The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


May 13, 2013

Our View: Keep learning

— Donna Maus, a biology teacher from St. Mary’s Colgan High School in Pittsburg, Kan., told a group of top students, their parents and their teachers something we think everyone needs to hear.

Maus, during the Globe’s All-Area Academic Excellence Team honor banquet, said she was a teacher for the same reason she thought others were in the profession.

“I teach not just to teach, but because I want to keep learning,” Maus told the audience.

Not all teachers are like Maus, though. And, not all students are like the 22 brilliant seniors the Globe honored. Nor are all parents like those who sat in that room; parents who value education and who are involved in their children’s schools.

But, they provide us one of the best examples of what schools are doing right. America’s success in educating its young people depends on the combined efforts of students, educators and parents.

But our education system also needs strong elected officials at the federal, state and local levels, if the system we know now is going to improve — or as Maus put it: “keep learning.”

Some good discussion about the implementation of Common Core curriculum standards in 45 states, including Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma, is being held through a series of public meetings. Local school districts are gearing up for full implementation of Common Core standards by the 2014-15 academic year. Implementation of the standards also has garnered support in Missouri from more than 200 school districts, including Joplin, Webb City, Carl Junction, McDonald County, East Newton, Jasper, Lamar and Neosho; and 35 colleges and universities, including Crowder College and the School of Education at Missouri Southern State University.

The bipartisan effort to develop Common Core standards in reading, writing and math grew out of a National Governors Association initiative. Missouri’s Board of Education adopted them in 2010, and the state has been working with local districts to implement them ever since.

But, as with all changes, there are some with concerns, and then there are some who are spouting nonsense.

Missouri is one of 13 states that has legislative efforts to stop the implementation of the standards, although we think it is doubtful that will happen. As long as people continue talking about the need for standards that will challenge all students to keep learning, then we think we’re on the right path.

But, when paranoia and conspiracy theories enter into the discussions, as has been the case at the public meetings held across Missouri, that does nothing to further the cause of excellence in education.

We would urge legislators, school board members and district leadership to put politics aside and instead listen to the advice of great teachers and students. Education will only improve if we are willing to keep learning.

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  • Other Views Other Views: Eroding court’s authority

    While Kansans were focused on the twists and turns of school finance this past week, lawmakers made an unnecessary and historic change in how the state’s district courts operate, coercively tying the reforms to badly needed funding.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: Travesty

    What a travesty that a terrific young man from Spain is on the verge of deportation even though he has proven his worth in America (Globe, April 13).

    April 18, 2014

  • Your View: Astonishing transformation

    The transformation of the Republican Party in the last decade is astonishing.

    April 18, 2014

  • Your View: The changing view

    It is heartbreaking to hear the decades old trees (which border on South Pennsylvania in Webb City) cracking and being bulldozed down.

    April 18, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our View: Safe and sound

    Of the 7,500 Joplin and Duenweg homes hit by the 2011 EF-5 tornado, fewer than 20 percent of them had basements.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other Views Other Views: Funding for state’s roads

    Missouri is finding there is no good alternative to growing the economy, adding new well-paying jobs and expanding the tax base.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Geoff Caldwell, columnist: Government without apology or explanation

    Americans feel closest to their Uncle Sam at this time of year as he extends his hand for his “fair share” to fund his numerous endeavors.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Step aside

    The people of Joplin made it clear they wanted change at City Hall with their decisive votes to replace two council members.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Serious drawbacks

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) lays out clearly and persuasively the serious drawbacks with so-called right-to-work legislation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Free choice

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) regarding right-to-work seems to assume that if workers are given the choice of joining a union, they won’t join.

    April 16, 2014

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A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation projects. The proposed constitutional amendment passed the House earlier this month. If passed by the full Senate, the measure would head to the November ballot for voter approval. Would you vote in favor of it?

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