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Joint Committee on Education to chart path forward on new standards


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — As working groups around the state formulate new education standards for public education, lawmakers will meet in Jefferson City later this month to decide just how those new standards will find their way into classrooms.

The Joint Committee on Education is set to meet Aug. 26 to hear from the working groups that, for the past year, have been designing new standards for public education in lieu of so-called “Common Core” standards that some state lawmakers have sought to reject.

But once those standards are finished, the difficult, bureaucratic work is just beginning. Lawmakers and officials from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will have to talk about just how these new standards are tested in schools, when they can be implemented, and what teachers need to hit the ground running.

“We’re going to have DESE give us their plan on how they deal with these new standards,” said Rep. David Wood, who chairs the joint committee. “[DESE] may take some, they may take none of them. But there has to be a process to look through the standards and see just how all this works, since nobody has really answered that yet.”

Wood said that it was still unclear how quickly changes to standards would impact teachers and how long it would take to replace testing materials to match the changes. Working groups had until Aug 1 to submit information to the committee about their progress, answering specific inquiries from the members. Wood said most, but not all, of the groups had responded with the necessary documents.