Analysis: Kan. standards debate exposes tensions

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — An intense debate in Kansas over adopting multistate academic standards for public schools has exposed longstanding tensions between the Legislature and the State Board of Education over control of what happens in classrooms.

Small-government, tea party-aligned Republican legislators want to block the use of multistate standards for math, reading and science. They tried but were unsuccessful during this year’s legislative session.

The state school board adopted the math and reading standards in 2010 and the science standards last week.

This year’s tensions have roots in the Kansas Constitution.

It gives the state board authority to set education policy independent of the Legislature but still leaves the power of the purse with lawmakers, making at least occasional clashes likely, if not inevitable.

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