Some Republicans and participants in the work groups tasked with creating new state education standards say Department of Education staff is trying to be too involved in that effort.

The legislature passed, and Governor Jay Nixon (D) signed, a bill that put Common Core standards in place for a year. During that year these groups, made up of people chosen by the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the State Board of Education, the Senate President, the House Speaker and the Commissioner of Higher Education, will work to create new academic performance standards that could potentially replace the Common Core standards.

Eight teams began Monday discussing math, science, social studies and English language standards for elementary and secondary students. Some lawmakers say their intention in creating HB 1490 was for the Department of Education to support those groups, not control them, but one of the group’s chairman says that’s not what’s happening.

“DESE made their presence known, made their agenda known, wanted their outcomes known, and they were very crystal clear about it,” says Chris Howard of Ballwin. “The facilitators had an agenda, and the agenda was to protect DESE’s interests in maintaining whatever of Common Core that they could.”

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