I am often annoyed at how little people actually know about public education. Now, they of course they think they are experts on it, after all everyone in America knows that all public education sucks, but they just could not explain to you how any of it is managed, functions, or is structured. Right now is a time when the average American really should be finding out more about what is happening in public education.

Missouri is a prime example of this ignorance. I am entertained by the term “public education” here in our state. Public implies that the public actually has oversight. Yeah, right!

In Missouri there are two entities that affect public education. The first is the unelected State Board of Education. The other is the unelected bureaucracy that oversees education, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Think of the state board as your local school board and DESE as your local superintendent.

I think one of the biggest problems in Missouri is that our state board is unelected. I have talked to a couple state representatives about this in the past. They always give the cop-out that members of the State Board are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Missouri Senate, so there is oversight. Yeah, we have such an engaged electorate in Missouri, I bet their phones are just jammed in Jefferson City when the next member of the Board is announced and confirmed. Did you know we just got a new member ? Longtime politician Charlie Shields was the most recent addition.

In Missouri, in my honest opinion, the State Board of Education is creating a gigantic mess for our schools and teachers.

The Common Core State Standards are sweeping the nation right now. Do you know what the Common Core State Standards are? If you don’t, you really ought to find out. The Common Core, as they are often referred, is the latest push in the standards movement. And if you didn’t know, according to the creators and peddlers of the standards, the Common Core will solve all of America’s problems and possibly world hunger. As an educator, a citizen, and a parent of a child who will eventually be in the public schools, I think the Common Core is the latest of over-promised, over-hyped “solutions” that will do nothing but spend an insane about of money and fail to create the “reform” they so often promise. Add in the fact that I think the Common Core will create a situation where the Federal Department of Education continues to trounce our constitution through bureaucratic fiat. It is already happening right now, and if Obama is reelected it will continue to get worse.

Guess who walked Missouri right into the Common Core Standards? None other than the unelected member of the Missouri State Board of Education. The Missouri state constitution should be changed to have the board elected instead of appointed. By allowing the people to vote on the members of the state board we at least interject some accountability into a system that has very little right now. The bureaucrats get just what the bureaucrats want.


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