Letter: Parents and teachers should oppose Common Core

Published: Tuesday, May 8 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Bill Colbert, a Utah State School Board member votes "Nay" on the voucher issue during a vote on the controversial school voucher program by members of the Utah State Board of Education at their building in Salt Lake City, Utah Tuesday May 29, 2007.

August Miller, File, Deseret News

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The Utah State School Board seems blind and deaf to the whole truth about Common Core and its many goals for Utah. Despite half of Utah turning out in opposition to the Core at the USOE forum, the board forges forward: last week, the board voted to add preschool to the Common Core in Utah.

The initiative binds education with federal and other ties, via the unamendable standards, via the testing consortium — of which we are not the master but the servant — and via the invasive data collection by the federal government, which is out of harmony with the Constitution's declaration of sovereignty for states.

A state school board member, Leslie Castle, wrote that equality, not freedom, was the theme of the U.S. Constitution; she felt giving up freedom over education in an effort to equalize education, was a noble goal.

Without freedom, we have nothing in education. We cannot innovate, we cannot soar; we can do nothing that is not ruled by others. No matter how good Common Core sounds — and it does sound good, although none of its claims have been referenced nor piloted — it's a huge mistake.

No claim made by this educational program is worth the price we are paying in lost advantages: (1) lost parental authority, in favor of federal perusal of data, due to Common Core's rule that we "address barriers in state law." (2) Lost educational freedoms; we can never amend or improve upon CCSS standards which have been handed down like a law from outside our sovereign state. (3) Lost privacy; the data collection poses as educational data collection for a common test but intrudes on families and students beyond any reasonable educational motive, allowing for the collection of income records, parental details, bus stop times, biometric information, etc. (4) Less classic literature being permitted, in favor of info-texts, in English classrooms.

By the time we wake up to this multifaceted error, it may be too late to change what Utah's leaders have signed children up for, without many teachers or parents making a peep.

Christel Swasey

Heber City

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