Thursday, July 09, 2015

Columbia senator: This is a major victory for Common Core opponents

While taking a victory lap after Missouri withdrew from the Common Core testing consortium, Sen. Kurt Schaefer takes a few shots at Common Core as being a leftist, Obama agenda. Perhaps he should study the background of Common Core a bit more. While it has been pushed by the Obama Administration, it has many backers in the Republican party, and it has been a top objective for many of the business interests and those who want to privatize education who spend a great deal of their money with the GOP. Sen. Schaefer issued the following news release:
Under strict orders from legislative language crafted by Kurt Schaefer and other conservative leaders in the Missouri General Assembly, yesterday the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) informed its Common Core testing vendor that the state would withdraw from the consortium and not participate in its Common Core testing.

“Without any question, this is a major victory for Missouri schoolchildren, their parents, and all opponents of the Common Core scheme,” Senator Kurt Schaefer (R-Columbia) said. “Conservatives in the legislature spoke clearly on this issue, and this time the administration listened.”

Earlier this year, Schaefer, a staunch opponent of the Common Core program, and fellow budget writers in the House and Senate inserted language in House Bill 2 prohibiting taxpayer dollars from being spent to collect, distribute, share individual student data with the federal government. It further required withdrawal from the “Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium”, the Common Core testing entity. Instead, Missouri educators will be required to create state-based assessment programs that are independent of Common Core and accountable to parents and their elected officials.

“Every step Missouri can take away from the continued overreach of the Obama administration and its one-size-fits-all, leftist Common Core agenda is a win for our children,” Schaefer said. “I want to thank Representatives Kurt Bahr and my House Budget counterpart Tom Flanigan for their leadership and foresight on this issue as well.”
Let Teachers Teach is available in paperback and e-book editions.


Anonymous said...

Before all the ignorant comments start, I would encourage a simple google search of businesses and Chambers of Commerce that support Common core. I know the "overreaching Obama administration" line carries a lot of weight around here, but perhaps you should see for yourself.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, there's plenty of blame for over reaching on all sides of the political fence. Until people who understand learning and child development are designing curriculum, assessments, etc., things will always be about money and politics instead of about learning.

Anonymous said...


You are very condescending. I am a Democrat so anti-Obama speak only goes so far with me. But your arrogance is totally unacceptable.
It will hardly win anyone over to your argument, which is weakly presented.

As for the chambers of commerce around the country, I only marginally care about that. I am not in favor of looking at schools simply as institutions of job training. A true education is far more complex than learning the latest in technology or how to run a business. Common Core State Standards did not alarm me from the perspective of standards. However, the exams and the importance placed upon their data were taken to an extreme that was not realistic but ensured that test companies would make huge profits. They cost already strapped districts millions of dollars in order to get the technology to administer them, and they caused the sacrfice of rich learning in order to adapt to the latest exam. I know that lessons should be challenging and relevant, but if they become impossible then they are a moot point. I also find the tossing around of the term "rigorous design" to be troubling. Obviously, those who use it have not looked up the definition of "rigor."

I hope I have not insulted you with my lowly ignorance. I am just a sad result of America's public education, and I am sure I cannot possibly compete with someone of your high esteem.

For the kids,

Anonymous said...

I hate it when people talk down to me when they can't even capitalize correctly, 7:10. I have as much a right to render my opinion as you have. I don't believe your comment gives you the qualification to label anyone else's comments as "ignorant."

My complaint about CCSS has nothing to do with the standards. It's the importance of the examinations as well as their cost. Most of the countries with excellent education systems have very few assessments. We are obsessed with them in this country as we have a punitive mentality and let's face it, there is a lot of money in the assessment business. The lobbyists for education are surpassed only by those for the NRA.

Was that acceptable? I'll keep trying to meet your high standards.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to meet or exceed the standards or the eloquent advocacy of George W. Bush who was the education reform president.

In return for federal money, we expect local districts and states to measure, to have tests. The principal, the good Doc asked me to go into the 4th grade class and say to the kids, good luck on the test tomorrow. That was music to my ears, because you don't know whether or not a child is reading unless you test.
Does he actually believe that? New Orleans, Louisiana, Mar. 1, 2007

Anonymous said...

From 7:10, sorry I hurt so many feelings. My point was that one of our elected officials simply trotted out the "overreaching Obama" line and nothing more.

Anonymous said...

The Common Core standards had nothing to do with President Obama and he was not a factor until Arne Duncan began tying the standards to additional money. The development was initiated by a bi-partisan effort of many state Governors. Many of the opponents of Common Core have not even read the standards and do not realize they have nothing to do with the development of teaching lessons in the classrooms. For years, Missouri school districts and students have had more rigorous tests than most states including Kansas. Missouri educators realized that having assessments that were common among all states would provide an equal comparison among states. Having standards across the state and country would allow students who move from district to district to have a smoother transition when they change schools.

Had Arne Duncan the Race To The Top Initiative stayed away from using the standards as a "carrot" to schools wishing to access the money, much of the common core flap would not have occurred. If our own state department of education done a better of job of communicating during the process, much of the common core flap would have not occurred. We do have a lot of mis-informed people who have stirred people up against the common core.

Anonymous said...

Again, educators are not fleeing in fear from standards. We all know that a great deal of education is ubiquitous and consistent over time as well as geographically. (Although, some education is unique and or novel with respect to time and or location.) The problem is with the summative assessment structure.

"Weighing the pig," is a witicism that points out the absurdity of thinkng that one can fatten a pig by weighing it. The educational analogy is that the more you test a student the more he or she learms. Occasionally a pig needs weighed and occasionally a student needs tested in order to provide feedback to the learner and the teacher.

Common Core testing misses the mark on most of the tenets of modern pedagogy. High stakes, punitive, low buy-in exams have proven to be harmful to students, taxpayers, and the educational system.