Immediate Action Needed on State Board of Education

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Action Needed:

Stop Partisan Politics at the State Board of Education

What is happening:

This week the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Governor Eric Greitens' new appointees to the State Board of Education are calling for a meeting this Tuesday to fire the current Commissioner of Education, Dr. Margie Vandeven. Press reports indicate the Governor's appointees plan to replace her with a predetermined candidate with no interview or selection process. Since taking office, Governor Greitens has made five interim appointments to the state board all to place a handpicked candidate in the position of Commissioner of Education. This action by the newly appointed board members who have never attended a meeting or been confirmed by the Missouri Senate is unprecedented.

Impact on students, educators, and schools:

The Missouri Constitution establishes the State Board of Education as an independent and non-political entity governed by citizens. The State Board Educations mandate is to focus on student success, not political power plays. Governors of both parties have recognized the strength and stability the State Board's independence provides our students and local schools.  

Removing a sitting commissioner as Missouri is in the process of redesigning our accreditation structure, (MSIP) to take advantage of the flexibility allowed under the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), is counterproductive and rash. This law will allow the State Board to support local control and move away from the failed policies of No Child Left Behind and its “test, blame and punish” mindset that has harmed Missouri students.

What you can do:

Missouri National Education Association is working with education partners to advocate against this political power play, but we need your help. Can you take a moment and send an email to the State Board of Education? One email will go to all the members of the State Board as we work to keep the board focused on student success, not political games. Hearing from educators like you could make all the difference. Simply fill out the information to your right and an email will be sent to every State Board of Education member asking them to reconsider this unprecedented course of action.

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