(AP) – A panel of Missouri teachers and parents tasked with reviewing the state’s education standards is so divided that members told the State Board of Education on Monday they have split into two groups.
At issue are the goals for what K-12 children should learn in each grade. Missouri now uses the national Common Core standards, which have been criticized by some parents and conservative lawmakers, who say they were adopted with little local input. Supporters say the standards create consistent, rigorous standards across state lines, which could help students from military families who frequently move.
Lawmakers opposed to Common Core last year required a review of the standards with the goal of replacing them with ones recommended by Missouri parents and teachers. But that process so far has been divisive, with some members interested in referencing Common Core standards and others pushing to abandon those guidelines completely, among a slew of other differences.
Tensions between the two factions were further demonstrated by a split in the group evaluating English and language arts guidelines for grades 6-12.
Stacy Shore, a parent who is a member of the Missouri Coalition Against Common Core and Concerned Women For America of Missouri, said she was among those who broke from that group. She said she realized “why education is broken in our state” after participating, and said her concerns include lack of enough input from educators and experts, as well as Department of Elementary and Secondary Education intervention in their efforts through a paid facilitator. Department officials have denied that accusation.