Today marks the day that most state-legislation passed during session and signed by the Governor will go into effect. Click to hear KMZU’s Kristie Cross speak with District 21 State Senator David Pearce:
The August 28th effect date will include House Bill 1490. “This deals with new education standards for the state of Missouri, ” said Pearce, “It establishes the ability to have groups to come up with new state standards, the number of people that will serve on those groups, and also the subject matter which they’ll be discussing.”
The search is now on for Missourians who are willing to get involved and help with the process of developing educational benchmarks suited to the best interest of students. “We’re looking for parents who have a passion about their son or daughter’s education, “said Pearce, “Then we also need those who are teachers, and those who are from certain aspects of education including administration to career and tech. We will have certain content areas of English, math, science, and social studies. So, there’s a lot of different areas that people can volunteer to serve on.”
The final report from the working groups is due by October 1, 2015. Those interested in serving are encouraged to complete the application form.
During the last legislative session, lawmakers discussed current education expectations and the possibility of creating new standards that could be a good fit for Missouri’s students. While standards set by Common Core mandates were set to begin this fall, the Legislature opted to develop educational benchmarks suited to the best interest of students by establishing its own standards.
There have been many discussions in the last few months about Common Core and how those standards relate to Missouri students. House Bill 1490 addresses those issues. The bill, passed by the General Assembly and signed by the governor, is set to take effect on Aug. 28.
The measure calls for working groups to be appointed in four areas— English, Math, Science and Social Studies—and in two grade groups for kindergarten through fifth, and sixth through twelfth. Eight groups of four will be comprised of 16 parents and 16 education professionals. Some will be nominated by the Senate President Pro Tem, with the final decision made by the State Board of Education. Those appointed can serve in more than one work group. For consideration as an education professional, a nominee must have been a Missouri resident for more than three years, and have either taught that subject for 10 years or have 10 years’ experience in that subject.
We need Missourians who have a passion for education to apply for these important positions. In order to make applying for these positions easier, I have a button on my Senate website that will enable anyone to download an application and mail it to my Capitol office. Just visit www.senate.mo.gov/pearce, look on the right side of the page and there you will find the Education Standards Working Groups. Click there and then click on the Application Form link.
It is very important that as legislators and stewards of our state’s resources be willing to review issues that are important to our constituents and Missouri’s future. One of the more frequent complaints my colleagues and I heard in regard to Common Core was that parents and teachers thought they had no say in the setting of the benchmarks for their students. The goal of HB 1490 is to ensure that there is public input in the curriculum and its assessment.
I encourage citizens to apply for these working groups, as it will take a wide spectrum of education professionals and parents to bring ideas to the table in order to make Missouri an even better state. Please take a moment to visit my Senate website and decide if this opportunity is one you would enjoy.
As always, please feel free to contact me or my staff with any questions or concerns at any time. We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions and trying to answer any questions you may have. You can reach us by phone at 866-277-0882 (toll-free) or 573-751-2272, or by fax at 573-526-7381.