Missouri’s complicated dance with the Common Core State Standards is preparing for the next step.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education on Friday announced the opening schedule of workshops for teams that were directed by a new state law to review and rewrite Missouri’s learning standards.
The work begins Sept. 22 and 23 in Jefferson City, as educators and parents selected by various state officers and agencies will bear down on the project that is supposed to be completed, including a public review process, by Oct. 1, 2015.
The bill that is prompting the new standards represented an unusual compromise over what has been a polarized national struggle over the Common Core State Standards that has often crossed usual political divisions.
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The bill passed because players on either side of the Common Core debate expect a different outcome once the process is done.
Supporters of Common Core expect that the work groups will review and mostly affirm the work most school districts in the state have already completed in adapting their own curriculums to the Common Core.
Opponents of Common Core expect the new Missouri standards will look much different.
“We’re looking forward to a process where the standards will be reviewed, and we expect to see rigorous standards based on research,” said Brent Ghan, spokesman for the Missouri School Boards’ Association, which supports Common Core.
Four more dates for the work groups also have been set: Oct. 2, 3, 20 and 21. The state will conduct at least three public comment sessions, though those dates and locations have not been determined.
In the meantime, schools will continue following the current state standards, which can be viewed at www.missourilearningstandards.com.
“We anticipate strong standards from these work groups,” said Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro in a written statement. “Our children deserve nothing less.”
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