Last week, I participated as a parent representative in the K-5 work group for History and Government established by HB 1490. Immediately upon arrival in our meeting room, arranged by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), I was treated to what has become common behavior by DESE, and through them, school districts across the state.
They assumed power and authority they are not granted by law.
To this end, DESE committed a coup, thumbing their noses at the state legislature and the law they crafted in response to implementation of Common Core Standards. Common Core Standards were adopted unconstitutionally to begin with. Governor Jay Nixon signed Missouri onto them by illegally bypassing the state legislature, the only body with the legal authority to draft changes to Missouri’s education standards. The legislature didn’t seem to mind. In fact, a few short years ago thanks to DESE and corporate lobbyists, they voted to repeal Missouri’s higher standard for education to lay the ground work for Common Core.
Literally, before my eyes, DESE and their agents completely ignored both the intent of HB 1490 and the language in the law that prohibited the organization’s involvement in the work groups convened to develop standards for districts statewide. They shredded HB 1490 and danced with glee on the litter.
This complete and total disregard, for the state legislature and the parents, students and citizens of the state of Missouri was shocking. The audacity shown by DESE and the contempt they have for those who would require they follow the law, was evident in every work group. The fingerprints of tried and true tactics were evidenced in power point presentations and notes plastered on the walls of each work group. Like a door-to-door salesman, DESE wasn’t taking no for an answer. ‘Facilitators’ (fascists, for those keeping score at home) simply pushed on with the agenda handed down to them by DESE: Ensure that the Common Core standards remain in place, at all costs.
Their illegal assumption of authority, of inserting themselves in a process they are legally excluded from, is the norm for the bureaucratic monster known as DESE. It has been reflected in school districts across the state, as they rush to transform our schools from institutions of learning into incubators of failure, designed to produce children ready for factory assembly lines instead of prepared for universities.
The refusal for DESE’s ‘facilitators’ to step down resulted in my decision to leave the work group I was appointed to last week, rather than to willingly participate in committing a fraud against the people of Missouri.
There has been much debate among the parents appointed to these groups about whether to continue to participate in a process that has been marked by illegal behavior. A growing number of these parent representatives have expressed the need to stand up, to stop the illegal process before it goes any further. Other parent representatives and educators appointed to these groups believe that they should press on, even though they are well aware that DESE’s continued involvement is illegal. These parents and educators believe that it is their duty to continue to participate and that there is some value in continuing to object, despite being repeatedly silenced through manufactured votes of contrived consensus. They believe that by recording this fraud as it is taking place, the public will respond with outrage.
They are wrong.
Instead, what has been shown with each call for contrived ‘consensus’, is that these parents and teachers are simply the minority in what appears to be a ‘democratic’ process. This is what DESE is counting on. The participation of these parents in the work group meetings, under fraudulent terms and DESE’s iron fist, simply gives the appearance of legitimacy.
This is the biggest mistake these appointees could make.
By participating in a process that is illegal, they are giving it a legitimacy it doesn’t otherwise have. Continuing to play by the rules as DESE has rewritten them makes these parents accessories to the very crimes they want to prevent.
For these and many other reasons, I have withdrawn from my appointment to this process. To continue to participate with hopes that the rule of law will somehow be magically reestablished is a lie I am not willing to tell myself or my children. As I said Monday, September 22, when I made the decision to leave the work group session, it is a moral choice to continue aiding and abetting this sham, one that I am not comfortable with.
It is a shame that so many of the other participants believe that it is justified to continue with an illegal process. Wishing on a star won’t stop the DESE agenda.
Refusing to participate in an illegal process on the other hand, will force the legislators into action. Thus far, their press releases have had little effect on DESE’s illegal actions and the show goes on…
I sincerely wish the parents, teachers and educators the best of luck in the days ahead. It is up to them whether they move forward legally or not.
No one else is in the room.