Backers of multistate standards pack Kan. meeting

Kansas state Sen. Steve Abrams, an Arkansas City Republican, argues in favor of a bill to pause implementation of the multi-state, Common Core standards for reading and math in public schools before his colleagues approve it, Saturday, June 1, 2013, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Abrams is a former State Board of Education chairman. (AP Photo/John Milburn)
Kansas state Sen. Steve Abrams, an Arkansas City Republican, argues in favor of a bill to pause implementation of the multi-state, Common Core standards for reading and math in public schools before his colleagues approve it, Saturday, June 1, 2013, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Abrams is a former State Board of Education chairman. (AP Photo/John Milburn)

TOPEKA, Kansas (AP) – The Kansas State Board of Education is hearing strong support for multistate reading and math standards.

Superintendents and teachers testified Tuesday in favor of standards adopted in 2010 by the board. Known as Common Core, the standards have sparked controversy, particularly among conservative Republican legislators.

But educators filled the board’s meeting room to extol the standards as a major step forward in education, saying they emphasize critical thinking skills over rote memorization.

In trying to persuade the board to rethink its approval of the standards, critics are questioning whether they represent a loss of control for the state over its public schools. They also say the standards will be expensive to implement.

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