DESE public hearing April 2015

Are you planning to attend tomorrow’s hearing?  Do you want to hear about work group progress (or lack of) in adopting authentic Missouri standards as dictated by HB1490?  If you can’t go, you can enter your comments at the survey monkey link….sort of.  DESE has designed the questions via the Delphi method and it is ‘tell me what you like/don’t like about the standards’.   The manner in which the questions are asked do not lend themselves to open discussion about adoption/implementation and the fact that ‘Missouri Learning Standards’ are just a rebrand of Common Core State Standards.  It is crafted to tacitly acknowledge the standards as valid in their adoption/implementation, even as many citizens disagree with that belief.

The survey starts out with ‘read the standards’, pick a content strand, grade level and then you are invited to leave a comment on the standards themselves.  There is no mention of how they were adopted before they were written, adoption occurred by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with miniscule knowledge of the voters and state legislature and that they are privately owned/copyrighted and subject taxpayers/school districts to unfunded mandates.  There is also no mention that the standards/assessments violate the process of standard adoption and assessment creation as mandated in The Missouri Constitution.

Below is my comment I left on the standards.  Don’t fall into the education reformer game of tell me a standard you don’t like.   Instead, direct the conversation to the elephant in the room that the reformers don’t want to have:  The Governor, State Board of Education and State Commissioner exceeded their authority to adopt/implement privately owned/copyrighted unvalidated standards written by private non-governmental organizations:


DESE and The State Board of Education can call Common Core Standards whatever they like.  Currently they have been rebranded as Missouri Learning Standards.

DESE and The State Board of Education have been disingenuous in informing citizens about the truth about these standards (whatever they want to call them).  They have not been validated, MISSOURI educators should be writing these assessments (per the MO Constitution) instead of private non-governmental organizations and they are NOT ‘state led’.  They cannot be modified (why else would they be labeled ‘common’) and the use of these standards circumvented the voters and state legislature.

DESE and The State Board of Education are funded by the voters who pay their salaries and expenses.  The citizens of Missouri are increasingly aware they were shut out of the process of the adoption/implementation of these standards and assessments.  They are also aware that even as DESE insists ‘schools are free to choose their curriculum’, that is a hollow statement.  Citizens know that curriculum must match what is assessed so students score higher.  That’s really a no-brainer and it is insulting that DESE keeps repeating this fallacious statement.

It is also disingenuous that even as 76% of Missouri citizens voted against Amendment 3 in 2014 (teacher evaluations tied heavily to include SBAC/Common Core assessment scores), the agency then signed a waiver in March 2015 that negates this vote as teacher evaluations will be tied to Common Core assessment student scores:

“In 2016-2017, the second year of student growth data will be collected for all teachers providing two years of growth data. This second year of data collection ensures compliance with the final criteria for this essential principle (i.e. includes multiple years of comparable data). These two years of data are then used as a determining factor in the summative evaluation process in the spring 2017 to determine employment status in the 2017-2018 school year.”


By signing this waiver agreement, DESE has indicated that it will ignore the will of the people and circumvent the political process once again.


You can find the information on teacher evaluations being aligned to student assessment scores in 2016-2017 and being a determining factor in the summative evaluation process to determine employment status in 2017-2018 on page 128/140.

Take some time to offer your thoughts  on Missouri Learning Standards aka Common Core State Standards.  You can see that the Common Core Standards (or Missouri Learning Standards) is much more than show me a standard you don’t like.




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