Groups work to improve academic standards for Missouri students

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JEFFERSON CITY- Missouri educators and parents gathered Monday morning to discuss possible recommendations for current and future academic standards for public schools.

Education standards work groups gathered to discuss and recommend academic performance standards in English/language arts, math, social studies, and science. The work groups were implemented as part of HB 1490, which was passed by the Missouri legislature in 2014.

Communications Coordinator Sarah Potter said there's a wide range of suggestions and comments from both educators and parents. "Everything from educators, you know, telling us they love the standards, they want to keep them to parents saying they don't want the Common Core state standards at all," Potter said.

She said the work groups are split with two groups in each subject and most members are educators. Potter said the groups are about two-thirds of the way through the process of developing and recommending academic performance standards.

The emphasis on high academic performance standards relate to the primary goal of Missouri's Top 10 by 20 initiative with all Missouri students graduating, ready for college and a career. Potter said the department's hope for the project is that standards will improve for the better. 

"Our hope out of this process is that we get high standards. We want to make sure that we continue the tradition in Missouri of holding our kids to very high standards. We expect a lot from them and we want to make sure at the end of the year they're where they need to be in each grade so that they will graduate high school ready for whatever they want to do next in life," Potter said.

Recommendations on revisions to the standards must be submitted to the State Board of Education by October 2015. The date for the third and final public hearing is yet to be determined.