Emails Show DESE Working with Federal Agencies To Direct Work Groups Towards Keeping Common Core

Aug 05, 2015

Jefferson City, Mo – Emails obtained through a Freedom of Information request to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education contained a road map for how our state education agency worked in partnership with numerous federally funded agencies and organizations outside the state to steer the Standards Work Groups, established by HB1490 last year, into retaining the Common Core Standards.  Among the critical findings:

  1. DESE personnel actively sought consultation and financial support from out-of-state and federally funded organizations dedicated to the implementation of the common core state standards in opposition to the intent of HB1490
  2.  DESE personnel also misused federal Title II funds, which are intended to fund professional development for teacher, to instead fund facilitators and notetakers who attempted to direct the process to be a mere review and tweaking of Common Core.
  3. DESE personnel sought public media coverage of the disruption within an English language arts work group caused by a non-qualified member who had misrepresented his qualifications and his impartiality on the issue of Common Core in order to secure an appointment by then Speaker of the House Tim Jones.

The Missouri Coalition Against Common Core sent a letter to Rep. David Wood, Chairman of the Joint Education Committee, informing him and other key committee members, of what was found in the FOIAed emails. That Committee is primarily charged with providing fiscal oversight of costs and funding of the public school system and higher education. However, they will be holding a hearing August 26 in the capitol to hear progress reports from the eight Work Group Chairmen.

The Coalition’s letter asks the Committee to withdraw the agenda item as it does not fall under their statutory authority. If they are not amenable to that, the Coalition asks that the Committee make no judgement on the work of the work groups without hearing from members other than just the chairmen who have been influenced by the discovered consultative process, and make no decisions without a fiscal review of the costs of retaining the standards including the potential increased costs should the CCSSI copyright be sold to a party who is not willing to extend the free use thereof.



Anne Gassel
Missouri Coalition Against Common Core