However, this bill is of particular interest to Kansas public school students.

This new bill proposes a move away from the national Common Core initiative which was adopted by the Kansas State Board of Education in October of 2010 and has been the base of education since. Current educational programs the bill plans to omit includes AP classes, the IB program, and the SAT and ACT tests.

Although it will only apply to public schools, the impact of the bill would extend to college. Under the bill, the license that currently allows public schools to administer the ACT will be revoked. This forces students who want to take the ACT or SAT to find private schools administering the test or to schools in Missouri.  The same licence allowing public schools to administer the ACT enables students to take advanced placement or AP courses for college credit. This does not mean all advanced class will be removed, but it does means that all classes currently labeled as AP will be changed to honors courses.

The international baccalaureate, or IB, program is currently offered at Shawnee Mission East, North and Northwest. The IB program is a national program that allows students to receive an education based on an international standard and gives them skills needed to succeed in a globalizing world. This would be another program eliminated through the passage of bill HB 2676.  If passed, HB 2676 will not be part of the national standard. It will only be enforced by Kansas and any state that chooses to follow suit.

Although current juniors and seniors will not be affected by the bill, students enrolled any time after the enactment date of July 1, 2017 will be.  The Kansas Senate approved the bill on Wednesday before it went to the House, where it is currently being examined.