"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, June 4, 2013

What Will It Take To Get Answers From DESE?

Some folks down in the East Newton school district still have questions about Common Core and are willing to do whatever it takes to get answers from DESE. They have scheduled a meeting this month and invited DESE to attend.  Here was the first response from DESE.
-----Original Message-----
Sent: Fri, May 31, 2013 2:58 pm
Subject: Letter from DESE in response to our invitation

Dear Bobbi:

Thank you for the invitation to participate in your community meeting at East Newton. I’m sorry I took so long to get back with you as I have been on vacation.  I checked with Dr. Cooper, assistant commissioner, to see if the department would be expending more resources on individual community meetings across the state.  He indicated that our open meetings were held on May 2nd and we would not be presenting at other meetings at this time.  We have an abundance of information on the department’s website at the following link: http://dese.mo.gov/divimprove/curriculum/CommonCoreMeetings.html In addition, on that site are PDF links to the lists of the questions that came out of each of our 8 regional meetings held on May 2, and I am told that it will soon have a link to the answers to all of those questions.  If there is information that is not included about which anyone might have additional questions, please feel free to email those questions to me or to the Department atcommunications@dese.mo.gov.

Thank you again for the invitation,

Mike Wutke, Ed.D.
South Central Area Supervisor

Not to be put off so easily, the local organizer promised DESE to do whatever they could to facilitate DESE's attendance, even covering the costs if necessary.
Subject: Common Core Meeting
To: Mike.Wutke@dese.mo.gov, mccrackint@mail.enr6.k12.mo.us

Dear Mr. Wutke,

We are so sorry to hear that you don't have the funds to attend.  We would like you to come very much and we would be so happy to pay for expenses so that you could  represent DESE at this meeting.  Would you please reconsider?

Thank you for posting others' questions on the website but we already have questions, what we are lacking are answers.  Since this will be implemented in the fall it is not much help to get answers sometime.  This is an important matter affecting our children and their education and  we are taking this very seriously and we trust that you take it seriously too. Please either come and/or send a representative, we will have a chair for you.  Let us know about the expenses you incur and we will be happy to assist in that matter.


In fact, the folks in southwest Missouri are so interested in hearing some answers from DESE that at least one individual has volunteered to drive to Jefferson City, pick up the official(s), drive them down, pay for a hotel room and even cover their meals.

Still they await a response from DESE.

The organizers are continuing with their plans for this event to discuss Common Core on June 21st, in the East Newton High School Gymnasium at 7:00 p.m. They are even advertising it on a local radio station. A number of presenters are scheduled to speak including someone from Representative Kurt Bahr's office and the Missouri Coalition Against Common Core.  These parents hold out so much hope that DESE will send someone to attend that they plan to have a chair on the dais for DESE.  We'll just have to wait and see if there is anyone sitting in it.



  1. They don't want to answer the real questions in public...How could they since they don't have many of the answers, and the ones they do, will not be accepted by many parents without resistance? The longer they put parents off the deeper this can be implemented...

  2. I get the impression that DESE doesn't remember that they are employed by us. They seem to think their job is to dictate to us rather than to implement the educational system we want for our kids.

  3. its great to see patrons and schools coming together to understand the issue. We should encourage other schools to do the same


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