Statement from Commissioner of Education Chris L. Nicastro: Missouri Department of Education Applauds Thoughtful District and State Implementation of Common Core


Since the 2010 adoption of grades K-12 English language arts and mathematics Common Core State Standards, Missouri districts have been preparing for the transition to full implementation in school year 2014-2015. Yesterday's speech delivered by AFT President Randi Weingarten speaks to Missouri’s thoughtful approach.

While standards aren't piloted, instruments used to measure full implementation are. Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary officials agree that such assessments should be piloted before they are used for accountability. This spring, 203 Missouri school districts participated in an assessment pilot. At a minimum, 60 percent of Missouri districts will participate in a field test next year. In the meantime, the current Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) tests are still in place and are used for accountability.

This is not the first time that Missouri has revised its standards or changed its assessments. Missouri has successfully transitioned through changes over the years and has learned various strategies along the way.

We agree with Linda Darling-Hammond that "… schools and teachers need time and resources to get the new standards right." This is why Missouri worked so hard to get our crosswalk, training webinars, model curriculum and other tools in place three years ago.  Districts have done an excellent job providing professional development opportunities to teachers to support the changes in instruction necessary to fully address the new standards. They are well into their implementation and, in some cases, have fully transitioned to the Common Core.