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Proposed Missouri K-12 learning standards raise questions - KOAM TV 7

Proposed Missouri K-12 learning standards raise questions

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WEBB CITY, MISSOURI -

Groups of parents, teachers, and education experts spend nearly a year drafting new learning standards for Missouri schools. The proposal raises questions of whether the changes are necessary and what it could mean for local districts.

For Webb City High School students, it's a normal day in biology. But, following the state board meeting Monday, school administrators now question if they'll have to quickly change the curriculum to meet proposed learning standards.

“We don't have the luxury of saying no we're not going to do this or yes we'll do this, it is what it is and that's the Missouri Learning Standards right now. And Webb City will do what it has to do to make sure that we're fully accredited,” says Superintendent Tony Rossetti.

The suggested changes come in response to groups that opposed common core standards. But now many say that the current proposal is too similar to the national standards.

“The task in itself is overwhelming, so I think that’s why you see a lot of those similarities with respect to well what was already presented because if not this, then what,” questions Rossetti.

For those who develop local curriculum, the constant changes make it difficult to keep up.

“When they know what the target is, our teachers can get students to that level of knowledge and understanding that is there. And as they get better and better and then the target changes, that can create some frustration,” says Trey Moeller, assistant Superintendent who works with creating curriculum.

If the state board accepts the proposed changes in March of 2016, changes in curriculum could be necessary as early as spring of 2018.

“Missouri usually takes 5 years to develop these standards; this has been really a short time frame to work on,” says Rossetti.

The future is somewhat unclear, but administrators will adapt to whatever changes are necessary.

“What our kids need to know and be able to do to be successful in a changing world, those skills, those knowledge bases, it changes,” says Moeller.

The proposed standards represent a higher level of thinking. If accepted, they would bring a greater focus to science and engineering and new standards for drama and poetry.

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