Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Macon County Patriots Voice Concerns over Common Core

Last week, Missouri’s Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) provided carefully-scripted public presentations on the Common Core. The simultaneous meetings took place in each of Missouri’s eight congressional districts. To learn more about DESE’s support of the Common Core, click here.

Each event followed the same order of events for participants: sign-in, sit at a table, listen to presentation from DESE, discuss at a table, listen to a pre-selected educator provide an overview of table discussion to the entire room and adjourn. The event was scripted with careful words; presenters were not able to comment or remark outside of the text provided to them.
Our local presentation was in Marceline; Macon County Patriots attended to learn more about the proposal. The “Common Core” is not a new curriculum or test, it is standards in math and English that will shape how the nation measures student performance. Four states have opted out of the standards at this time.
It should be noted there were no outbursts or unprofessionalism displayed by either side of the issue at the meeting. Many educators were surprised there were so many concerns over the program. Many citizens were surprised educators were not aware of or dismissed their concerns. The standards were adopted by our state board of education, not the state’s legislature; the meeting allowed the public to address their concerns with the program in a tightly controlled manner.
In general, DESE worked through local educators and bureaucrats to debunk claims that the Common Core meant more federal involvement in the education system and less local control. Many educators like the Common Core because the standards are higher, clearer and shorter than previous standards.

Concerned citizens’ main concerns included:
  1. The federal government’s further involvement in local education. 
  2. The collection and distribution of student and family data.
  3. Funding, flexibility and copyrights as they relate to the common core.  
These meetings (and they linked take on how they went) occurred in Cape Girardeau,  Florissant, St. Louis, Cape Girardeau, Springfield, Marceline, Camdenton, Warrensburg and Kansas City.
Homeschoolers have rallied around this video as a call to action to ask states to opt out of the Common Core.
Concerned Women for America have asked concerned citizens to support SB 210 in response to their concerns with the program. The bill asks DESE to provide hearings in each congressional district on the subject, which may be why the department held the meetings last week.
The Missouri Education Watchdog website maintains a "Get MO out of Common Core" petition here.
MO Coalition Against Common Core is building a speaker's bureau so for meetings with you can have them give a presentation at meetings with groups that may be interested in the issue. Learn more here.
Rep. Sam Graves has joined others concerned about the Common Core.
This month, the Republican National Committee unanimously passed a resolution against Common Core Standards and student data collection.

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