Missouri Senators from West County are bringing their campaign to stop the implementation of national education standards in Missouri called “Common Core” to Chesterfield City Hall.
Republican Sen. Brian Nieves and John Lamping, both Republicans, are hosting an event at 7 p.m. Thursday that will also feature speakers from Common Core opposition groups.
Nieves represents Missouri’s 26th district, which covers parts of West St. Louis County, including Wildwood, Eureka and Chesterfield, and Franklin County. Lamping represents the 24th district, which covers parts of west-central St. Louis County, including Creve Coeur, Ladue, Frontenac, Olivette and Clayton.
Earlier this year, Lamping filed SB 210, a bill that would prohibit the state from putting the new standards in place. Lamping and other conservative groups opposed to the standards have decried them as a federal takeover of education.
The Common Core Standards Initiative has already been adopted in 45 states and is designed to create a rigorous set of consistent and clear expectations for what students are expected to learn.
Lamping told the St. Louis Beacon in March that he was also concerned with the way the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is moving ahead in implementing the standards with what he said is little communication to the General Assembly.
The Beacon story also cites Chris Nicastro, commissioner for the department, as defending the standards, pointing out that they support the goals that her department has set for Missouri students.
She also notes that they simply inform districts as to what students should know but do not tell them how to teach. Control of curriculum and decisions on how the standards are taught will remain at the local level.
The standards have been developed over a number of years but are just now starting to generate public attention, both nationally and locally. West Newsmagazine reported that about a dozen protestors stood outside a Rockwood Board of Education meeting April 11 in Ellisville holding signs with anti-Common Core messages.
The protest was organized in part by the Missouri Coalition Against Common Core. The group’s co-founder is Anne Gassel, Wild Horse Township Republic Committeewoman and one of the speaker’s scheduled for Thursday’s event in Chesterfield.
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