A Self-Appointment to Missouri’s Common Core Work Group?

MissouriStateFlag1An educator from Columbia, MO decided that despite what Missouri Speaker of the House Tim Jones said he was staying on the Common Core Standards work group created after HB 1490 was signed into law in July requiring the state to review and replace the Common Core.

The Kansas City Star first reported that Jones appointed Nick Kremer, a language arts specialist from Columbia Public Schools, to the English Language Arts work group.  Upon learning that Kremer did meet the qualifications listed in the law, Jones directed him to resign.  Kremer essentially said, nope I’m staying.

Nick Kremer, a language arts coordinator at Columbia Public Schools, has been a supporter of the national standards, which Jones and other Republicans are seeking to revamp. Jones said he asked Kremer to leave the panel after learning he does not have the required 10 years of teaching experience.

While Kremer acknowledges he hasn’t spent 10 years in a classroom, he says he does have that much experience when his years as an administrator are included. Asked by The Associated Press whether he thought his position on Common Core was why Jones wants him to leave, Kremer said he didn’t know. He said he would stay on the committee, which is looking into English standards for junior high and high school students, “between now and when the judiciary interprets the law to indicate that the speaker does have the statutory authority to replace me mid-process.”

It appears to me that this Common Core advocate wants to bring his agenda to the work group, and it is troubling that as a language specialist he doesn’t seem to know how to read.

Political appointees can be replaced unless the state’s code or constitution says otherwise.  Kremer is in a slot that Jones is responsible to fill and he can appoint whomever he likes in that slot.  This isn’t rocket science.  Even if he was replacing him solely because of his position on Common Core he has the ability to do just that.

Missouri Education Watchdog reports that perhaps some resolution was found.  Kremer can still attend, but he won’t be an official member which I take to mean he won’t have a vote.  He is being replaced by Lou Ann Saighmann.  Jones issued the following statement:

In an effort to resolve the issues that have emerged in the workings of the 6-12 English Language Arts Workgroup, I have appointed Ms. Lou Ann Saighmann to bring her knowledge and experience to the group as they move forward with the process of developing Missouri-based education standards. I made this decision pursuant to the authority granted to me under Article 3 Section 18 of the Missouri Constitution and Rule 22 of the Rules of the Missouri House of Representatives, and in compliance with the experience requirements outlined in HB 1490.

I appreciate Mr. Nick Kremer’s interest in participating in this process. Contrary to what some members of the media have reported, Mr. Kremer is more than welcome to continue participating, as any member of the public is, with this particular work group or any other work group. However, because we learned that Mr. Kremer was not qualified pursuant to the specific requirements of HB 1490, his appointment as an official member of the workgroup was therefore “void” under the law requiring us to fill this void with Ms. Saighmann pursuant to the Constitution and Rules of the Missouri House.  I look forward to the recommendations that will ultimately come forward from this group and the others that are diligently working to produce effective standards for Missouri’s system  education.

This makes Kremer the first self-appointed member of a government commission or group that I’m aware of.