"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Senate Bill 210 Voted Unanimously Out of House Education Committee

May 13, 2013 The House Education Committee held their hearing on senate bill 210 (Lamping-R). Representative Kurt Bahr led the bill in front of the committee and addressed questions for almost 20 minutes. Bill supporters were given approximately 25 minutes to testify including testimony from Anne Gassel, Gretchen Logue and Jerry Briehan.  In addition, over 900 witness statements in support of SB210 were delivered to the committee. When called, there was no official opposition to the bill. However, Commissioner Nicastro and other representatives from DESE were allowed to give informational testimony for another 35 minutes including time for questions from the committee. Some additional informational testimony was provided by those supporting the bill.

DESE's testimony did not address the bill which requires 2 subject reports, 8 congressional district meetings (with Commissioner Nicastro in attendance) completed by December 31, 2013 and a final report to the Senate and House by January 31, 2014. Instead, their testimony covered the usual talking points about common core - how they were fewer, clearer and more rigorous, and would produce career and college ready students.

Barbara Reys testified once again about the high quality of the common core math standards, noting that Fordham Institute had graded all the states' standards and had given Missouri's math standards a D. She did not testify that she  
-->was the co-chair of a standards development committee which authored Missouri K-12 Mathematics Learning Goals, the very ones she testified were only graded a D. That would have allowed a committee member to question whether she was the best "expert" for MO to send to sit on the CC review committee.

DESE general counsel Mark Van Zandt testified that the agency would never collect or share any data illegally, noting that laws were in place to protect the privacy of student data. He neglected to mention that the laws he was referring to, the Family Rights and Privacy Act has been changed to allow the open sharing of individual student data, meaning that the law no longer protects student privacy. The Electronic Policy Information Center (EPIC) comments to the regualtory notice of the US Department of Education's proposed rulemaking on changing the FERPA definitions say, "The ED's proposals expand a number of FERPA's exemptions, reinterpreting the statutory terms "authorized representative," "education program," and "directory information." These proposals remove affirmative legal duties for state and local educational facilities to protect private student data." (emphasis added) EPIC has since filed a lawsuit against the USDoEd for overstepping their statutory authority with regard to a congressional act.

The bill, which had been stripped of the Senate amendments and returned to its original senate substitute language focusing only on Common Core costs and data was voted out of committee late Monday night by a 17:0 vote. It now goes to the House Rules Committee who is expected to turn it around quickly. It will go for a third reading on the House floor and, if voted out, go back to the Senate to be truly agreed and finally passed.  We are in the home stretch and still in the race. The Senate could take it up Thursday or Friday, which is the last day of the 2013 session.


  1. Remember to call your Representative and ask him or her to vote "YES" on what is now called HCS SS SCS SB210 (House Committee Substitute for Senate Substitute for Senate Committee Substitute for Senate Bill 210) when it comes to the House floor.

  2. I'll be sure to call him alright..... to vote "NAY" on this monstosity...

  3. Hey Anonymous #2.

    Explain why an informational bill on cost and data retrieval on education reform that skirted the legislature is a "monstosity".

    Do you love your government making decisions for your life and keeping you in the dark? Do you think bureaucrats and private industry trump community involvement? Because that's how Common Core has been adopted and implemented.


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