Ms. Olliges, as always, provided a fair look at both sides of the issue, interviewing local school officials, including Joplin R-8 Superintendent C. J. Huff, state officials, including former Webb City Superintendent Ron Lankford, and Joplin teachers Brian Neugebauer and Brandi Landis, all of whom spoke positively about Common Core Standards.
On the other side of the issue, they talked with Melissa Braun of Joplin and Jill Carter of Stark City, who are vocal opponents of Common Core.
Both sides of the issue were represented, but unfortunately, the story that emerged did not come anywhere near the truth.
For that, you cannot blame Ms. Olliges or KOAM.
Plenty of teachers in the Joplin R-8 School District who have researched the issue are opposed to Common Core, but you are not going to hear one word from them about it on the record. When the recent informational meeting was held at Missouri Southern State University, the message was sent to the teachers loud and clear- you are not to attend the meeting.
Not one teacher or administrator from Joplin attended the meeting.
Concerns about data collection and curriculum were swept under the rug by local and state officials, even though the Race to the Top funding, which has been sought so fervently by the state of Missouri and the Joplin School District requires an adoption of Common Core Standards, the Joplin application asks for hundreds of thousands to collect data, and in recent testimony before a House interim commitee, Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro said that districts will still make their own curriculum, but if it is not centered around Common Core Standards, the districts will not to well during testing. That would indicate our local school boards' hands are tied when it comes to curriculum as well as standards.
Watch the video and feel free to leave comments.