Can we keep the republic the Continental Congress gave us?
As we are a Missouri Watchdog organization, we want to share this alert with our readers. It is a last minute item which we apologize for not posting sooner, but much has been happening lately to distract us.
April 1, 2015 is the deadline for sending your responses to DESE regarding the proposed change to the Missouri standards. The March 2, 2015 publication of the Missouri Register included this language:
Title 5—DEPARTMENT OF ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION
Division 20—Division of Learning Services Chapter 200—Office of College and Career Readiness
PROPOSED AMENDMENT 5 CSR 20-200.260 Academic Standards. The State Board of Education is amending the purpose and section (1).
PURPOSE: This amendment revises language which clarifies the meaning of the standard regarding United States founding documents per a request from a member of the General Assembly.
PURPOSE: Section 160.514, RSMo requires the State Board of Education (board) to adopt academic standards which establish the knowledge, skills, and competencies necessary for students to successfully advance through the public elementary and secondary education system of this state. This rule establishes those academic standards.
(J) Social Studies. In social studies, students in Missouri public schools will acquire a solid foundation which includes knowledge of—
1. Principles expressed in the documents shaping [constitutional democracy in] the government of the United States;
2. Continuity and change in the history of Missouri, the United States, and the world;
3. Principles and process of governance systems;
4. Economic concepts (including productivity and the market system) and principles (including the laws of supply and demand);
5. The major elements of geographical study and analysis (such as location, place, movement, regions) and their relationships to changes in society and environment;
6. Relationships of the individual and groups to institutions and cultural traditions; and
7. The use of tools of social science inquiry (such as surveys, statistics, maps, documents).
AUTHORITY: sections 160.514 and 161.092, RSMo  Supp. 2014. This rule previously filed as 5 CSR 50-375.100. Original rule filed Oct. 25, 1995, effective May 30, 1996. Moved to 5 CSR 20- 200.260, effective Aug. 16, 2011. Amended: Filed Jan. 22, 2015.
PUBLIC COST: This proposed amendment will not cost state agencies or political subdivisions more than five hundred dollars ($500) in the aggregate.
PRIVATE COST: This proposed amendment will not cost private entities more than five hundred dollars ($500) in the aggregate.
NOTICE TO SUBMIT COMMENTS: Anyone may file a statement in support of or in opposition to this proposed amendment with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, Attention: Sharon Helwig, PO Box 480, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0480. To be considered, comments must be received within thirty (30) days after publication of this notice in the Missouri Register. No public hearing is scheduled. Sharon.Helwig@dese.mo.gov Comments due April 1, 2015
We are drawing your attention to section J item 1 which at least removes the incorrect language Missouri HAD been using about our form of government and simply says “the government of the United States.” Article IV Section 4 of the U. S. Constitution states, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, . . .” Leaving the Missouri language this vague allows all manner of incorrect teaching of our form of government. Those who want to continue to teach we are a constitutional democracy could do so with this change.
We encourage you to read the entire register notice here as you may find other sections worthy of comment. The language written there is what is commonly referred to by teachers as the “blue placemat” and represents the official educational standards for the state (which by law can only number 75). The specifics about what is taught in each grade are more commonly referred to as “Grade Level Expectations” and fall under the general standards for each subject area. There has been much spirited debate in the HB1490 work groups as to which standards we were meant to address. Most groups are developing subsets of the standards which would actually supersede the current GLEs.
The public hearing of the State Board of Education regarding progress on the academic standards work groups reviewing/writing Missouri academic standards required by HB1490 will be held on April 20th. See the State Board website for time and place. The agenda will be posted a week before the meeting (April 13).