Nationally Recognized Education Expert Says Missouri’s 1490 Workgroups Creating “Warmed Over Common Core” (Video)
On Monday, nationally recognized education expert Dr. Sandra Stotsky observed two of the 1490 workgroups meeting to develop Missouri’s new education standards. She first observed the Science Grades 6-12 workgroup at 9 am, followed by a visit to the English Language Arts Grades 6-12 workgroup at 10 am.
Dr. Stotsky spoke to the Science workgroup for over 40 minutes after being asked a question by one of the members of the workgroup. They were open and courteous, taking time to the insights of a former member of the Common Core Validation Committee.
When she was asked a question by a member of the ELA workgroup, though, there was stiff resistance from members of the group, beginning with Ann Franklin, who was placed on the the workgroup by the Missouri School Boards Association. When Heather Drury attempted to ask Stotsky a question, Franklin immediately objected.
“No. No. That’s not the way the legislation reads,” she said.
HB 1490 has text in it that would allow outside experts to be allowed to be considered by the workgroup. It not just allows it, it compels it:
When this was pointed out, Franklin then made a motion.
“I’d like to move that only workgroup members participate in the discussion,” Franklin said.
There was quite a bit of debate over whether Stotsky would be allowed to address the question she was asked. Those opposed to letting her speak were mainly appointed to the group by the educational industrial complex. In the end, they took a vote on Franklin’s motion and it failed by a 7-7 vote.
That’s right. Seven members of this group didn’t want to hear from a noted expert on education standards. Not only that, but if this motion passed, they wouldn’t even have allowed the Governor or Lt. Governor to participate. If there’s a better example of the arrogant attitude from the institutional members of the group, I don’t know what it is.
(Now that I think about it, I wish this would have passed. I would have enjoyed watching these ladies tell Gov. Nixon to pipe down. Or better yet, watch them try that on Lt. Gov. Kinder.) Here’s video of when Dr. Stotsky was invited to speak, and the resulting protest by the educational establishment:
I left the conference room at this point, mainly because I thought they were done listening to her and secondarily because it was sweltering in that conference room. However, Stotsky was asked another question, this time by Stacey Shore, who was appointed to the committee by Speaker of the House Tim Jones.
The debate was interesting. The following video gives you a taste of the contentious relationship of this workgroup. Also, it contains the vote on Franklin motion to shut outside input on the group down:
When Stotsky was on her way out, I was able to catch up with her and get a comment on what she had observed. She was not impressed:
Later, when she was addressing a group in the Capitol, she told them this was the first time she had ever had a group try to refuse to let her speak. She added that what she observed in the workgroups led her to conclude they were simply producing “warmed over Common Core.”
The intent of HB 1490 was to prevent the implementation of Common Core in Missouri. If Stotsky is correct, it’s probable we’ll see more legislation next session to address this issue.