Saturday, March 30, 2013

SB210 Wording Has Changed ~ Support HB616 #stopcommoncore #MOLeg #MOSen #tctot #tcot #tlot

SB 210 (January 24, 2013)
This act prohibits the State Board of Education and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education from implementing the Common Core State Standards for public schools developed by the Common Core Standards Initiative or any other statewide education standards without the approval of the General Assembly.

SCS/SB 210 (March 27, 2013) (SCS Voted Do Pass S Education Committee)
This act requires the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to conduct at least one public hearing in each Missouri congressional district prior to the full implementation of the Common Core State Standards. The Department must notify school districts and parents of public school students of the hearings at least two weeks in advance.

At least two weeks prior to the first of the public hearings, the Department must perform a fiscal analysis of the projected cost to the state and school districts of the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. The Department must also prepare, at least two weeks prior to the first of the public hearings, a report identifying any data that will be collected as a result of the Common Core State Standards and any governmental or quasi-governmental entities or consortium that collects or receives any data. These reports must be published on the Department's website and must be provided to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Joint Committee on Education.

All public hearings must be completed by December 31, 2013. This act contains an emergency clause.

HB616 Information HERE Sign Petition to StopCommonCore implementation in Missouri!

Sunday, March 17, 2013


When I graduated from high school in the 80s, I remember commenting to the local newspaper in an interview that the curriculum was lacking and that I could have learned more.  I greatly appreciate my small town upbringing now, there were many aspects other than the curriculum that were beneficial, but I knew I wasn't prepared for college.  I had a very steep hill to climb.
I struggled throughout college, academically and financially; balancing family time, studies and many hours of work was tough.  My math professors were demanding and husband was my cheerleader... they all saw me through...
I worked as a research assistant for 18 months, when I couldn't find a teaching job, it was a God-send that opened my eyes in so many ways.  I took dictation for a beautifully brilliant female math professor for part of the day.  We corresponded with mathematicians from all over the world.  I imagined how empowering that technology could be in teaching children to realize their individual potential.  We also corresponded with many influential people that were concerned about mathematics education in the U.S.  We often took breaks for tea and discussed the issues at hand that day.  I grew to love tea time... 
In her writing, she coined a phrase that "school mathematics should be a pump, not a filter" this is a concept that has stayed close to my heart for many years.  Students with "latent abilities" in mathematics must be supported in a learning environment that keeps opportunities open to them.
Let's fast forward to the present... Rather than developing and utilizing technology to support individuals in realizing their cognitive potential, we have the Common Core Standards Initiative.  We are expected to passively embrace a centralized initiative that will limit the content taught in schools, undermine individual liberty of students, parents, teachers and administrators, limit the power of our locally elected school boards, and limit choice of educational materials available in the market place because of the huge rush to implement Common Core.  The whole "initiative" is antithetical to true freedom. 
Twenty or so years ago, when I first began teaching, I honestly expected to see the day when technology would break open great opportunities for students and teachers.  I'm not talking about technology for technology's sake, I mean huge strides in cognitive development.  Here are some questions that I had hoped would be answered by now...
Why do students still carry books and notebooks when we claim to spend thousands a year per pupil?
Why are school districts still investing tax dollars in copy machines and paper, teacher time in standing at the copier and grading paper and pencil assessments, rather than designing content specific learning opportunities?
Why don't we use technology to teach students how to create their own individual concept maps in a secure environment?
I have to say...these seem like issues that Bill Gates has the power and resources to address, if he really cared about individuals reaching their fullest potential.  Instead he has invested heavily in creating a system of centralization, uniformity, and a captive market... yes, he's a very smart business man... but is it right?
Please don't respond to this in the comment section...I don't check them often enough...
You can reach me @proudmomom on twitter. 
Thank you,  Lisa

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

#HB631 #HB616 #SB210 #MOLeg #MOSen #edreform #liberty #statesovereignty

The school district where I teach has always dismissed ineffective teachers.  Our administrators are very thorough and follow through on the procedures required to document unprofessional behavior and ineffective teaching practices.  Additional legislation may be needed to assist some districts and school boards in achieving this task, but I maintain that the procedures have always been in place, even under our current tenure rules.
I'm a little concerned about the Value-Added-Model being employed in HB 631 because honestly, my evaluators haven't always been knowledgeable in my subject matter.  It's impossible for administrators/evaluators to know all of the upper level content courses in our schools.  To use VAM in the future, they will be reliant on individual student assessments from current and previous years. 
I teach upper-level math to classes of 20-30 students who naturally have widely varying ability levels - yes, even in calculus.  Students at the upper end of the spectrum unfortunately don't progress as far as students at the lower end, over the course of the year, because instructional techniques must remediate for struggling students in order for the entire class to move forward.  I haven't seen a VAM that accommodates for that fact, but it the model exists, we don't have assessments to address this mathematics, and if we did, our state does not have the technological infrastructure to administer the model fairly and accurately across disciplines. 
My concern is that the VAM "ideology" precedes the reality of implementation - which is often the case... and the assessments utilized will soon to be associated with mediocre Common Core standards, unless our legislators pass HB616 and SB 210.
The Common Core standards movement has gained ground only on ideology from the onset.  When the idea was first discussed four or five years ago, I was like most conservatives in thinking it could be good to have "common" baseline standards for public schools.  Two things changed my mind almost from the onset:  1) they really weren't "baseline" standards because they introduced the 85% cap in the first draft and it remained in the final draft, and 2) there is no virtuous reason that these standards need a copyright, in this day of open source educational materials available from reputable colleges and universities everywhere, unless there was alterior motive.  
Those were the things that induced my personal questioning of the CCSS "initiative", but since that time, much substantive research has been conducted by questioning minds through the US.  Although I can't attend the upcoming hearing on SB210, I urge Missouri's legislators to represent their constituents by thoroughly researching the memorandum of agreement that signed away our state's sovereignty in education.
MO SB 210 has a hearing scheduled for March 6, 2012 in the Senate Education Committee
MO HB 616 has been referred to the Downsizing State Government Committee
[Shouldn't that be Downsizing the FEDERAL Government?] 


Posted via email from concernedabouteducation's posterous