State Board of Education set to review proposed math and English guidelines

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HALLSVILLE - Changes to the curriculum for Missouri students are ready for review. 

The proposed standards will be presented to the State Board of Education at a meeting on Oct. 26. 

Those who support Common Core believe the current standards create consistent and rigorous guidelines that students should strive to meet. However, those against Common Core said its objectives are too complicated and were made without local input. 

If the state school board decides to adapt the new guidelines, then schools must adjust their curriculum by next fall based on those standards.

Hallsvile Assistant Superintendent David Downs said he does not expect a lot of changes to the proposed curriculum. 

"I don't really anticipate that the standards will change too much," Downs said. "I think that the standards that we have now are pretty good. They expect a lot out of students and that's important."

He said depending on whether or not the new standards are significantly different, the school district will make adjustments. Then, the school teachers will get together and look at old curriculum and make the changes. He thinks the changes will mostly be making some adjustments as to what is being taught at each grade level.

As far as the expense of changing the textbooks and materials, Downs said that will be reassessed once the new standards come out. 

"If we have to replace all of the materials, then yes, that could be an expense to us. But that's if there are major changes," Downs said.

He also said parents should not worry about any new guidelines. 

"Don't they think it's great we would [try to] have rigorous high expectations for their students?" Downs said. "Kids have to be critical thinkers and that means they have to engage in content that is difficult." 

Downs said as far as he knows, there should be a public comment period after the new guidelines are suggested at the Oct. 26 meeting. That is when parents, teachers and the community can voice their opinion about the new rules to the math and English curriculum.