DESE Goes Full Throttle in Missouri with State Centralization
Proposed Rule 5 CSR 20 – 100.295 Missouri School Improvement Program
Live in Missouri or know someone who does? Send this article a.s.a.p. and tell them to respond today!
Via Missouri Dept of Education rule-making “authority”, DESE proposes to centralize school district management at the state department level, thereby diminishing local control. DESE wants to “change Missouri’s school district accreditation standards to effectively centralize authority over districts at the state level in violation of Missouri law. That is, several proposed standards limit the discretion of local school boards to manage districts and determine personnel needs by requiring boards to structure their purpose and personnel organization in specific ways in order to be accredited.”
If you recall in 2013, the “Minnesota World’s Best Workforce” removed local control from school districts by requiring districts to “align” their school budgets with the MDE. Our budgets dictate what districts can do individually, supplanting continuous MDE ideology/programs for using that budget and the ability for MDE to track districts as to how money is spent.
Secondly, our MN statute on curriculum and curriculum decisions were removed from parents and teachers and replaced by the World’s Best Workforce Plan Committee (since 2013) which includes administrators, business interests, business organizations, teachers, and possibly one parent (this could be a dual business member and parent). Also, we cannot downplay the MDE’s influence along with the state school organizations to push districts to follow along compliantly.
This Plan has been retitled in local districts as their “District Plan” or “2040 Plan”. In Hopkins Schools, for instance the plant is called their 2031 Vision. Not that long ago, a teacher and a parent or two, could sit down and talk things over. How simple! How effective! How personal and local! In the end, parent voice was nearly removed and, we believe, teacher voice as well!
DESE also advanced the idea of changing the Missouri Constitution. Hmmm? Haven’t we heard about a Constitutional amendment idea in MN brought up by the former MN Supreme Court Justice and current Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank president? Changing states’ constitutions is another trend to watch for.
Now think about this? What if this policy was put forth to the public for a vote? It would likely not pass, right? But our state departments of education can set up these rules, ask for public comments and then do as they please or so it seems. We saw this occur over and over again in the ESSA public comment meetings and email collection of comments. Where is the “consent of the governed”? It wasn’t until the very end that the MDE listened to the people! A great gathering of Minnesotans emailed. MACC and others testified at the legislature regarding standardized testing concerns (ability to opt out at all) under the ESSA state plan. It was after the populace stood up voicing their concerns that the MDE gave a small token back to parents. We must all step up and voice our concerns since our consent is rarely considered. That means showing up at the legislature!
As has been the case for the last 40 years or more, with the passage of Goals 2000, School to Work, No Child Left Behind, and the grants for Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind Waivers, bringing in the Common Core Standards and the Every Student Succeeds Act, the American people can note clearly that government has existed in a vacuum chamber placing lobbyist and non-profit (NGOs) interests before the people who elected them.
It is so incredibly important today to understand what is happening here in Minnesota and across the country and to know what is our response. What do we believe? Who are we? How do we verbalize what we believe? We live in very exciting times, times of opportunity, because we are witnessing the dismantlement of our Consent and freedom. The opportunity we have today may not exist forever!
We, at MACC, are so grateful for the many researchers across the country who sacrifice their time and livelihoods to expose the moves of government, corporation and non-profits. Many thanks to Missouri Education Watchdog!