Breaking News: Two Democrats Call for Missouri Education Commissioner to resign
KSDK.com reports Sen. Paul LeVota of Independence and House member Genise Montecillo of St. Louis have called for the resignation of Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro. Last week emails surfaced detailing the Commissioner’s involvement in drafting legislation regarding teacher evaluations with special interest groups and changing fiscal impact figures to local districts.
You can read the story here.
We wrote about these emails last week and included the video of Governor Nixon at a 2013 Winter NGA meeting speaking about this plan and how it circumvented the legislature. This “coalition of the willing” is willing to bend the rules to fit their agenda of tying teacher evaluations to Common Core assessments and sticking the financial burden to districts:
Governor Nixon clearly states that he uses the “coalition of the willing on the front end…put a pilot study in place….and then we’ll prove it on the back side on what works…that was our theory. It was very controversial to get through and the only way to get it through was through this cooperative measure….and rather than fire away through the Legislature, we found a Coalition of the Willing and we should have….at least for the ShowMe state some groundbreaking data that gives us the ability to go back to the Legislature and say, well look, these are the leaders, these are the indicators on how well the students do in a class has a lot to do with how well the people teach in that class.”
Just a reminder, this is the same Commissioner who has stated in House hearings that it is not “DESE’s ‘intent’ to gather individual student data”. Apparently, that actually has been the intent of the Governor and Commissioner for quite some time. Without the individual student data tracking, they can’t base their teacher evaluation plan on the “groundbreaking data” the Governor is getting from the coalition of the willing.
The Missouri Badass Teachers group must be thrilled by this call for the commissioner’s resignation. From its Facebook page:
**BAT 911 for our Missouri BATs – MO State Commissioner of Education is helping a state billionaire eliminate tenure for teachers. (click “see more” for contact links)
Over the last several months, Missouri Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro has worked with district superintendents, bypassing local boards of education to make sure that the state is well on its way to implementing Common Core Standards. She has also been working hard to stab Missouri Teachers in the back!
The Missouri NEA uncovered that Nicastro worked with retired billionaire Rex Sinquefield’s people on an effort to eliminate tenure for Missouri teachers.
Looks like Commish Nicastro needs a BAT Swarm!!!
Twitter – Nicastro – Isn’t she supposed to serve kids & teachers not Billionaires?
Facebook – Nicastro on the Missouri Department of Education Facebook page – Post under the first thread. Let Nicastro know that backstabbing teachers & kids over money isn’t what an Ed. Commish should be doing.
Twitter – Missouri NEA tell them we support them as they are being attacked by their very own Ed. Commish!
Facebook – Missouri NEA and tell them we support them as they fight the backstabber Nicastro!
Do you think the latest DESE press release will mollify the increasing voices for her resignation? From http://dese.mo.gov/news/2013/BoardPresidentStatement.htm:
Vol. 47, No. 83RNov. 20, 2013Board President StatementThe President of the State Board of Education, Peter Herschend, has issued the following statement in response to claims that the Commissioner assisted an education reform organization with a ballot initiative. The Commissioner and her staff routinely respond to requests for review of legislative proposals. In this case the primary focus was on alignment with the Department’s work on a state model for educator evaluation.“It is the duty of Missouri Commissioner of Education to serve all members of the public not just select groups. It’s unfortunate that special interest groups want the Commissioner to choose sides in debates that serve the interests of adults not children. The Department and the State Board of Education remain focused on what is really important to education in Missouri: helping our children succeed.Change has come swiftly in Missouri as the Department implements the transformations of education that our children deserve. Whether it’s higher standards for students and teachers or making sure we are honest about the performance of our schools, the Commissioner and the State Board will continue to put our children’s needs first.”