Missouri parents and educators will take a closer look at academic standards as a result of legislation Gov. Jay Nixon signed Monday in what could be the state's first step away from Common Core.
An earlier version of the bill would have barred Missouri schools from implementing the Common Core. But now the state will use the nationally-crafted math and English language arts standards for at least two more years.
“Over the past several years, we have made significant strides to increase rigor, transparency and accountability in our classrooms and with my signature today, this progress will continue," Nixon said in a statement. “By continuing to raise our expectations and implement more rigorous standards, we can ensure every Missouri student graduates with the skills needed to compete and win in the global economy.”
Many conservative politicians would like to see Missouri ditch the Common Core because they see the standards as federal intrusion into state-level education policy. But they’ve agreed to leave the final decision to work groups of parents and educators tasked with reviewing standards.
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has already put out a memo instructing schools to continue Common Core implementation until that work wraps up. The state should get new standards in time for the 2016-17 school year.
A majority of other states, including Kansas, are sticking with the Common Core.