Posts Tagged ‘DESE’

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.

Dr. Chris Nicastro is Missouri’s Commissioner of Education. This is her video message from February. You ought to know what is going on at DESE. Education is one of our largest expenses in the state of Missouri.

Missouri Commissioner of Education Chris Nicastro reflects on Missouri’s International Education Summit, talks about her visit with students from Beijing, China, briefly discusses the 2012 legislative session, and addresses the ESEA No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Waiver draft that is out for publication.

NCLB sucks, but the circumvention of the legislature by the “Dictator” of Education Arne Duncan is not OK. Unfortunately, no one is complaining, so expect this to happen here in Missouri.

Below is the February 4th edition of Clay County House Representative Bob Nance’s Capitol Report.

February 4, 2010

On the 100th Anniversary of the Boys Scouts of America

“I think the character that you learn in Scouting—working together, being honest with each other, being close knit … and depending on one another, on our camping trips and doing things—all these things build character in a young man that he takes with him into adulthood and makes him a much better citizen. And that’s why Scouting to me has always been an organization I’ve always wanted to help. I think it’s one of the best youth organizations that we … have in this country.”

James A. Lovell Jr., Mission Astronaut, Apollo 13

Better Bridges and Roads:

MoDOT has named the bridge replacements and repairs for the District for 2010.

The westbound bridge over 69 Highway in Excelsior springs is scheduled for completion by November 30th.

The bridge over Fishing River in Ray County on Highway 10 is scheduled for November 30th completion.

The smaller bridge on Clay County “N” highway will be closed from July 29th through November 21st for replacement.

The bridge over Tryst Falls on 92 Highway will be closed April 1st until May 25th.

In 2010, 18 miles of Highway 13 will be resurfaced from the Caldwell County Line to highway 10 in Richmond.

Highway C from Highway D to Elmira will receive a “chip and seal”.

Route O will receive an overlay between May and September.

Route A will have three bridges “Design Build” this year.

A bridge at K highway and 13 Highway is also scheduled and a bridge on Route E near the Caldwell County Line.

State Budget:

Budget Chairman Allen Icet responded to questions on the budget recently.

“Many believed we had seen the worst of the economic downturn and that this year would be better— but they were wrong. Unfortunately, this year we face a grim economy and one far worse than last year during the budget crisis.” The Senate, House, and Governor must work responsibly with Missouri’s tax dollars as this year’s budget is crafted.

At the Capitol

HB 1521, which is a “Silver Alert” for seniors, was forwarded to Senior Citizen Advocacy Committee.

HB 1544 was passed out of the House on Tuesday. The bill extends the state’s eligibility to receive federal extended unemployment benefit money to provide unemployed individuals compensation beyond the current unemployment benefit period that ended December 5, 2009. The state will not incur any costs of the extension of benefits.

Marti Cowherd visited the Capitol representing the Ray County Family Practice on Tuesday. Justin Mohn of Excelsior Springs is working as an Intern for Senator Jolie Justus. He is in his junior year at the University of Missouri.

In the District:

Congratulations to the Lawson and Orrick School Districts on being recognized by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Central Regional Professional Development Center as 2009 Distinction in Performance Award Recipients.

In Your Service,

Bob Nance