On May 3, I sent the tweet below to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and Commissioner of Education, Chris Nicastro:

Apparently, state education officials aren’t interested in a true debate about Common Core, because I am now blocked from accessing the DESE Twitter page.


The tweet was sent the day after DESE officials hosted eight meetings throughout the state regarding the Common Core. Each meeting was conducted in the same way. The moderators read from scripts and refused to allow open dialogue. At the meeting in Springfield, the moderator can be heard telling the audience that they are “welcome to go ahead and leave” if they didn’t like how the meeting was being conducted.

I attended the meeting at Lindbergh, which was halted when citizens demanded to be heard.

Many people's take-a-way from these meetings was that DESE was not interested in a true debate of the issue; they were more interested in controlling the message.

I have sent an email request to the commissioner and the head of the DESE communications department asking to be unblocked and to be told why my account had been blocked in the first place.

We shall see what they say. For now, it seems like just another example of the department trying to stifle debate about the Common Core.
James V. Shuls, Ph.D.

About the Author

James Shuls
James V. Shuls is an assistant professor of educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Missouri–St. Louis and Distinguished Fellow in Education Policy at the Show-Me Institute.