"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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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Van Harvey Notes Citizens Wouldn't be "Nudged" at the Lindbergh DESE Common Core Meeting. No Choice Architects Allowed to Present the Grand Plan.

Van Harvey's perspective on the Common Core attempted Delphi meeting at Lindbergh School District was spot on.  From If Govt is reckless with money that's not theirs, just imagine how they'll treat your human capital (aka:children) - Common Core State Standards:


After attending our local Common Core 'presentation' by Missouri's DESE, I've only time for a brief pre-post post. This picture (H/T Adam Bohn) of the only informational hand out that the DESE (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) people brought to the meeting tonight, should tip you off to how the evening went.

All they thought to provide interested parents, was a one sided questionnaire, to a meeting of parents who have been chaffing for a chance to comment on and ask questions about the monstrosity that is the Common Core Curriculum. Their handout has two sections. The first says:
"1. What do you like about the Common Core State Standards?"
, followed by a number of blank lines suitable for recording our praises, and then a second line:
"2. What questions do you have?"
and another section of lines, followed by an optimistic section to be filled out afterwards, for
"Location:___, Table Recorder:___, Table Facilitator:______".
They never got that far, as their 'Nudge' bombed, big time.

To lure people out of their lives in the expectation of information, discussion and debate, and then to make it clear that not only have you not come prepared to answer any of their questions, but she also made it clear that neither she nor DESE had ever had any intention whatsoever of answering any of our questions - that was infuriating. Her one comment to one of many questions on the CCSS summed it up well, and I quote:

"I can't answer your question in a public sense."
There ya go. They simply called us parents out of our evenings to be hosed down with a content-less presentation and a healthy heaping of condescension. Sums their educational philosophy up rather well.
Gretchen Logue of MEW


Towards the end of the Q&A that we finally forced upon them, I asked her, truly puzzled,
'Why are you surprised by the reaction of the people here?'
, and she was speechless. When I followed up afterwards, she so much as said that she really expected our common decency to yield to their completely disrespectful presentation. Surprise. Another DESE representative, Doug, I think his name was, said that he couldn't understand why anyone was the least upset, after all, he said,
"This is the first time, the very first time I can remember, where everyone agrees upon a plan. Our big corporations agree, our governors agree and the leaders of our educational system all agree, these standards are the best for all concerned - I can't understand why you don't welcome them."


Read more here.  To fully understand Van's reference to "nudge" and Doug's response above, read the Commissioner's Race to the Top proposal in 2010 (pg 11/299): 
The Race to the Top has provided an unprecedented opportunity for Missouri to bring its citizens together, to identify common goals and to develop a plan for a decade of educational reform designed to give Missouri’s children a competitive edge in tomorrow’s international competition.  Our vision for reform embraces the notion advanced in the book, Nudge, where Thaler and Sunstein outline the need for choice architects‖ to subtly steer choices toward positive results while leaving people, districts and schools free to choose.  We know that if Missouri’s public schools are to be the best choice for our citizens, they must produce the best results.  This Race to the Top competition has provided the nudge Missouri needed to pick up the pace.  (MEW note: Sunstein is Cass Sunstein, Obama's former regualtory czar)

Once people understand (and accept) that they are not considered "choice architects", it is inconceivable to bureaucrats that citizens could be concerned they are not consulted about the educational plans for their children that their tax dollars are funding.  That's the underlying theme of all the DESE meetings on May 2, 2010 to "communicate the message".  DESE really doesn't want to hear from you and doesn't care what you think or what you envision for your children.  "Trust them".  Allow yourself to be "nudged".  Make way for the governors and the private associations and the big businesses to develop/direct the education for your children.  They are the choice architects.  Just go along and everything will turn out just fine.

That explains the reaction of the presenter and other DESE official.  They really are surprised you little people would question the grand plan.

Video of Lindbergh DESE Common Core Meeting. Crowd Refuses to be Delphied.

Body Language at Lindbergh

This is a followup to our reporting on DESE's attempt to use the Delphi technique at the Common Core meeting at Lindbergh School District.  We have two videos which show the refusal of the crowd to be divided into groups and asking questions to the officials.

Part 1
Officials explain the process and the people refuse to cooperate/collaborate in the process

Part 2
More citizen comments on the standards and the process

Unfortunately the storage on my phone reached its capacity and I couldn't capture the rest of the entire meeting but you can see and hear the anger and concern by the taxpayers.  They are well educated and didn't appreciate their questions not being answered or their concerns not seriously considered. 

More photos below:

Back of the room

No smiling faces in the room. 

You can see from the photos breaking up into groups to gather questions would have been impossible.  

Sign the petition for Missouri to stop the implementation of Common Core here.

Video of Delphi DESE Common Core Springfield Meeting

Announcement:  DESE has indicated it will take questions electronically if you could not make one of the meetings DESE held around the state. Email your question(s) to:

Susan Potter  Communication Coordinator
 We will be publishing reports on the various DESE meetings on this blog the next several days.

The following videos were sent in from Springfield by Sharlee Lawless.  The citizens did not like being Delphied and not having their questions answered directly. 

 Before the Delphi meeting
On tables are Missouri Coalition Against Common Core brochures provided by a citizen

Part 1
Superintendent is excited about engagement.
DESE supervisor excited about the conversation.

Part 2
Instructions on how to do the Delphi
Another teacher video that had already been posted on the DESE website. Note that comments on DESE videos are disabled.
Peter Herschend (State School Board president) on the video was present at this meeting. He refused to answer questions.

 Part 3
 "The NGA and CCSSO determined the time was right" (Those are private organizations)
Fewer, clearer, higher, rigorous...research and evidenced based (NOT)
"Curriculum is flexible and creative"(Has to be aligned to CCSS standards)
"States can make changes to the standards" (Not according to the MOUs)

Part 4
DESE official reading from a script of questionable claims
"The Federal Government played no role in the Common Core State Standards"
"There is no data collection required from CCSS"
--People begin getting agitated--

Part 5
Citizens furious when they realize questions will not be answered

Part 6
DESE official says about answering questions: "I'm not qualified to answer"
DESE officials don't know state or local cost of CCSS
Citizen points out education started failing when USDOEd established
Assessments given every 3 weeks?
Where is the money coming from to pay for CCSS?

Part 7
Questions in the groups gathered

Part 8
Questions from the groups
No answers given

Last questions of the night

Sign this petition to rid Missouri of Common Core State Standards.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Brian Bollman in Cape Girardeau Provides Report of the DESE Delphi Technique in Practice.

Announcement:  DESE has indicated it will take questions electronically if you could not make one of the meetings DESE held around the state. Email your question(s) to:

Susan Potter  Communication Coordinator
 We will be publishing reports on the various DESE meetings on this blog the next several days.

Thanks to Brian Bollman for his post on the meeting in Cape Girardeau.  From rockinconservative.com and DESE Common Core Meeting / A lesson in controlling the message:


I attended the DESE Common Core Meeting at 6:30pm on 05/02/13 in Cape Girardeau, MO at the Career and Technology Center, and what I witnessed was mastery of controlling the message.  Of course, there was no prayer or Pledge of Allegiance; this is the school!  Prayers are forbidden by the Constitution and the Pledge is offensive. (/sarc)

The sound quality was ridiculous, and I have no idea the name of the gentleman that led the event.  He worked through a PowerPoint presentation including videos by educators that could not be understood due to the poor sound.

The leader of the event stated clearly at one point:  “There will be no data collection.”  However, a quick review of CCSSO.org website leads you to these two pages self-refuting the leader’s claims:

CCSSO - Data Collection - 01Sadly, a leader in the Education industry would absolutely LIE about whether or not there will be data collection involved with Common Core Standards

Divide and Conquer
We had heard that there would be 15 leaders or members of DESE at the event.  We couldn’t imagine why they would put so many on the dais.  As it turned out there was no dais, and there were 30 DESE organized leaders at the event.  Why?

As you entered the event, you were assigned to 1 of 15 tables.  Each table had a Table Leader and a Table Recorder.  The attendees (proponent or opponent) were divided into 15 tables, so the interaction was between approximately 6 attendees and two studied proponents of Common Core.
Each table was provided with a form to complete.  The form contained two questions:
  • What do you like about Common Core?
  • What questions do you have about Common Core?
The facilitators at table #12 were Jeff Lindsey and Wade Bartels.  Both were very nice and listened as we tried to fill out the form.  Jeff gave anecdotal information about the process of aligning to Common Core in St. Genevieve, MO and how great it was going.
When we asked him our questions about CCSS, the typical answer was “I don’t know”.
  • How much will this cost the state? I don’t know
  • How much will this cost your school? I don’t know
  • What is the cost going to be for the technology to allow completion of the standardized tests? I don’t know
  • According to the CCSSO web site, there will be data collection.  What data will be collected?  I don’t know
  • We read that the standards are copyrighted.  Will the schools be able to make changes? I don’t know
What Jeff Lindsey did know was that he really wanted his table to come up with an answer to the question… What do you like about Common Core?
Unfortunately, the time allotted for table discussions, and table #12 never listed a positive feeling about Common Core.

Following the kitchen table discussion, the messaging control continued.  Table Recorders, not attendees, were summoned to the front one-by-one to read the list of things that attendees liked about Common Core.  All of the ‘likes’ were read.  For the questions about Common Core, duplicate questions were skipped.  One CCTP member noted that 5 items were read from their lies of ‘likes’ that weren’t discussed at the table.  They ‘magically’ appeared.

I provided Jeff and Wade a long paragraph with questions about data collection, CCSSO, and EIMAC.  When Wade asked the question on microphone he simply said, “What is EIMAC?”

Strategy Worked

As I said, the DESE folks employed a brilliant Divide and Conquer strategy, and it worked to perfection.
  • Prevented general attendees from hearing tough questions asked at one table that was not asked at another table
  • Prevented mini-speeches given by attendees
  • Separated less knowledgeable attendees from stronger more studied attendees
  • No negative press to be reported by the media
  • DESE walked away with positive talking points and a long list of things that Cape Girardeau liked about Common Core
For me, there was a positive outcome.  At a Table #12 side discussion, a teacher stated that she liked common core because every school would teach the same topics at the same grade levels.  She continued that children moving state-to-state would be able to pick right up where they left off in their new school.

Her statement helped me finally crystallize my foremost reason for opposing Common Core.  CCSS removes any desire for one school to work to excel.  Children will be tested for certain skills at certain ages, and there will actually be negative reinforcement should a school decide to teach subjects at different grade levels to help them excel.  Should the school choose to teach some subject in a different order or different grade, their assessment ratings will suffer.  They will see lower ratings and less funding.

This is the absolute antithesis of freedom and self-governance.
Questions and likes reported back to the attendees:
  • If state led, why were funders from Federal Tax $$$?
  • Liked Crosswalk on DESE web site
  • Will International books be implemented?
  • Federal Control?
  • Why no question about what we don’t like?
  • What comprehensive studies have been developed?
  • How often reviewed / revised?
  • How can standards be enacted that haven’t been evaluated in classrooms?
  • How will they handle gifted students?
  • How will they help students not currently meeting standards?
  • How will local districts have a say?
  • What pilot studies have been conducted?
  • Too one size fits all
  • Not enough options for teacher flexibility
  • Govt grab for control of education
  • Not enough parental involvement
  • Ideologically different from local values
  • Is common core copyrighted?
  • What is EIMAC?
  • Has state legislature voted to adopt CCSS?
  • Liked fewer standards / flexible teacher instructions
  • Liked incorporation of non-fiction / promotion of critical thinking
  • Further investigation of who initiated development?
  • Who will profit?
  • Can state of MO step back and wait for other states to prove CCSS works?
Below are Miscellaneous Notes taken that may or may not make sense:
  • Crosswalk
    • Shows where a concept is located in CCSS vs. Show-Me
    • Fewer topics but more in dept
    • Teachers saw that common core was more rigorous
  • Why need for common state standards?
    • 2007 NGA / CCSSO decided to define Common Core Standards
    • Facilitated State-Led development
    • Rigorous
    • Research and Evidence Based
    • Define what all students are expected to know
    • Teachers develop lesson plans
    • Adoption was voluntary
    • Aligned to Show-Me standards / College Standards
    • All students will graduate college and career ready
    • Currently
      • 36% must take remedial
      • $90M cost for remedial
      • $32M lost wages
  • Video – Chris Nicastro / Mr. Russell
    • State-Led involving parents / teachers
  • Missouri Involvement
    • College and Career readiness standards
    • Based on career readiness, k-12 learning progressions developed
    • MO Represented on Development Team
    • Standards released on 6/2/10
    • Teachers
    • Principles
    • Parents
    • Education Experts
  • ELA
    • Non-fiction
      • More
    • Complex Text Academic Vocabulary
      • Regular practice with complex text and its vocab words
      • Spelling?
  • Math
    • Focus
      • 2-4 concepts focused deeply in each grade
    • Coherence
      • Connect learning from one grade to next linked topics
    • Rigor
      • Real world situations
  • Preparing for Transition
    • Crosswalk document
    • Statewide public sessions on standards
    • Model curriculum
  • Wrap-up
    • Federal Government Played no Role
  • Discussion
    • Anything said here tonight means absolutely nothing next year because criteria will keep changing
    • Jeff L – I look at common core as a plan
    • Jeff L – Doesn’t know anything about it being copyrighted
Update:  Don’t take this as an indictment of Mr. Lindsey and Mr. Bartels.  They was very engaging and I enjoyed meeting them.


Sign the petition against Common Core here.

STL Today Article on DESE Common Core Meeting at Lindbergh School District


From stltoday and Critics question Common Core education standards at St. Louis County meeting:

It didn’t take long for the crowd packed into a Lindbergh School District meeting room Thursday to become irritated with the woman giving them an overview of the Common Core Standards.
Maureen Clancy-May, an area supervisor with Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, told the crowd of about 150 that the standards were developed by states to better prepare students for the global economy and for college.

“Tell us the truth!” one man yelled from the crowd.

Read more here.

It should be noted the Lindbergh presentation was the only meeting around the state where the crowd refused to participate in the Delphi Technique.

The Delphi Technique Did Not Work at the Lindbergh DESE Meeting. People Were "Mad As Hell and They Were Not Going to Take This Anymore".

This did not happen at the DESE Lindbergh meeting

An overflow crowd (150 people estimate) packed a too small meeting room for DESE's presentation on Common Core.  Here is the press release announcing the statewide meetings for last night.  Apparently citizens were under the impression they would receive answers to their questions about Common Core but this was not DESE's intention.  At the beginning DESE representative Maureen Clancy-May announced DESE would not answer any questions.  Clancy-May stated that she may not even know the answer to many of the questions.  DESE was there to present, break up into discussion groups, gather the questions, reveal the questions to the larger group, then take them back to Jefferson City so the citizens can be informed at some other date.

This is a classic Delphi Technique used to diffuse and control the message as facilitators would ask the question, take the information and then present it to the larger group.  The people who actually ask the questions never get  a chance to ask the person in charge and receive an answer to their questions. 

This presentation may have been cursed from the beginning.  It began with a power point presentation read directly off the screen with videos that have appeared previously on DESE's website.  The videos did not work (which is ironic with the increased emphasis on technology and computer requirements for districts) and the citizens became increasingly agitated.

Finally, one person stated that people came to ask questions and receive answers.  The group already knew what DESE's position and didn't need to be told again.  Clancy-May insisted we break up into groups (which would have been impossible as there were no tables or enough room to divide up) and an elderly woman asked,

Do you not know how to deviate from your agenda?

The presentation was eventually stopped and the floor was opened up for questions.  No questions were answered by May but they were written down to be taken back to DESE.  What was very interesting, is that the citizens provided answers to citizen questions.  It was clear the governmental agency was unable/unwilling to answer the basic questions of common core.

DESE never did answer questions on cost or data.  These are the two issues Senator Lamping wants DESE to talk about in SB210 in the eight townhall meetings around the state with Commissioner Nicastro in attendance.   It is imperative to contact Senator Lamping to make sure this bill is passed so DESE finally has to answer to the Legislature and the people on these two critical questions.  If the bureaucrats cannot answer the questions, it is necessary to have the Commissioner answer these question.  It is her signatures on Common Core signed MOUs and she should be the person to answer citizen questions.  If not her, then Governor Nixon should appear since he also signed these MOUs.

We will be providing stories from the other DESE meetings as we receive them.  Most of what we heard from the attendees is that they did break up into groups and followed DESE's instructions.  It was DESE's agenda and it had the authority to run the meetings as it deemed appropriate.  However, what is important to know about this Lindbergh meeting is that DESE's agenda did not fit the attendees' needs.  Citizens came to get answers to questions about an initiative that has been put into motion for more than 3 years that has been done under the radar.  They didn't come to hear a presentation to hear about how great CCSS are, they wanted answers on why they haven't been told before now, why the Governor signed onto them before they were even written, the data collection required via CCSS, how much they were going to cost, why the Legislature didn't know about CCSS, why we are in a consortia and cannot direct/develop our own educational standards/assessments.

One woman told May we are adults and we will not divide into Delphi groups.

Anne's and my impression was the Lindbergh group stood up to DESE and basically said we are mad as hell and we are not going to take it anymore.  The people decided everyone needed a voice and a chance to ask their question in a larger venue vs small groups where their message could be altered or even ignored by a facilitator.  This is a significant moment.  It represents the taxpayers paying for these programs asserting their rights to ask questions and to receive answers on these programs.  This act is the beginning of regaining control of their schools and the programs directing educational policy.

James Shuls from Show-Me Institute was available for citizen questions in the lobby afterward and Anne and I answered questions as representatives from Missouri Coalition Against Common Core.  This meeting may be a game changer in our Common Core battle in Missouri and citizens in other school districts should take note.  DESE cannot pacify people with meetings where no real information is disseminated (only talking points) and taxpayers demand answers from bureaucrats spending our  money and using our children for these programs. 

The DESE folks were genuinely surprised by the reaction (this was told to an attendee) of the crowd.   When DESE doesn't even allow comments on their videos, a genuine forum to ask questions and institutes an agenda that has been hidden from public scrutiny for several years, it only has itself to blame for the distrust, frustration and genuine anger present at last night's meeting.

The media has been contacted been contacted several times and only a few print media were in attendance.  The story is as massive and important as the Department of Revenue debacle and the governor's involvement in lack of transparency and setting policy outside of legislative approval.  Why isn't the media covering this important issue?  Call them today and ask them that question.

We can't wait for DESE's official answers to the written questions.  Look for video and pictures to be posted soon.  We will also be posting reports from the other locations.  If you were at Lindbergh or other locations and have some observations, please post them in the comment section.

To understand the tone of the meeting last night at Lindbergh, watch this clip from the movie "Network" and "I'm mad as  hell and I'm not going to take this anymore":


Sign the petition here against the implementation of Common Core.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Where Did the Common Core Standards Really Come From

On April 25th Dr. Sandra Stotsky spoke on an expert panel in Chesterfield Missouri giving the audience a look behind the curtain at the Common Core standards development process.

Developed by teachers? Not so much.
Based on research? Not really.
Will prepare students for college? Not likely.

Part 2 is available on the NoMOCommonCore YouTube channel.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Jay Nixon's Idea of Citizenship. Will He Teach Students it's Permissible to Break the Law?

Jay Nixon is having a terrible time lately with his "misstatements" about data being sent to the Federal Government.  From thegatewaypundit and BUSTED… Napolitano Thanked MO Lib Governor for Breaking Law – Passing Private Info to DHS:

The accusations were out there that the Missouri Department of Revenue was sharing private citizens’ information to DHS.
Now there’s proof.
Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano sent a letter to Missouri Governor Jay Nixon thanking him for providing information on private citizens to DHS.
As Dana Loesch reported:
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon repeatedly denied knowing anything about Missouri illegally sharing its citizens private CCW information with the federal government, even after his own head of Missouri Highway Patrol contradicted him in a public hearing. Now we’ve learned that Nixon not only knew about the violation of Missouri law, but he was thanked in a letter by Janet Napolitano.
Here is a copy of that letter:
dhs letter mo
Missouri law — signed into effect by Gov. Nixon himself — prohibits full compliance with the Real ID Act including sharing of Missouri’s concealed list.
Lt. Governor Peter Kinder has more here.
Here's additional information from RedState:

Missouri’s governor lied to his constituency when he said that no documents were being shared — Nixon even claimed that the lawsuit was dismissed, which it was not:
“First of all, the Department of Revenue has been very clear,” Nixon said.  “There are no documents being sent to some federal government magic database somewhere to do something.”
Nixon then referred to a lawsuit filed by a private citizen in southeast Missouri who objected to a state license office scanning his CCW permit so it could be noted on his driver’s license.  The citizen thought the office should just look at his document and make him a new license with the CCW notation.
“That’s why the Stoddard County court last week dismissed the lawsuit, dismissed it making that exact claim,” Nixon said on Wednesday.
The lawsuit in Stoddard County is not dismissed, as the governor said, but the judge in the case has ruled against the request of the citizen, Eric Griffin, for the judge to order the Department of Revenue not to scan and retain the CCW information.
Gov. Nixon is set to testify in a public hearing this Friday. Will he finally start telling the truth? Will Attorney General Chris Koster act, or will taxpayers be forced to hire a second attorney to do the job Democrat Koster is afraid to do: enforce Missouri’s laws?
Today I’ll speak with Russ Oliver, the Missouri prosecuting attorney who started it all, on my program on more developments.
*UPDATE: The Missouri Senate filed remonstrance (h/t Adam):
This is a Senate Remonstrance against the Governor for the release by the Department of Revenue and the Department of Public Safety of personal protected information which has been publicly admitted by the departments.
*UPDATE 2: A senate hearing is underway right now led by Sen. Kurt Schaefer, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee. Moments ago while under oath a SSA agent just admitted that any veteran  drawing social security disability and who had a CCW would have been a target .


Governor Nixon shared citizens' personal data even though state law did not allow that practice.   That's not what we want in our government officials.  Aren't they supposed to uphold the law and not institute their own policy in violation of those laws?  Now look where Nixon is going to appear in June.  He is a panelist at the National Forum of Educational Policy in St. Louis speaking about.......wait, wait..........................

Getting to the Third “C”: College, Career, and Citizenship (session #320)
Preparing students to be engaged, productive citizens is one of the foundations of public education. Join several Governors for an interactive conversation about why civic education is critical to our nation’s success and what states can do to make sure that students are college, career, and citizenship ready. 

Our governor who has allowed data mining on citizens without their permission (which is what he wants to do via Common Core MOUs for educational data mining) and he has advice on civic education?  What will he talk about?  How best to skirt the law and learn how to establish personal/political policies?  Will he be preparing students to produce and perpetuate his version of civic education?  Is his idea of a productive citizen a person who disregards the law for his/her agenda?  Or, maybe his idea of being a productive citizen is this: it's permissible to break the law and hope no one finds out.  After all, if the Director of Homeland Security thinks it's a great idea, what could go wrong?  

Does Nixon's appearance at an education policy conference talking about how to become a productive citizen concern anyone?


What the Missouri Department of Revenue and Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Have in Common

The Missouri Department of Revenue copied and sent private information on Concealed Carry permit holders to Homeland Security without the knowledge of the permit holder,  despite the fact this was against state law.  Does this sound a bit like the collection of 61 data points our educational state agency is gathering on students?   Commissioner Chris Nicastro informed the legislators about the data gathering by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in HB616 testimony but she did not offer:
  • what 61 data points are being gathered
  • why they are gathered
  • which organization/agency mandated this data mining
  • where the data is being sent
  • what the data is being used for
Did your school alert you to this data mining?  Did you give permission for your student/family data to be disseminated to the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia?  Did you know student/family/ teacher/principal data is then sent to the Federal Government by the consortia?

This was accomplished within the last two years via the Governor and Commissioner signing onto a Memorandum of Understanding with the consortia in May 2010.  In July 2011, the consortia signed a MOU with the Department of Education to send it personally identifiable student data.  The US Department of Education then can send this information to any other federal agency and third party it deems appropriate.  Did you know any of this?

Maybe the legislators can ask DESE why the student data sharing information and practice was never shared with the legislators until House testimony in HB616. The legislators might just want to start this investigation sooner than later as DESE seems to have done some creative budget work with funds earmarked for other purposes which has caused concern in the Capitol.  This lack of transparency or operating outside legal boundaries appears to be a systemic problem in Missouri (think of the Mamtek debacle last year and the subsequent Department of Economic Development director's resignation) with state agencies and needs to be addressed by the Legislature.  From Department of Revenue bows to Schmitt’s deadline to submit to rule-making process:

“The rulemaking process contains important safeguards for the public. Citizens have a right to comment on rules that will seriously affect them. The department ignored that right,” Schmitt said. “Equally disturbing is that the General Assembly was completely kept in the dark, preventing us from vetting this new policy, a critical part of representing the people’s interests.”

Last month, a Stoddard County resident filed a lawsuit against DOR alleging the department had scanned and collected the citizen’s private information as part of a new policy for renewing or receiving a driver’s license or concealed carry permit.
In response, the Senate launched an investigation into the accusations. Recent developments have shown the Department did not follow the rule-making process in implementing the new policy, a potential violation of state law.

“In recent weeks, we’ve seen a troubling trend of state departments willfully circumventing the law and purposefully deceiving the public and the General Assembly,” Schmitt said. “The Department of Education and Secondary Education has taken it upon itself to decide the distribution of the education formula funds, DOR implemented a policy in direct violation of state law, and now we discovered that the Highway Patrol has twice now given a list of nearly all concealed carry permit holders in Missouri to the federal government, also in violation of Missouri law. This cannot continue.”

Schmitt said he fears the trust of Missourians in their state government is on the line.
“This could fundamentally change how people view our state agencies,” he added. “It is critical we move quickly to address this issue and ensure our departments follow the laws set by the people’s elected officials.

 What do all these agencies have in common?  Mismanagement, lack of transparency, poor judgment...and the agency directors have all been appointed by the governor, Jay Nixon.  Nixon started the ball rolling for a monumental poor educational decision when he signed on to the first MOU with the National Governors Association agreeing to use Common Core standards/assessments (before they were even written) in June 2009 which gave away Missouri's right to direct/develop educational direction.

Should Jay Nixon be investigated for educational malfeasance?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Luetkemeyer Letter Goes To Duncan With 34 Signatures

Congressman Luetkemeyer of Missouri District Three submitted his letter to US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan expressing concern over the U.S. Department of Education’s decision to circumvent Congress with major changes to education and student privacy policies. An excerpt reads: 
“Since the ESEA’s expiration, the Department of Education has moved forward with education policy reform without Congressional input.  Such action is, at best, in contravention with precedent... We believe that state-based education policies are vital to the successful education of a child.  As with most one-size-fits-all policies, Common Core standards fail to address the specific needs of our states.”  
Luetkemeyer also raised concerns in his letter about two changes in which the government collects and distributes student data. Luetkemeyer has requested a detailed description of each change to student privacy policy that has been made during Duncan’s tenure and the need and intended purpose for such changes. Of particular concern to Luetkemeyer were regulatory changes made without congressional review regarding parental access to student education records and limiting third party disclosure of that information.

The letter was co-signed by 33 other House Representatives. The final letter can be accessed Here.

Bishop (UT-01)
Blackburn (TN-07)
Bentivolia (MI-11)
Yoder (KS-03)
Bachmann (MN-06)
Benishek (MI-01)
Massie (KY-04)
Johnson (OH-06)
Stockman (TX-36)
Harrison (MD-01)
Crawford (AR-01)
Nugent (FL-11)
Chaffetz (UT-03)
Garrett (NJ-05)
Wagner (MO-02)
Kingston (GA-01)
Hartzler (MO-04)
Lamborn (CO-05)
Huelskamp (KS-01)
Radel (FL-19)
McKinley (WV-01)
Rigell (VA-02)
Graves (MO-06)
Yoho (FL-03)
Jordan (OH-04)
Wenstrup (OH-02)
Gosar (AZ-04)
Olson (TX-22)
Duncan (TN-02)
Flemming (LA-04)
Nuegebauer (TX-19)
Jenkins (KS-02)

Many thank yous to Congressman Luetkemeyer for carrying this torch and getting this letter written, signed and sent.
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