The State Board of Education votes to adopt a set of nation-wide common core standard drawn up by the National Governors Association and State Education Chiefs. The guidelines have support from every state in the country expect Alaska and Texas.
Michael Muenks in the Department of Education’s office of College and Career Readiness says discussions on the changes have been well-received by school districts in the state. One of the major changes for Missouri will be in math lesson plans.
“A little more Algebra in Grade 8. But the major change that teachers in Missouri will see in the elementary grade level is really around the increased importance of, and earlier introduction of the concepts around fractions, and working with fractions,” Muenks said.
There will also be a more clear emphasis on technical writing skills in all subjects.
“That includes career technical, that includes all the social sciences, that whole area. Writing should not only been a communications arts or English/language arts course, but that it should be across all content areas and we need to balance creative writing with technical writing, those are skills that all kids need,” Muenks said.
The Board of Education voted 5 to 1 to accept the standards. Deborah Demien of Wentzville was the lone dissenting vote.
“I have very, very strong concerns over handing the power as to what will be taught our children over to either a national government or a national organization or even a group of national organizations,” Demien said.
Muenks says these standards are in line with the goals of Missouri schools to prepare students for the future.
“Those learning progressions are still there. I’m sure that we’ll have requests from the field to provide a smaller user’s version, because they’re quite thick because there’s lots of details, lots of examples,” Muenks said.
Board member Russell Still asked Muenks whether the standards go as far as telling teachers exactly how many papers students have to write.
“That’s left up to the local folks to determine how your writing process is going to work. Through the assessment program, there will be a minimum number of writing performance events throughout the year that school districts would participate in, in a benchmark,” Muenks said.
For more information on the standards, follow this link.