Missouri Dept. of Education reviewing learning standards

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JEFFERSON CITY - The school bell - the sound most students don't like hearing early in the morning, but can't wait to hear mid-afternoon.

The noise resonates through the halls of a school bustling with students either getting ready for the day or packing their bags, slamming their metal locker doors shut, and leaving for a 16-hour break before the next day begins.

Missouri's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education wants to ensure that schools are being held up to the state's learning standards.

The department has designated eight work groups to review the standards and practices of schools throughout the state starting Monday.

Groups will meet Monday and Tuesday during the week of September 22, October 2 and 3 as well as October 20 and 21.

They are comprised of two English language arts, two mathematics, two science, and two social studies.

One group in each section will focus on elementary education, while the other will focus on grades 6-12.

The work group meetings are open to the public.

Members selected by Missouri government officials consist of active teachers and parents of school-age children.

"We welcome the opportunity to bring together educators and parents from all over Missouri to discuss the content of state standards. The Department has made ongoing review and adjustment to Missouri's Learning Standards a regular part of Department activities. We have always relied heavily on district professionals to conduct this work," the department said in a statement.

College and career preparedness is one of the state's most important goal in it's "Top 10 by 20" initiative, which strives to make Missouri one of the top ten states in education by 2020.

Missouri currently ranks number 16 in the number of public high school graduates (64,771) according to the 2013-2014 report by the National Education Association (NEA).

The current education standards can be found here.

The State Board of Education hopes to have the new standards adopted by October 2015.

KOMU reached out to Columbia Public Schools and was directed to the Missouri Department of Education for comment.