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What is the true definition of OBE?

November 02, 1995
By: L. MEGHAN HUMPHREYS
State Capital Bureau

Note: See Education Department's Web site on proposed education standards.

JEFFERSON CITY - Ask any educator, politician, or education official this question: "What exactly is outcome-based education?" and each would probably have a different answer.

Gov. Mel Carnahan says he opposes OBE, which he defines as a philosophy that uses methods like group grading, grades students with systems other than the traditional A-through-F method and de-emphasizes the use of rote memorization.

But ask another OBE opponent, and that definition changes.

Missouri Sen. Peter Kinder, R-Cape Girardeau, is one of OBE's fiercest opponents in Missouri. He terms OBE as "a sharp turn away" from the educational basics.

"It is a turn toward a politically correct, multicultural agenda," Kinder said. "It wants to measure attitudes and self-esteem."

Those who support OBE have even more definitions.

Carol Schmoock, the assistant executive director of the Missouri NEA said OBE is "a process of determining before teaching what you want the results of kindergarten through grade 12 to be and then planning backwards to determine what will be taught."

Bill Spady, director of High Success Network, a Colorado-based independent consulting firm on OBE. He defines OBE as having four key aspects: