Students Should Be Lifetime Learners – But Apparently Teachers Don’t Have To Be

The Missouri Torch covered this past Monday’s State Standards Work Group meetings and saw first hand that some of the groups are populated by education professionals whose education is now apparently completed and they have no more need of hearing new information.  This is Duane Lester’s report.

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Nationally Recognized Education Expert Says Missouri’s 1490 Workgroups Creating “Warmed Over Common Core” (Video)

Duane Lester, TheMissouriTorch.com

On Monday, nationally recognized education expert Dr. Sandra Stotsky observed two of the 1490 workgroups meeting to develop Missouri’s new education standards. She first observed the Science Grades 6-12 workgroup at 9 am, followed by a visit to the English Language Arts Grades 6-12 workgroup at 10 am.

Dr. Stotsky spoke to the Science workgroup for over 40 minutes after being asked a question by one of the members of the workgroup. They were open and courteous, taking time to the insights of a former member of the Common Core Validation Committee.

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:

VIDEO

I left the conference room at this point, mainly because I thought they were done listening to her and secondarily because it was sweltering in that conference room. However, Stotsky was asked another question, this time by Stacey Shore, who was appointed to the committee by Speaker of the House Tim Jones.

The debate was interesting. The following video gives you a taste of the contentious relationship of this workgroup. Also, it contains the vote on Franklin motion to shut outside input on the group down:

VIDEO

When Stotsky was on her way out, I was able to catch up with her and get a comment on what she had observed. She was not impressed:

VIDEO

Later, when she 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.

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To see the full post and great accompanying video, please go to the TheMissouriTorch.com

 

IRONY ALERT: Be sure to watch the second video and the discussion of the ‘democratic process’ by the NEA appointed representative.  If this is what the ‘democratic process’ looks like, give me a constitutional republic.  There is little protection of the minority voice in this committee and it is ironic that around 23:30, there is a discussion of teaching civil disobedience and the ‘rights of all human beings in America’.  This comes from Huck Finn but apparently the right to civil disobedience is squelched for those opposed to Common Core and the minority does not have the right to hear from the expert in standards writing asked to serve on the Validation Committee.  This committee shows that such protections are only granted to those determined by the majority.  Civil disobedience in theory and in the past should be taught and embraced; in practice for this committee, not so much.

 

If you want to hear Dr. Stotsky talk for more than 3 minutes, she is appearing in the St. Louis area tonight:

stotsky meeting

Published October 23, 2014

Anne Gassel

Anne has been writing on MEW since 2012 and has been a citizen lobbyist on Common Core since 2013. Some day she would like to see a national Hippocratic oath for educators “I will remember that there is an art to teaching as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy and understanding are sometimes more important than policy or what the data say. My first priority is to do no harm to the children entrusted to my temporary care.”

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