Education leaders, business leaders and others from across the state gathered at the state Capitol today to voice their support for Missouri’s implementation of the Common Core State Standards, which the State Board of Education approved in 2010.
The standards are designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in college, other types of training and a career, education officials say.
“We need these standards to help prepare our students for the future–at college and in the workplace,” said Missouri's Teacher of the Year Cathy Cartier, a high school English teacher in the Affton School District. “I am seeing these standards working everyday in my classroom.”
Cartier was joined by teachers, school administrators and representatives from statewide education organizations at legislative hearings this week in Jefferson City on bills, which would prevent the state from implementing the Common Core State Standards.
The standards, adopted by the State Board of Education in 2010, were developed through a state-led effort by teachers, parents and education experts from throughout the country, including Missouri.
"The Common Core Standards support our efforts to provide the best education possible for Missouri's young people," said Peter F. Herschend, president of the State Board of Education. "The State Board of Education has always taken its constitutional responsibility to establish rigorous learning standards very seriously.”
The Common Core standards for English/language arts and math are part of Missouri's learning standards that provide guidelines for what students should know and be able to do. The standards do not require school districts to use specific curriculum or teaching methods. Those decisions will continue to be made at the local level by schools boards, administrators and teachers.
"Missouri’s learning standards provide a clear, internationally benchmarked roadmap for students and teachers,” said Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro. "These standards will help ensure Missouri's students graduate from high school college- and career-ready."
School districts across the state have already begun incorporating the standards into classroom instruction. District curriculum revisions and professional development activities for teachers are well under way.
Education officials believe the standards are key to reducing college remediation rates. Currently, about one-third of students entering college in Missouri must enroll in one or more remedial classes before taking crediting-bearing, college-level courses. In 2012, about 18 percent of students entering a four-year college and more than 55 percent of students entering a two-year college had to enroll in remedial classes.
"The Common Core standards provide students and their parents with a clear roadmap of academic expectations so they can work together with teachers toward shared goals," said David R. Russell, Missouri Commissioner of Higher Education. "Improving standards will ensure that, over time, students graduate high school prepared to succeed in credit-bearing courses without the need for remediation."
The cost for postsecondary remedial education totals more than $90 million every year in Missouri.
For more information about the Common Core State Standards, visit:
Supporters statement and list of supporters: http://dev.dese.mo.gov/sites/default/files/CCSS-Support-lists.pdf
Information on Common Core: http://dese.mo.gov/sites/default/files/ccss-legislators.pdf
Fordham Institute testimony on standards: http://www.dese.mo.gov/sites/default/files/Fordham.pdf