Missouri Coalition Against Common Core

Working to regain local control of education in Missouri.

Refuse the Test

Carol Burris, the outspoken principal from New York who has seen the light on common core said, "Testing is the rock on which the policies that are destroying our local public schools are built. If our politicians do not have the courage to reverse high-stakes testing, then those who care must step in." That means parents who do not feel that eight to ten hours of testing is appropriate for their 9 year old need to stand up and say Enough!.

Our Notice of Refusal can be downloaded HERE  for you tpo sign and hand to your principal. Principals who recognize a parents right to direct the education of their child should honor this statement. Be sure to check out our Assessments tab for information on which districts have parents refusing to allow their children to waste their time taking a test with no external validity, that will not count for district accreditation or teacher evaluation and that was developed by a group recently rule illegal by a Missouri judge. Parents - Stand up for your children!

Tell us about problems you saw with spring SBAC testing

We heard almost nothing from DESE at the end of the pilot tests last spring even though there were numerous problems in piloting districts. We didn't even see the scores that resulted from those tests. The scores would only be useful as a relative baseline upon which to compare future tests. They were, by SBAC's own admission, meaningless as a measure of student performance on the tests since they piloted both the delivery system and the items simultaneously.

The state rolled out the latest version of the test, a fixed form, not computer adaptive as last year's was, with little comment on its readiness. The field reports so far indicate it may have as many problems as last year's pilot, only this time every district in the state can experience those problems, not just a select few pilot districts.

We have gotten phone calls from concerned teachers who have seen the problems with the test:

  • Inability to log in to the system.
  • Requirement for children to have a separate password for each section of the test (which is very confusing for 3rd graders) leading to trouble logging in.
  • Test Crashes
  • Non-functioning supports like audio that should be reading a section of text that doesn’t work
  • Non user-friendly on-screen “tools” that students can’t find or figure out to use to answer items despite practice with such tools before the actual test.
  • Delayed response times to student input causing them to retype their answer or second guess their answer because it looks like the system didn’t accept it.
  • The inability to enter the correct answer
  • Confusing instructions from DESE as to what “untimed” means (e.g. can students who run out of time be allowed to log on the next day to continue taking the test?)
  • Lack of available computers because the “untimed” nature of the test means that some kids are still working on the test beyond the alloted time in a testing room.
  • Lack of computer resources or broadband access to complete actual classroom assignments because testing is taking up both.
  • Overall lack of standardization of test conditions due to these problems.

So that DESE cannot hide these problems again, we would appreciate those who are involved in administering the test sharing their observations of problems. Please use this link to go to our on-line form to provide your input. Responses are anonymous.


SBAC Tests Do Not Meet NCLB Requirements

Statewide test scores that ESEA requires must be obtained from valid and reliable assessments (see bold font below)

NCLB Part A — Improving Basic Programs Operated by Local Educational Agencies

Subpart 1 — Basic Program Requirements

(A) IN GENERAL- Each State plan shall demonstrate that the State educational agency, in consultation with local educational agencies, has implemented a set of high-quality, yearly student academic assessments that include, at a minimum, academic assessments in mathematics, reading or language arts, and science that will be used as the primary means of determining the yearly performance of the State and of each local educational agency and school in the State in enabling all children to meet the State's challenging student academic achievement standards, except that no State shall be required to meet the requirements of this part relating to science assessments until the beginning of the 2007-2008 school year.
(B) USE OF ASSESSMENTS- Each State educational agency may incorporate the data from the assessments under this paragraph into a State-developed longitudinal data system that links student test scores, length of enrollment, and graduation records over time.
(C) REQUIREMENTS- Such assessments shall--
     (i) be the same academic assessments used to measure the achievement of all children;
     (ii) be aligned with the State's challenging academic content and student academic achievement standards, and provide coherent information about student attainment of such standards;
     (iii) be used for purposes for which such assessments are valid and reliable, and be consistent with relevant, nationally recognized professional and technical standards;


SBAC does not meet that criterion  of having validity and reliability as indicated on this memo from SBAC shared with state education leadership.

The important text excerpts in the memo are on the back of the pdf page:

• Establishment of internal validity [16], or the degree to which the test functions as required, has sufficient reliability, and sufficient ability to measure the intended content and not unintended content. Internal validity was investigated using Pilot Test results to determine whether or not a given content area test (ELA/literacy or mathematics) measured the intended construct and not unintended constructs. Essentially, this is an investigation as to whether or not the test is measuring primarily one construct (i.e., if it is uni-dimensional). As indicated in the attached dimensionality paper, the evidence strongly suggests that the Smarter Balanced ELA/literacy and mathematics test are uni-dimensional. Test reliability will initially be modeled through simulations using the item pool after item review, which is due to be completed December 31, 2014. Operational test reliability will be reported in the technical manual following the first operational administration in spring 2015. [in other words, test items and the test as a whole should have reliability data BEFORE it is administered. This sentence says that as of this date, the data are not available.]

Evaluation Phase:
Once the Smarter Balanced assessments are administered operationally in spring 2015, it will be possible to determine “external validity,” which is the degree to which test results correspond to external indicators (consistent with expectations) [4]. For example, students who perform well on the summative test are expected to perform well in the classroom. These external research studies are listed in the attached Validation Worksheet document [19] (see the checkmark under column F for applicable activities). The information in this table shows the main validity activities established through the Smarter Balanced Validity Framework and the associated sources of evidence, past, present, and future. Because this type of evidence continues to be gathered through the operational administration of the assessments, this table mostly reflects future plans for external validity research.

Furthermore, the administration of the SBAC as a fixed form test is not the administration procedure used in the pilot and field testing -- meaning the test will be obviously flawed and scores basically worthless if administration attempts to use 2015 scores as "standardized" test scores.

The above information means that as of this 2015 testing, SBAC does not meet NCLB requirements and, therefore, DESE and the U.S. Dept of ED's insistence on participation is SBAC will not meet the requirements of the federal law it is intended to fulfill.

Opting out of SBAC is the morally right thing for a parent to do if the state and district administrators won't or believe they can't behave in a morally, ethical, and professional manner to protect our children.

Senate Ed Committee To Hear Student Data Privacy Bill April 8

The Senate Education Committee will hear SB530 (Onder-R) the student data privacy bill on Wednesday April 8, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. in the Senate lounge.

This bill is meant to address data that is collected by the state. With one small exception, it does not affect the district's ability to collect data on students and share that data WITHIN the district. It does limit the district's ability to send student data out of the district to the state and primarily limits the ability to send personally identifiable information out of the district thus protecting student's privacy.

The bill does not address the 61 data points currently collected by the state for federal accountability purposes. However, the removal of a student's personal identity from those points should help protect our students privacy. Most data will be reported in aggregate form. Information needed at the student level will only be provided by MOSIS number and districts will be the only entity able to match MOSIS number and student identity.

SB530 places a fence around the expansion of data points the state may collect. In order to add more data fields to the state longitudinal data system, the department of education will have to have either legislative approval, or parent permission to do so. There is currently an open RFP from the USDoED for another $250M grant program to expand the state longitudinal data bases. We know the model for the student data records developed by the National Data Quality Campaign, a part of the National Center for Education Statistics, headed by Marc Tucker, contains over 350 data fields for each child. This RFP is proof that the pressure to continue expanding the amount of data on students is real and will continue unless stopped by the states, and most specifically the state legislatures since the state departments of education are acting as enforcement agents for the federal department of education.

The current federal vision, that the state has adopted, of tracking students into the workforce, without any requirement to end the practice after a certain age or destroy the student level data file becomes a de facto tracking file on every citizen in our country. This practice is followed by communist countries like to former Soviet Union and China with its dangnan files. The technology is now available to make this a very easy system to implement so now is the time to ask, is this who America is? Is this the proper role of government?

This legislation places parameters of the federal Protection of Pupil Rights Act into state law, protecting us from any erosion of those rights at the federal level. It calls for transparency in the amount and type of data currently collected by the state on each child and a process by which parents may correct errors in their child's data file. It prohibits the collection of biometric data, psychological or health data by the state. Lastly it places a moratorium on the amount of time the state may hold on to individual student data (5 years) and directs the destruction of that data by federal guidelines.

Please encourage your senator to support SB530 and your representative to support the companion legislation in the House HB1240 (Anderson-R).

Judge Grants Summary Judgement in SBAC Lawsuit

Columbia MO, February 24, 2015

Judge Green of the Circuit Court of Cole County has just granted summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs (Fred Sauer, Gretchen Logue, Anne Gassel) on our claim that Missouri’s membership fees to Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia are unlawful under the Compact Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Judge Green's decision said SBAC "is an unlawful interstate compact to which the U.S. Congress has never consented, whose existence and operation violate the Compact Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Article I, § 10, cl. 3, as well as numerous federal statutes; and that Missouri’s participation in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium as a member is unlawful under state and federal law."

Judge Green has permanently enjoined the State of Missouri from making payments in the form of membership fees to Smarter Balanced. We can no longer be a member of SBAC.

UPDATE: April 1, 2015 The state has announced that it plans to appeal the decision. During the appeals process the injunction against making membership payments will remain in effect.

Several other states are now exploring the possibility of bringing similar suits against both SBAC and PARCC.

Here is the judgement. http://www.moagainstcommoncore.com/Sauer%20v.%20Nixon%20-%20Judgment.pdf

Plans For ESEA Re-Authorization Are Awash in DC Doublespeak

Those nice newly elected folks in DC want to help us out by re-authorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) whose last authorization is more commonly known as No Child Left Behind. They didn't get it right in 2002 and it looks like they are back to do it again in 2015. Both the House and Senate bills have language that would legislate Common Core, grant states local control but only with USDoED approval, make all school medical records Health Records and therefore not subject to HIPPA protection and grant the Secretary of Ed waiver authority which means none of what they are writing matters.

Please download our two page flier on this issue and share it with friends and family. Then call your representatives in Washington and tell them we don't want what they are offering in ESEA. Get DC out of education!

Governor Nixon Signs HB1490

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.

HB1490 Work Group Information

You can find out what the work groups are up to on the DESE website.

There you can find Work Group member lists, meeting locations, dates and times, as well as dates and locations for the public hearings that the State Board of Education is required to hold.

You can also find links to videos from the initial meetings of the work groups on DESE's youtube page here.

Our very own video tab

We have added  a  Video tab to include lots of informative videos on common core and student data. Please check there for things like:
  • Governor Nixon telling the national governors association that he has been going around the legislature to change the teacher evaluation system.
  • Commissioner Nicastro admitting that common core is the floor of standards we want our children to master.
  • Professor James Milgram explaining why the CC standards won't make kids college ready.
  • Bill Gates telling the Natl Council of State Legislatures that the big benefit of common core is creating a uniform customer base for businesses.
  • Paul Schwartz warning about the dangers of student data collection.

Please check it out and share it with your friends!

What You Can Do To Help Stop Common Core

  1. Join MCACC by Registering to the right.
  2. Sign the petition and forward the link on to others to sign.
  3. Share the MCACC website with as many people as you can. Encourage them to watch the videos on the Home page. 
  4. Educate yourself by reading the documents on the resources and documents pages and then educate others.
    5. Get your local school board to sign the Resolution Against Common Core.

Universal Preschool Tied To Common Core

Read more about the universal FAIL of preschool to produce lasting improvement of student performance. Studies now showing that making preschoolers sit in a class structured for older students is actually harmful to their psycho-social development. See our new Early Childhood Education Tab

2015 Missouri Legislative Session Opens with Promise of Equal Opportunity

By - Anne Gassel

The new Speaker, Representative John Diehl (R-89) opened the 2015 session with a speech calling for unity and trust.

"By far most bills that pass this House receive a substantial, bipartisan majority. They don’t involve Republican issues, strictly speaking, or Democratic issues. Often they just come down to the basics of good government – constitutional functions and practical, attentive service to the diverse districts that we represent. When those fundamentals are the focus, we can hardly go wrong. "

That is a welcome statement to those of us who want local control of education. We want government that follows its constitutional constraints and allows diverse school districts to choose the type and scope of service they want and can afford to provide.

Diehl had this to say about education.

“Together, we will challenge our educational institutions to put students first and to graduate students at all levels who are ready to compete in a 21st century economy. And together, we will work to ensure the doors of opportunity are open to everyone who wants to, and is willing to, put in the hard work and sacrifice necessary to succeed.


As this state moves forward, we want everyone to feel empowered to achieve their dreams - no matter their age, their region, or their race. We want everyone to have their chance at a quality functional education, their opportunity to get ahead, their equal opportunity to participate in the economy of our state”


I applaud his focus on opportunity instead of outcome and his recognition that it be there for those who are willing to work for it. We have, for too long, functioned under an education policy that promises a specific outcome, even if students don't work for it. More and more blame is shifted to the teacher and, in a perverse twist, more parents are forced out of the equation as schools try to control all influences on the child's education because they feel 100% responsible for it. This policy leads to more and more spending on education as we attempt to force children to learn at a standardized pace in a standardized way.

This next session our legislative efforts will focus on removing the expensive and unnecessary SBAC tests, student data privacy measures and the restoration of parental rights to direct their child's education. These seem to be in line with the Speaker's thoughts on education so it will be interesting to see if he remains true to his statements yesterday.

You can read Diehl's entire speech here.

Published January 8, 2015

Common Core Part of an Old Plan

Linda Murphy is an Oklahoma educator and former appointed Secretary of Education and Deputy Commissioner of Labor for Workforce Education and Training.  She wrote in the Okie Blaze about her experience in 1995 she was sent to the National Governors Association meeting in Chicago, by then Oklahoma Governor Keating, where the NGA staff and Marc Tucker met with Education Advisors from many states. 

At that meeting they discussed President Clinton's education plans which were being promoted by business leaders like Lou Gerstner former IBM CEO who later went on to become Chairman Emirtus of Achieve Inc. which wrote the Common Core Standards.

Now her state supports Common Core and the vision of a “human capital pipeline” through education and training nationwide that it enables.

"This is all too familiar to those of us who became informed in the 1990’s," she wrote. "Some leaders remain:  Gerstner, Cohen and long range master planner, Marc Tucker.  Since 1988 Tucker has been Executive Director of the National Center for Education and the Economy, NCEE, funded by the Carnegie Foundation.


Michael Cohen, Executive Director of ACHIEVE, was chosen by Clinton for leadership in the Department of Education.  Cohen was on staff with Clinton, while he was Governor and chairman of the National Governor’s Association."


At that time Murphy and the education advisors from Virginia and New Hampshire were very vocal about their opposition to this vision.


"I just said NO.  No, the state of Oklahoma will NOT be participating in this plan," she said.


In her 2013 article she wrote about where the plans are now.

  1. Common Core State Standards written by ACHIEVE’s national panel
  2. Curriculum aligned with standards
  3. Student Assessments/Testing aligned with standards and curriculum (assessments include student behavior, attitudes, values and beliefs)
  4. Teachers trained as facilitators of aligned curriculum loosing freedom to teach by direct instruction and design their own lesson plans
  5. Teachers evaluated by monitors who report to the State Longitudinal Data System -SLDS for “Quality and Accountability”
  6. School Districts’ grades reported to the SLDS and the public based on “over simplified” and unproven processes
  7. Student data collected and stored in State Longitudinal Data Systems -SLDS for use across government agencies or outside parties developing tests and curriculum;  P-20 Councils oversee student tracking from Preschool through Age 20;  Individual and group data from schools, government agencies and workforce organizations matched and used in planning; Grades, behavior, nicknames, extracurricular activity, address and religious identity designated as useful data

It is now 2015, two decades since this plan was launched. Back in the 90's there was no social media and no grassroots activism of any serious note. The creators did not envision any public back lash and they had the support of business giants like IBM. They actually expected the public to lap it up. The government was going to make our kids college and career ready. What's not to like? They certainly didn't anticipate any kind of coordinated public push back. Their blind spot was their inability to predict the public's rejection of any plan that was based on authoritarian central control. They didn't plan on the tiger moms, the constitutional resurgency and frankly the high level of awareness of so many parents about what goes on in school. Turns out there is plenty not to like.


You can read Murphy's full article here.

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MCACC Brochure

We've updated our brochure! Please print out the new one and share. Find it here, or go to our resources page to find it along with other supporting documents. Print it out back to back. Stack the pages and fold in half.

MCACC Calendar

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States that have rejected 

Common Core 2015

For more details on other pending legislation to drop Common Core standards click Here.

Why We Need To Stop Common Core - Video

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"

National Groups Opposing Common Core

American Association of Christian Schools

American Family Association

Americans For Prosperity

American Principles Project

Cato Institute

Concerned Women Of America

Conservative Teachers of America

Eagle Forum

Education Action Group Foundation

Freedom Works

Locke & Smith

Heartland Institute

Heritage Foundation

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

Sutherland Institute

Washington Policy Center

We The People

9-12 Groups


Facebook Pages Opposing Common Core

Sign the Petition Against Common Core
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