Missouri House committee asking for comments about education issues

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 | 3:58 p.m. CDT; updated 7:13 a.m. CDT, Thursday, October 24, 2013

COLUMBIA — A Missouri House committee is seeking comments about education issues at a hearing Wednesday at MU.

Anyone may speak about any topic related to education in Missouri, said Rep. Lyle Rowland, R-Cedarcreek, vice chairman of the House Interim Committee on Education.

The hearing will last from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Reynolds Alumni Center, and dinner will be provided at 6:15 p.m.

The committee has a list of 10 key topics, mostly focusing on K-12 education, but any topic is welcome. Those topics are:

  • Common Core State Standards
  • Early-childhood education
  • Teacher tenure
  • Virtual schools and technology
  • Parent and community involvement in schools
  • College students' perspective on high school experience
  • School safety and bullying
  • School calendar and increased hours of instruction, remediation and acceleration
  • Extended learning
  • Quality educator evaluations and preparation programs

The hearing is the last of 11 stops the committee has made at universities across Missouri in the past two months. The idea is to give people a chance to talk about issues that interest them in a more convenient, friendly environment than the Capitol, Rowland said.

Residents brought up the Common Core standards at every hearing except one, he said. Hearings in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas focused on unaccredited districts in those cities.

Many of the speakers said representatives had "neglected their duties" to fund public education, Rowland said.

After this hearing, the committee will write up a report on the concerns voiced during the sessions. It will then review the report to identify priorities for the next legislative session.

"Hopefully, from all of this we'll have some legislation that will be drafted from our findings from across the state," Rowland said.

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