Lawmakers Hear Support for Common Core Standards

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JEFFERSON CITY- A week after teachers and school administrators came to voice their concerns with the state's implementation of federal Common Core Standards, lawmakers are hearing the other side of the issue.

Hundreds of school districts were at a Senate committee hearing Wednesday to voice their disapproval with two bills, both of which would remove the state's Common Core Standards, which are set to take effect in August.

The standards aim mainly to improve performance in English and math. The standards aim to make math and reading more difficult at the elementary level. In high school, it boasts greater preparation for college.

The state adopted the federal standards in 2010, and plan to implement them into their curriculum for the 2014 school year.

Teachers had many concerns with the idea of removing the standards, mostly being the language the bill proposed by Sen. Ed Emery, R-Lamar. It states no school can use standards similar to those outlined in Common Core.

Administrators also argued that removing the standards after spending three years trying to incorporate them into the curriculum would mean the work was a waste of time and would hurt teacher morale.

Sen. Brian Nieves, R- St. Louis, argued it would not be a waste if it improved teacher quality and the difficulty of the curriculum.

"From a management position," Nieves said, "I don't think you can make the argument that working on these things is a waste. Especially if it did improve the quality of your curriculum, like you say."

Both Democrats and Republicans agreed that one key problem with Common Core Standards in Missouri was the way the Department of Education adopted the policy within Missouri schools.

Lawmakers did not take action on the bill Wednesday, but said they will work to fix the issues with the bill.