Local teachers adjust to new education bill

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COLUMBIA- Teachers in Columbia were adjusting teaching plans Tuesday after Gov. Nixon signed House Bill 1490. 

The new law will eventually throw out common core standards. Teachers can still use Common Core standards to guide their lessons, but the law will allow teachers to continue to implement rigorous academic standards. 

Missouri National Education Association held its Summer workshop Tuesday in Columbia, including a training session on implementing Common Core standards. Hickman High School teacher Kathy Steinhoff led the session. She said she knows the bill will change some of the things she's teaching, but she doesn't expect much of a change. 

"Although we realize that the bill that Nixon signed yesterday is going to change things a little bit, we're actually optimistic that the resulting standards are still going to look kind of similar to Common Core."

She did add that she hopes the curriculum will not shift too far from Common Core so the training can continue. 

Steinhoff said some teachers she talked to were not happy with the bill. 

"I think some teachers are probably a little discouraged. They've been working really, really hard to implement Common Core with fidelity and it has taken a lot of work on their part. So at first glance it looks like this bill really shuts that down," Steinhoff said. 

In a release after the bill's signing, Nixon said, "Over the past several years, we have made significant strides to increase rigor, transperacy and accountability in our classrooms and with my signage today, this will continue."

Missouri adopted Common Core in 2010 and the standards were set for full implementation for the 2014-2015 school year. Some districts in Missouri used practice tests this past Spring to prepare for testing this comin Spring. 

Specially-appointed task forces of students and parents will start working this Fall on new standards for each subject and grade level. The new standards will go into effect for the 20116-2017 school year.