Dr. Effrem Testifies Against CCSS Before the Missouri State Board of Education

January, 2014

Dr. Karen Effrem testified on January 14th to the Missouri State Board of Education about the developmental inappropriateness and psychological manipulation and testing of the Common Core standards.  This was previously scheduled weeks before the hurried announcement of the Common Core public hearings that took place only a few hours after the release of the minor and cosmetic changes to Florida's Common Core nightmare.

St. Louis Public Radio covered the testimony that also included excellent testimony by Dr. Mary Byrne, a brilliant and dedicated special education teacher and leader of the Missouri Coalition Against Common Core also testifying against the standards and Cheryl Oldham of the Chamber of Commerce offering the same tired talking points without data about why Common Core should be fully implemented. Here are some excerpts from the article:

In her side's one-hour session, Byrne argued against implementation of the standards primarily on procedural grounds. She contended they did not align with the purpose of education according to the Missouri Constitution; they were not really developed by the states; they jeopardize the quality of education in Missouri; and they were not properly vetted according to Missouri law.

Karen Effrem, a pediatrician who heads a group known as Education Liberty Watch...argued that the standards ask too much of young children and too little of older ones, creating a level of stress that isn't necessary.

"We're turning five- and six-year-olds into good little corporate board members," Effrem said.

She said the emphasis on skills that students are too young to have can lead to symptoms such as avoiding schools, insomnia, panic attacks and self-mutilation.

"It is turning teachers who do not necessarily have training in psychology essentially into psychologists," she told the board, "and that could be potentially dangerous because these assessments will go into child's record and essentially follow them for life."

The board was appreciative of the testimony, eager to review the extensive written material provided to them by the opponents, and asked thoughtful questions.  Many thanks go to retiring board member Debbi Demien for her great work in arranging the testimony, Dr. Byrne for excellent testimony, and the support of the many Missouri activists that arranged the trip and came to support the event.


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