Critics Unload on `Performance Standards' Speaker Challenges Outcome-Based Education

Article excerpt

As Missouri education officials try to develop a list of educational requirements for all Missouri public school students, some groups are not only casting skeptical glances - they're ready to pounce.

About 400 people crowded a meeting Tuesday night, many of them to question the need for the "performance standards" and how the state will measure them.

Critics link the new requirements to outcome-based education, a movement that seeks to change how students are taught, what they are taught and how their progress is assessed.

Critics in Missouri are concerned that the standards will try to measure students' attitudes. Robert Bartman, the state's commissioner for elementary and secondary education, has said the requirements will focus on academics, not values.

Tuesday's crowd at Parkway Middle School overflowed an auditorium and spilled over into a classroom where people watched proceedings on a television monitor.

The featured speaker was Anita Hogue, a parent from Pennsylvania who has fought attempts to teach elements of outcome-based education in her state. Hogue said that in the past 18 months she has spoken out against the philosophy in 18 states.

Hogue encouraged the crowd to ask questions of state officials and be aware of what is being taught in their children's schools.

The West St. Louis County chapter of United We Stand America, made up of supporters of former presidential candidate Ross Perot, sponsored Hogue's speech. …