Actually, Missouri Built Upon the Common Core Framework—Exactly as Designed

An article in Education World erroneously reports that Missouri officials “scrapped the Common Core” this week after the state Department of Education approved a new set of learning goals. “The process to replace Common Core in the state began after widespread backlash against the Common Core and a general lack of local control over education.”

In fact, Missouri officials used the Common Core to develop the new learning goals, effectively building on the Common Core framework—exactly as the standards are designed.

When Governor Jay Nixon authorized state officials to review and refine Missouri’s education standards, the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education stated:

“We welcome the opportunity to discuss the content of state standards with educators and parents. The Department has made ongoing review and adjustment to Missouri’s Learning Standards a regular part of Department activities.”

In 2014, KCUR in Kansas City reported that “teachers remain committed to Common Core even as Missouri reviews [its] standards.” “I’d say that overall with the standards we anticipate they will look very similar to Common Core in many ways,” explained Rochel Daniels, a local director of curriculum and professional development.

As supporters point out, Common Core State Standards set a floor, not a ceiling, for states to build upon further. “These are the minimum skills and competencies all students need to master at each grade level, but they are by no means a limitation to what students are ‘allowed to learn,’” a blog by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce notes.

A white paper by the Collaborative for Student Success concludes, “Replacing the Common Core State Standards invariably leads to either modest adjustments and renaming—effectively “rebranding” the Common Core…or, academic standards that are inferior to the Common Core.”

In the case of Missouri, it appears officials used the review process to build on the Common Core framework further, not to unilaterally replace the standards, as the Education World article suggests.