Missouri Coalition Against Common Core

Working to regain local control of education in Missouri.

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 as well as “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.

We expect the state to appeal this decision which attorney John Sauer looks forward to defending.

We encourage other states to bring similar suit to end the Smarter Balanced Consortia.

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!

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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.
To better understand the main elements of this law, download our pamphlet "Common Core and Missouri - Where are we now?"

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

The Latest News

HB382 Place Responsibility For Your Child's Personal And Social Development with The School Guidance Counselor

Read more on Missouri Education Watchdog

HB382 (Swan) Requires school districts to establish comprehensive guidance and counseling programs for students attending school in the district
Accreditation Based on Guidance Program
The very first section of this bill takes elements of the Missouri School Improvement Program (MSIP) which is the DESE framework on how district accreditation is determined, and turn it into law. Since the bill allows DESE to "assess penalties for failing to comply" with this law, we know that districts will place the same kind of importance on guidance counseling that they currently do on other aspects of MSIP such as school attendance. School districts will enact every portion of this bill as required by DESE in order to maximize their points on their accreditation. Parental displeasure with anything put in place by the district will no longer matter.
Mandatory Participation for grades 3 thru 12
The second section of the bill requires that every student from grades 3-12 participate in the program. Just like the draconian attendance policies, districts will place pressure on families to participate in all aspects in this bill. Some of those aspects are about setting college and career goals. Imagine requiring 8 and 9 years old children to set such long range goals. Some of this involves setting goals for "social and personal development" that the student and parents will be required to adhere to and support. It will no longer be the parents' duty to monitor and shape their child's social development. A plan, developed through assessment and self reporting, will be on file with the school (and w/ DESE and third parties?). This provision makes every provision after it all the more dire.
1990s Style Values Clarification
The bill further elevates the role of the guidance counselor from what it already is under MSIP into that of a teacher in the classroom who will be teaching a "guidance curriculum." If you want to know what that looks like, just check out the 1000 page document on the guidance curriculum on DESE's website here  Notice that there is an entire section on Personal and Social Development which is Values Clarification from the 1990's. Think of the now classic limited life boat space exercise that asks children to come up with rational for kicking people out of a lifeboat. And remember that these guidance counselors will not be in the parent teacher conferences to tell you about what values they are teaching your child.
Empowers Schools to Override Parents Directives for Their Children
In numerous instances it gives the school counselors and staff the authority to intervene "on your child's behalf" for anything they perceive to put your child's "educational, career, personal, or social development at risk." This would, potentially include anything the parents have decided to prohibit their child from doing that the school wants them to do.
Unfunded Mandates
The bill also requires districts to "establish a counseling center in each school building of the district" that is large enough to house all the comprehensive guidance programs, personnel and equipment. This is an unfunded mandate for more spending in each district for programs not initiated at the local level.
In short this bill gives DESE enormous power to dictate to districts exactly what type of counseling they want our children to receive. That counseling will shape their view of school only as a place to learn job skills, or prepare them for college which will then give them job skills. The last section of the bill authorizes the State Board of Education (which will work through DESE) to promulgate all the rules and regulations that go with this program. Does anyone trust DESE to do this? A Republican dominated legislature should not be granting DESE this much power and authority.
We believe that it is not possible to support any section of this bill. Should it make it out of committee we need to contact all our Representatives and tell them not to vote for HB382 if it comes to the House floor.  This bill was supposed to be heard by the Elementary and Secondary Education  Committee on 2-16-15. Due to weather this meeting was cancelled. We do not have confirmation on when this bill will now be heard, but the next time this committee meets is 2-23-15. We encourage you to come present testimony when this bill is heard. If you can't make the hearing you may fill out a Witness Form using this link Witness Form.

Refuse The Test

New form available to refuse the SBAC testing of your child this spring.

Read the important report that shows that these tests will not produce meaningful scores this spring and violate Missouri state. Go to our Assessment tab
Help us to understand how many are standing up to refuse the SBAC test. Click on the box to the left to fill out a short survey.


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.

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"

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Get the daily education news on our blog MissouriEducationWatchdog.com
Contact Us:
Anne Gassel

Gretchen Logue


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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Looking to hear more about common core in your area?  Check the calendar for a local presentation. If you know of an event in your area that is not listed, please add it to our calendar so others can attend. (You must be registered and logged in to add an event)
MCACC Tip Line
Do you have an experience with CC in your child's school that you want to share? A crazy assignment? Teacher opposition suppressed? Unhappy or newly struggling student? Bullying Superintendent? These stories have real impact with legislators and let other parents know that their experience is not unique. We will share only with your permission.
You may also use this form to request a speaker at your event.
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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
Mobile users click here to sign the petition.

Please note, you may see a screen asking for a donation AFTER you sign the petition. This request is from iPetition which hosts the on-line petition. Money donated there does not support MCACC. It is NOT necessary to donate in order to sign the petition. You may simply close the tab. Your signature is already recorded.