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My view: Common Core resolution is the most laughable bill of 2013

By Oak Norton

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 19 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

This Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 photo shows representatives on the floor of the Utah House of Representatives at the Utah State Capitol in Salt Lake City.

Rick Bowmer, Associated Press

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Do we really need to stoop to this level? The Legislature is considering HJR 8, "Joint Resolution on the Benefits of Adopting Common Core." This bill is full of the same lies that get told over and over attempting to propagandize the public into believing they are true.

"This joint resolution of the Legislature recognizes the significant benefits that have come to Utah's students due to the adoption of the Utah Core Standards."

How exactly can someone claim significant benefits when we have no data on how Common Core is performing yet?

"Whereas, the Common Core standards were developed by a state-led effort"

No they were Gates-led, not state-led. The Gates Foundation pumped $20 million into the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State Superintendents Organization to create these standards. They did it to fulfill a contractual obligation stemming from Microsoft's 2004 contract with United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organizaation to create a global education system. Gates has paid $173 million so far to create and promote Common Core. The Utah State Office of Education didn't even know who was on the drafting committee until the standards were written, which happens to be after Utah adopted them.

"Whereas, the process used to write the standards ensured they were informed by the best state and international standards, the best student test scores, the experience of teachers, content experts, states, leading thinkers, feedback from the general public, and the most important international models, as well as research and input from numerous sources, including state departments of education, scholars, assessment developers, and professional organizations;"

You've got to be kidding me. First, it's well established that the Common Core standards were never internationally benchmarked.

Second, does anyone seriously think that the standards were "informed by the best" student test scores?"

"Leading thinkers?" The leading thinkers were on the validation committees and upon reviewing them opted to not endorse the standards.

Feedback from the general public? The Utah state office only held a public meeting as a formality due to complaints after they adopted the standards.

"Whereas, the Utah State Board of Education began the effort to revise its mathematics core standards in 2007 after concerns were raised about the rigor of the state's current standards;"

Yes, concerns were raised and the 2007 standards were a great improvement. In fact, those standards had most students finishing algebra 1 in eighth grade so most students could take an authentic calculus class by 12th grade.

Unfortunately, Common Core pushes completion of algebra 1 to ninth grade, so most students will never get calculus by the time they graduate, just pre-calculus.

My guess is that someone from the State Office of Education drafted this in an attempt to convince legislators and the public that Common Core is really great, magically turning fiction into fact.

Common Core is the biggest education boondoggle foisted upon the American people, and it will prove to be worse as time goes on. How will Utah students be better prepared than anyone else in the United States when they are being commonly trained for the same jobs? Someone needs to jump ahead, and Utah should be that state.

Please contact your legislators and tell them not to be duped by such insanity and to vote against HJR 8.

Oak Norton heads the UtahnsAgainstCommonCore.com website and is a critic of the national Common Core standards.

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