Kansas, Missouri Continue To Debate Common Core


Many states, including Kansas and Missouri, have adopted the "Common Core" system, which is designed to better prepare students for college and beyond. According to John Pepitone of Fox 4 Kansas City, proponents of Common Core system say that it will set national standards and will help children who move frequently because every public school will be at the same level. The new approach is directed towards students' critical thinking and testing abilities. and supporters also point out that the state governors, not the federal government, have drawn up the new system.

But opponents of Common Core say that it will be used for data collection by big companies who give money to the educational system and its supporters. The collection would ask certain data-obtaining questions on standardized tests about the students' religious background, how their families vote, etc. They also insist that it will destroy local schools' control over what they teach and what books can be used. They say that it will tell teachers what they have to teach. It is proposed by opponents of the Common Core that the federal government is getting too involved in local schools' operations.

Forty-five states have adopted the new "Common Core", though in Kansas and Missouri, the debate over the issue rages on.

In Kansas, some are trying to appeal the decision to adopt Common Core, writes Peter Hancock of Lawrence Journal-World. One of these is Megan King, the leader of Kansans Against the Common Core, who argues that corporate leaders such as Bill and Melinda Gates have given millions to the Common Core incentive and will use it to collect data on students and their families.

"‘I wouldn't want the Koch brothers running the way our school system is led; neither do I want Bill Gates to be running things,'said Megan King, a leader with the group Kansans Against the Common Core."

Kansas officials insist that any information obtained from students would be sent only to the State Board of Education and no one else. Others state that no information, not even the students' names, are asked for on the standardized tests.

In Missouri, the same debate rages, according to an article by Jessica Bock and Marie French of St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Many teachers, however, seem to like the new system. Cathy Cartier is one of these.

Affton High School teacher Cathy Cartier wondered if any of the Missouri legislators who are debating bills that would abolish new learning goals had ever seen them in action.

She has even invited several legislators to sit in on her classes. She insists that Common Core has not changed her teaching style or methods or what books she teaches, but has set better goals for her pupils to reach.

Opponents in Missouri point out that the Missouri State Legislature should have had some say in the matter. Missouri state and education officials ultimately made the decision without their input.

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