Bill would stop "Common Core" teaching

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Students in Missouri will soon be taught the same skills as students in California, Kentucky, or any other state.

It's called the "Common Core" standards, and it's designed to get all of the country's students on the same page.

But a bill in the Missouri House of Representatives would stop Common Core teaching in schools, giving the school districts more control over what is taught.

The Common Core state standards are a set of expectations for language arts and math that will measure students in Missouri against all other students in the country.

"I do think the standards are rigorous," said Cape Girardeau Superintendent Dr. Jim Welker.  "I think they identify exactly what a student should know and be able to do when they get out of school."

Right now, the Missouri Education Department says 36 percent of high school graduates who go to a public college or university must take at least one remedial course, something Dr. Welker says the Common Core standards can improve by changing the way students think.

"Less emphasis on just rote memorization and recall and more on how information and how learning can be applied," Welker said.

The new curriculum will require more non-fiction texts be used in school assignments.

And require math students to be able to apply what they learn to the real world.

Those who want to get rid of the common core standards say it's an overreach by the U.S. Department of Education into local classrooms, and that local school districts can better tailor learning for its students instead of teaching what kids should know in New York or Florida.

But Dr. Welker says educational standards need to rise so Missouri students can compete for jobs across the country.

"I think if we're going to be prepared to compete with students all over the world and all over the country, we need to make sure our curriculum is aligned to those standards," he said.

And unless there's a change in Jefferson City, students will see a change in those standards next fall.

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