Columbia School Board discusses new Missouri Learning Standards

10 months 2 days 19 hours ago September 22, 2016 Sep 22, 2016 Thursday, September 22 2016 Thursday, September 22, 2016 2:56:00 PM CDT in News
By: Hannah Husmann, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Board of Education met Thursday morning to hear and discuss a report on student achievement. 

The presentation started a conversation on new learning standards in Columbia Public Schools, and the new standards come as a result of Missouri House Bill 1490. It stated that the Common Core Standards from years past was to be reorganized as the Missouri Learning Standards that are in place now. 

"We combined a lot of issues, a lot of concepts, from various states but basically we didn't rewrite new ones, we reorganized them and put them in different grade levels, or made a sequence a little different than what may have been in the Common Core Standards," board member Jan Mees said. 

The standards are being reorganized partly because of information and time limitations. According to a study the board heard during the presentation, educators have approximately 15,000 hours of information to teach their students and only 9,000 hours to do it in grades K-12.

"That's been the challenge. That is the whole point of this presentation that we had this morning was to help us as a district begin to narrow down and focus on the key learning standards that are critical to be a stepping stone for students to make it through the K through 12 curriculum that we have," Mees said. 

Mees said each school district is responsible for planning its own curriculum. The new standards will set a goal or concept for students to learn in english, math, science and social studies, but educators can get the students there however they think is best. 

"So we're trying to sequence and hone in on those that are critical and they will build on each other as the student goes through the system," Mees said.

Columbia Public Schools Communications Director Michelle Baumstark said the board did not have any action items on the agenda, and the learning standards presentation was only part of a conversation. 

Mees said the goal is to reorganize and combine standards in the next three years. 

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