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There's a fight brewing in Jefferson City over new education standards in math and English, called the Common Core.

The national standards define the skills and knowledge students should have. And proponents say Missouri students need Common Core in order to stay competitive with students from 45 other states that have adopted them.

But some state lawmakers are balking, claiming that the move to Common Core will give federal education officials too much control over local schools. Senator John Lamping co-sponsored a bill to repeal Common Core in Missouri. The Ladue Republican has accused federal education officials of coercion. He and other opponents have also questioned the cost of implementation, since the standards call for computerized testing.

The State's Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro says the new standards only outline what students should know, not how schools and teachers should go about teaching, because Common Core doesn't dictate curriculum.

Both Missouri and Illinois adopted the standards in 2010. Illinois will achieve full implementation in the 2013-14 school year, a full year ahead of the Show-me state.
Published in Local News
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A former Jefferson City middle and high school band teacher has been sentenced to 60 days in jail for having sexual contact with a student.

The Jefferson City News-Tribune reports that Christopher Knehans's attorney argued for a 30-day sentence Wednesday. But Judge Dan Green Wednesday ordered the maximum 60 days allowed by the plea agreement, beginning immediately.

The 39-year-old pleaded guilty in September to two counts of sexual contact with a student.

Under the sentence, Knehans will serve serve three years supervised probation after he is released from the jail. He also will be required to register as a sex offender.

The indictment said he inappropriately touched a 17-year-old student in September 2011.
Published in Local News
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 17:31

Battle of snarky laws continues in Jefferson City

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri House Democrat's plan would send colleagues to prison for Representative Jeff Roorda, of Barnhart, introduced the bill Friday in response to a Republican House member's proposal to jail lawmakers for introducing gun control measures.

Roorda says he was "inspired" by the GOP approach to protecting gun rights and he wants to do the same for unions. Rep. Mike Leara, of St. Louis County, is sponsoring the bill banning gun-control legislation.

Both measures would give lawmakers prison terms of up to four years for proposing gun restrictions or anti-union bills.

The Republican-led Legislature is currently working on proposals to curb collective bargaining by limiting the ability of unions to collect fees from employees' paychecks.
Published in Local News
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