No Dumbing Down of Education Standards, Official Says: `We're Raising Thinking Level'

Article excerpt

A state official rebuffs claims by conservative critics that new Missouri education standards focus too much on values and too little on the basics.

Orlo Shroyer, an assistant education commissioner, said, "We've been charged that we're dumbing down education. No one has argued that students shouldn't have a strong knowledge base. But having that knowledge base and not knowing how to apply it isn't enough. We're not dumbing down the curriculum; we're raising the thinking level."

However Frances Shands, a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, says schools should not focus so much on self-esteem.

"I want a traditional method of education like we used to have before the government got in there with sex education and values clarification and all these social programs," Shands said.

Shroyer and Shands, along with Donna Collins, president of the Missouri state National Education Association, and Steve Broody, founder of the education group, Back to Basics, debated the recently approved Show-Me knowledge and performance standards at a forum sponsored by Missouri Mainstream Voters. …

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