The Missouri Coalition Against Common Core is proud to announce that Governor Jay Nixon signed House Bill1490 into law on July 14, 2014. We appreciate the work of the Missouri Legislature and the Governor in this first step which enables Missourians to direct and develop education for Missouri students. We believe this is an important first step forward that applies the appropriate caution when implementing a new and untried standards system. This new law will provide a measure of protection for our teachers, districts and students from consequences for student test scores on a standardized test whose validity and reliability as a tool for measuring their performance is not supported by data.
We look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature in the next session to further education excellence for Missouri students.
Missouri Passes HB1490 To Reclaim State Control of Education Standards
JEFFERSON CITY, MO - With strong support in both the House and Senate, the Missouri legislature passed HB1490 whose main purpose is to define a system wherein state education experts will evaluate and recommend state K-12 education standards. HB1490 passed the House 131:12 and the Senate 23:6. While not going nearly as far in returning local control of education as members of the Missouri Coalition Against Common Core had hoped, the bill is a good first step towards reclaiming state sovereignty over education.
"We would have liked the language to be a lot stronger in terms of rejecting the Common Core State Standards. We will have to rely on the professional integrity of those selected to be on the various work groups to really focus on what is best for our students and teachers and not be swayed by outside political or financial interests," said Anne Gassel a co-founder of MCACC. The coalition is a grassroots group made up of mothers and fathers, grandparents, teachers and school board members who are working together to restore local control of education.
HB1490, sponsored by Representative Kurt Bahr of St. Charles county, originally called for just the immediate cessation of implementation of Common Core State Standards. Several amendments were added by the House to address the practical issues of what would happen to districts while the state was working on new standards. “It was a team effort between grassroots supporters and our counterparts in the Senate. I am happy to have gotten a bill that will force an open and transparent process involving all of Missouri in the education of our children,” said Bahr.
The bill contains a one year moratorium on actions that
could be taken based on student test scores on the statewide standardized tests
aligned to the CCSS. Teacher evaluations cannot be affected by these scores,
nor can they negatively impact district accreditation. The Missouri School
Improvement Plan (MSIP5) which the Department of Elementary and Secondary
Education imposed three years ago in a process that was far less consultative
with local administrators than it had ever been in the past, required student
test scores be used for both accreditation and teacher evaluation.
Senator Ed Emery (District 31) carried the bill in the Senate which added additional measures including the protection of student data. The bill which passed out of the Senate differed enough from the House bill to require a conference committee to work out the differences. The committee also sought input from the Governor's office to make the bill less vulnerable to a veto.
In February 2009, Governor Jay Nixon told C-SPAN, "Education... is primarily a state responsibility, no doubt about it." He stated that Missouri had an "outstanding" public education system. During 2008 a visit by then US Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, she had this to say about Missouri's standards, "Massachusetts gets a lot of air time about their high standards, but it’s a little known fact that Missouri's are right up there and very, very strong." Yet just four months later Governor Nixon committed the state to adopting the, then as yet unwritten, CCSS in exchange for $1.7 billion in State Fiscal Stabilization Funds.
"The essence of HB1490 is an affirmation of the Governor's February statement about local control of education and we hope that he continues to support his publicly stated position by signing this bill," said Gassel.
This bill could provide a conflict of interest for the Governor as he sits
on the Board of Directors of Achieve Inc., who was instrumental in the
development of the CCSS and actually had several seats at the drafting table.
Achieve Inc. is also the developer of the Next Generation Science Standards
which Missouri is poised to adopt and implement.
The standards are part of a larger package of education reform measures referred to as the Four Assurances that Governor's had to sign on to in order to receive the SFSF. Those assurances included adoption of college and career ready standards and aligned assessments, student data tracking from pre-K through college, teacher evaluation programs that included metrics laid out by the US Department of Education and turn around models for failing school districts. Those same assurances were included in the state waiver applications for No Child Left Behind.
Members of MCACC recognized the unprecedented control those four assurances
gave the USDoEd over education in Missouri. Combined on all the bills calling
for the repeal of common core this session, more than 4,000 witness statements in
support were turned in by the public, an unprecedented number. In their
testimony on the common core bills working their way through the legislature
this session, MCACC witnesses noted that the state has signed on to use a
privately owned, copyrighted product that we had virtually no role in
developing and which has no process for us to affect any improvements or
changes that the state needs. "Yet our school districts will spend
millions implementing this product. This is taxation without
representation," said Mary Byrne, one of the founders of MCACC and an
active speaker around the state on Common Core.
That desire for federal control has become more apparent as states that have rejected various elements of the assurances, like Indiana which rejected the CCSS and Washington which rejected the specific test the Department wanted for teacher evaluations, even though Washington's teacher evaluation program, established long before the USDoEd requirements, included a provision to tie student test scores to teacher evaluations, have found themselves potential targets for retaliation by the USDoEd.
"It's not about what is best for the students, its about making sure that states follow the Department's instructions to the letter," said Gretchen Logue another founder of the Missouri Coalition Against Common Core and editor of MissouriEducationWatchdog.com. “Those states are being punished for Congress’s failure to act to fix or repeal No Child Left Behind.”
Many teachers have quietly complained about the standards, but refused to do so publicly for fear of losing their jobs. Two teachers from the Sikeston School district did speak at a Senate hearing on SB798/SB514 (Emery/Lamping) which also addressed common core. "I just could not do this to my students any more without saying something," said Susan Kimball a kindergarten teacher in Sikeston, MO. "My kids are not developmentally ready to do a lot of this work." Her comments are consistent with those in a letter signed by 500 early childhood education experts with The Early Childhood Education Alliance submitted at the time the standards were being drafted which called the standards developmentally inappropriate and in "conflict with compelling new research in cognitive science, neuroscience, child development, and early childhood education about how young children learn, what they need to learn, and how best to teach them in kindergarten and the early grades." There were no early childhood educators on the CCSSI work groups and that letter was ignored by the drafter of the final report from the CCSSI.
A special education teacher in Missouri believes the standards put even more negative stress on her students. "For kids who are already behind in achievement, the more rigorous standards are causing them to give up." She said the increased amount of testing and the mandatory online format for the assessments do a great disservice to special education students who already have attention and focus issues. "It is impossible for them to do well. This is setting them up for failure."
Senator John Lamping sponsored legislation last year requiring the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to provide information on the cost of common core implementation and the data collected on students. He offered this perspective on HB1490. “While this bill is a victory for the grassroots supporters who have worked tirelessly to educate Missourians it is but a first step. I hope they will continue their efforts to educate Missourians on the very serious concerns that exist with common core and the process by which it was adopted.”
The Governor has until August 28 to act on the bill.
The American Principles Project and Concerned Women of America have produced a fabulous video series that describes what Common Core Standards are, how we got them and what we can do to get them out of our state.
Please watch all five segments and share this link with as many people as you can.
If you really want to educate yourself about Common Core go to our Resource page and read the Pioneer Institute Report "Controlling Education From The Top"
Please check it out and share it with your friends!
House Bill 3399 returns the state to the standards they had before 2010 when they first adopted Common Core. Governor Fallin was not in office at that time. The state will have two years to develop their own standards.
“The words ‘Common Core’ in Oklahoma are now so divisive that they have
become a distraction that interferes with our mission of providing the
best education possible for our children. If we are going to improve our
standards in the classroom, now is the time to get to work,” said the Governor.
Fallin's signature on this bill is significant since she is currently the Chairwoman of the National Governors Association which, in conjunction with and the Council of Chief State School Officers, sponsored the creation the standards.
Let's see if Governor Nixon will follow suit and stand up for Missouri's sovereignty to set her own direction for education and sign HB1490.
The Missouri Coalition Against Common Core is supporting these bills
in the 2014 Legislative Session. Please ask your representative and
senator to vote to support these bills.
HB 1490 (Bahr) Stops the implementation of Common Core (the link takes you to the text that will be substituted for this bill's text in committee.)
HB (C. Jones) Stops the implementation of Common Core and gets the state out of SBAC
SB 514 (Lamping) Stops the implementation of Common Core
SB 798 (Emery) Stops the implementation of Common Core
HB 1873 (Guernsey) Student Data Privacy Act
SB 819 (Wallingford) 4th Amendment Protection Act
HJR 74 (Dohrman) State Board of Education Election Referendum
HB1818 (Dohrman) State Board of Education election statutory changes. This act shall be contingent upon the passage of HJR 74.
Dohrman's bill would place a proposed constitutional amendment on the
November ballot that would change the way our state board of education
members are selected. Currently they are appointed by the Governor. The
people have no voice at the very top of education where all the
decisions about education seem to be taking place in this state.
Quality teaching and learning
Pearson is the provider of the set of rubrics used to assess teacher performance in New York and the provider of the model for teacher evaluation used in Tennessee. In 2006, Pearson bought National Evaluation Systems, the leading provider of customized state assessments for teacher certification in the U.S.
The company scaled up its exposure in this market through an agreement with Stanford University to develop a national licensure procedure which assesses pre-service teacher candidates. More than 25 states and 90 teacher preparation programs have signed on to outsource teacher assessment to Pearson-Stanford.
Flexibility and choice
Pearson is the second-largest operator of virtual schools, achieving this position by purchasing leading player, Connections Education, in September 2011, crossing the line from supporting schools to operating them. The Connections Academy division operates online charter schools in 21 states with 40,000 student-customers.
Learning empowered by technology
Pearson leads the student information systems (SIS) industry because of its purchase of Apple Computer’s PowerSchool and Burnaby, B.C.-based Chancery Software, in 2007
Unfortunately with education these days, everything is about money, and Pearson has found deep pockets in American parents who are easily duped into ever higher spend, er, investing in education. Leveraging their vast earnings to purchase other education companies, Pearson is poised to be a monolithic presence in education.
From the report:
"The company moved decisively into the testing business well before its recent spate of acquisitions. Along with other testing companies, Pearson grew fat feasting on the mandatory testing required under George W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind, and fatter still under Barack Obama’s Race to the Top. Pearson became a leader in testing as it did in so many other education businesses, by purchasing industry leaders. It bought National Computer Systems, the leading provider of test-scoring services, for an astonishing $2.5 billion US, in July 2000.5 Several months later George W. Bush was elected president on an education—read “testing”—platform. Just days after the election, a NCS- Pearson executive displayed a quote from Bush calling for state testing and individual school report cards and announced to a ballroom-full of Wall Street analysts, 'This almost reads like our business plan.' In 2007, perhaps anticipating Barack Obama’s reliance on testing as his major education policy, Pearson purchased Harcourt Assessment, one of the two leading producers of tests administered at the state level and owner of the Stanford Achievement Test (SAT), for $635 million."
Updated map of states taking legislative action against Common Core. Twenty states in process, plus five states who did not adopt CC in the first place puts half the country potentially out of national standards.
See our updated list on the right side bar of the grassroots groups opposing common core in these and other states.
Sir Michael Barber is a name you need to get to know and look out for. He is fast becoming the international guru of education reform and is a huge supporter of Common Core Standards. After ruining British education with his "Deliverology" he has begun consulting with education experts around the globe including here in the United States.
Read this great overview of who he is (one of his titles is CEO of Pearson), who he's associated with, and where he wants to go.
Why worry about Barber? He wants “sustainable reform” which he defines as “irreversible reform” and aims to “make it so it can never go back to how it was before.”
American Family Association
Americans For Prosperity
American Principles Project
Concerned Women Of America
Conservative Teachers of America
Education Action Group Foundation
Locke & Smith
Home School Legal Defense Association John Locke Foundation
former Attorney General Ed Meese
National Federation of Republican Women
Pacific Research Institute
Public Interest Institute
Public Policy Institute
Washington Policy Center
We The People
Common Acronyms Used In Education
AYP – Average Yearly Progress
CCSSI – Common Core State Standards Initiative
CCSSO – Council of Chief State School Officers
DESE –Department of Elementary and Secondary Education – MO state level
DoEd – US Department of Education
ELA – English Language Arts
EPIC – Electronic Privacy Information Center
ESEA – Elementary and Secondary Education Act (1965)
LEA – Local Education Agency (school board)
MAP – Missouri Assessment Program
MNEA - MO National Education Association
MOSIS – Missouri Student Information Systems
MSBA – Missouri School Board Association
MSIP- Missouri School Improvement Plan
MSTA – Missouri State Teachers Association
NCLB – No Child Left Behind (2004 revision of ESEA)
Nex Gen Tests – Next Generation computer adaptive tests being developed by SBAC
NGA – National Governors Association
PARCC – Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (like SBAC)
PD – Professional Development (post graduation teacher training arranged by the school district as a term of license retention)
RTTT – Race To The Top (grant program started in 2010 by the DoEd)
SBAC – Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia (test developer and collection point for student test data)
Missouri Coalition Against Common Core 2013