“Warmed Over” Standards Approved in Missouri


The Associated Press reported yesterday that the Missouri State Board of Education have approved the state’s “new” standards in English language arts and math along with standards in social studies and science.

Lawmakers in 2014 required the state board to adopt new standards in an attempt to drop the Common Core guidelines.

Conservatives have criticized those standards as being adopted without enough input from Missourians.

Changes in new standards include added emphasis on research in language arts and adding cursive writing to elementary school expectations.

Schools will need to start implementing the standards this fall. Students won’t be tested on the revised learning standards until spring of 2018.

Again, it seems (I haven’t read their new standards yet) that this is another rebrand as they started with the Common Core State Standards and tweaked them. Missouri Education Watchdog warned that this was likely to happen here, here and here.

Duane Lester reported about a meeting where members of the group did not want to hear testimony from anyone outside of the workgroups:

When she was asked a question by a member of the ELA workgroup, though, there was stiff resistance from members of the group, beginning with Ann Franklin, who was placed on the the workgroup by the Missouri School Boards Association. When Heather Drury attempted to ask Stotsky a question, Franklin immediately objected.

“No. No. That’s not the way the legislation reads,” she said.

HB 1490 has text in it that would allow outside experts to be allowed to be considered by the workgroup. It not just allows it, it compels it:

When this was pointed out, Franklin then made a motion.

“I’d like to move that only workgroup members participate in the discussion,” Franklin said.

There was quite a bit of debate over whether Stotsky would be allowed to address the question she was asked. Those opposed to letting her speak were mainly appointed to the group by the educational industrial complex. In the end, they took a vote on Franklin’s motion and it failed by a 7-7 vote.

 That’s right. Seven members of this group didn’t want to hear from a noted expert on education standards. Not only that, but if this motion passed, they wouldn’t even have allowed the Governor or Lt. Governor to participate. If there’s a better example of the arrogant attitude from the institutional members of the group, I don’t know what it is.

(Now that I think about it, I wish this would have passed. I would have enjoyed watching these ladies tell Gov. Nixon to pipe down. Or better yet, watch them try that on Lt. Gov. Kinder.) Here’s video of when Dr. Stotsky was invited to speak, and the resulting protest by the educational establishment.

….Later, when she (Stotsky) was addressing a group in the Capitol, she told them this was the first time she had ever had a group try to refuse to let her speak. She added that what she observed in the workgroups led her to conclude they were simply producing “warmed over Common Core.”The intent of HB 1490 was to prevent the implementation of Common Core in Missouri. If Stotsky is correct, it’s probable we’ll see more legislation next session to address this issue.

The deck was stacked it would appear.

So basically Missourians likely have Common Core with cursive… oh goody. I don’t think this is what the Missouri Legislature had in mind.

Missouri Teacher Testifies About Intimidation She Suffered for Common Core Opposition

Susan KimballWe need more teachers like Susan Kimball.  Kimball is a 20-year veteran teaching Kindergarten at Sikeston Public School District.  She testified that she has suffered from bullying and intimidation since she began speaking out against the Common Core State Standards.

Duane Lester at The Missouri Torch recounted her testimony before the Missouri Senate Education Committee testifying in favor of SB 514, introduced by State Senator John Lamping (R-St. Louis), that would prohibit the Missouri State Board of Education and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education from implementing the Common Core State Standards.  

“I have been strongly discouraged from saying anything negative about Common Core by my administration and some school board members,” Kimball said, her voice shaking.

Kimball described different instances where she, and others, were warned about speaking out.

“In a professional development meeting, um, inservice in November, and at a faculty meeting in January, we were told in my building, and I quote, ‘Be careful about what you post on Facebook, or talk about in the public regarding Common Core.  Don’t say anything negative.  It could affect your job.’”

Despite others being intimidated into silence, Kimball continued to speak out.

“When I turned in a personal day request to come support the rally for House Bill 1490, I was asked by my principal, ‘Do you really want that in your personnel file?’ And then I was bullied and ostracized by my administration, a few other teachers and the president of the school board.  And that continues today,” Kimball said.

Kimball testified she had messages from other teachers in other states telling similar stories.

Sen. John Lamping, sitting beside Kimball, appeared shocked by her statements.

You can watch her entire testimony below:

Missouri Statutes That Protect Local Control of Education

I participated in the Take Back Our Schools in North Kansas City, MO on Saturday.  Duane Lester of The Missouri Torch was on hand to video the entire conference.  I wanted to highlight one of the presentations, and then encourage you to visit The Missouri Torch to view the rest.

Dr. Mary Byrne, co-founder of the Missouri Coalition Against Common Core, gave a presentation on the Missouri statutes that protect local control of education making a compelling case that the Missouri Board of Education and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education broke the law when they adopted the Common Core and mandated it for local schools.

Below is the video of her presentation.

Here are the slides.



He’s adding video throughout the day so be sure to check back at his site.