East Newton School Board members explain resolution against Common Core standards

A Southwest Missouri School Board is concerned about the cost of implementing new common core standards for education and has drafted a resolution to state officials.
The East Newton School Board is asking state lawmakers to re-evaluate the adoption of the Common Core State Standards or CCSS. The board contends state lawmakers didn’t get an opportunity to discuss or vote on the standards. The resolution also raises concerns about student data being wrongly collected and contends that the federal government is overreaching its control. Mark Knight, school board president says, ” Their main thing lets educate our children the way we see that they need to be educated.” He says the board acted after being petitioned by parents who were concerned. Mark Knight does believe some of their reasons were political in nature but the board did research and couldn’t get answers to questions. One board member, Tal Clubbs, thought the resolution was too political and didn’t sign it. But he also has concerns about the cost of common core exams. Clubbs says, “They say our tests aren’t going to cost us anything right now. Next year that might change and if the tests cost us twenty dollars a student, then that’s about twenty-eight thousand dollars for the district.”

Knight says board members were also concerned about how states were convinced to get on board with the common core standards. He says, “They asked if we wanted a waiver for No Child Left Behind. You could go to common core. Well of course, No Child Left Behind was impossible to obtain for every school so we said yes.”
East Newton School officials are preparing for common core as they do any directives from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education or DESE. Common core was passed in 2010 and will be fully implemented in 2014. The district gave some students a pilot of the Common Core exam and students say it will better assess what they know compared to the current MAP or Missouri Assessment Program tests. Colby Thomas, a junior says, “I felt like rather than being multiple choice it helped us problem solve a lot more and we had to do a lot more problem solving. I feel like you had to think more in depth.” Ryan Linton, also a junior says, ” it made more clear where you would use some of this math in the real world. Meanwhile, parents and board members are concerned this will be another case of teaching to the test. But the superintendent says that is part of education and their mission to ensure students are prepared for assessments that meet standards. Superintendent Todd McCrackin believes the Common Core standards are more rigorous than current standards and will be beneficial to students once past the implementation stage. He does say that stage will likely include a year where scores go down while students are getting acclimated to this new kind of exam. But McCrackin says that was also true of the MAP test when it was first implemented. The DESE web site includes comparison information of the new standards and the current Missouri Grade Level Expectations. click here for a link to the Crosswalks page of its web site. Also to see the district’s press release and resolution click here.

Common core debate
Oct 19th @ 7:00 pm
Criminal Justice Building
MSSU Campus