Comments about ‘Common Core conspiracies abound in Utah, not based in reality’

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Published: Wednesday, July 18 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Nathan W
Salt Lake City, UT

People capable of believing in one provably untrue story (the biggest in Utah) find it easier to ignore contrary evidence and believe in a whole range of conspiracy stories and theories.

Heber City, UT

These women you talk about ARE NOT conspiracy theorists. You may not agree with them, but they are not making this up, they have proof/evidence to back them up, what does USOE have? I thought that you Chad were a much more upstanding and good person, but this shows me that you are listening to one side and not the other side. It is very evident that you are not the kind of person that I would elect to represent my children and it makes me (along with reading your wife's communications back and forth) that your wife should not be in her position either. This is not a popularity contest, these are our children's lives.

School Board members are voted in by the people to listen and to actually do their own homework on issues, our board has shown that they do not do their homework on many of the issues placed before them. When a board passes a budget that they do not fully know what is contained, when they only read an abridged copy...they ARE NOT doing their homework and they are NOT representing the citizens.

Mamma C

The writer, like many, unfortunately, assumes Common Core will solve our huge education problems; the common standards raise only some areas, while they lower many. Mr. Jones cites Obama's support of Common Core as the main thing opponents have against it; not true. Binding governing documents of Common Core make the loss of local control to consortia and feds extremely clear.

Jones is right about Common Core not being a federal curriculum and not being initiated by the Dept of Education; but the feds now do control both. The test system of PARCC/SBAC is run by the authority of the Dept. who gave PARCC/SBAC its grant to write the tests. High stakes tests and common standards DO determine curriculum, even if that curriculum wasn't selected by those who control the tests/standards.

And the standards are not amendable by Utah; they're under NGA copyright. No matter how smart the NGA is, should we trust our educational future to that group, who has not even given us an amendment process should we disagree with a strand of the common standards?

So yes, local control is gone, and that's no conspiracy theory.

Herriman, UT

CK: when it comes to the Eagle Forum and the Sutherland Institute conspiracies abound. That is their agenda. When you can promote fear rather than solutions you will always get your 30 seconds of airtime and 15 minutes of fame. I was just hoping that people would finally realize this.

Bounty Hunter
Heber City, UT

Contracts are signed now, words are penned. We are out of the conspiracy’s theorist’s imagination here, this not a trending a fad in fashion at issue, these are your rights and they are hard to get back. At the end of the day, do we have more rights or fewer rights with common core? The answer is already signed and approved by the Gov. At this point, the burden of proof is on Gov. and school boards to explain these statements of how they “believe” common core does not take rights away. Those same leaders will have to explain how they even considered this.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

The Conservative extremeists like those mentioned in this article -
Eagle's Forum, Sutherland Institute -
as wll as many many others here in Utah kind of reminds me of that scene in
Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
The one where the ignorant village people are making up ridiculous stories accusing an inocent young girl of being a Witch.

Facts, reality, logic mean abolutely nothing to them --

They somehow got it so ingrained in their heads to burn a witch,
if they don't have one, they'll make one up!


Mamma C

Speaking of Mony Python and the Holy Grail, dear LDS Liberal, there's also a scene in which the knight is being slaughtered, limb by limb, and the whole time, he insists it's "just a scratch." This reminds me of those with their heads in the sand, believing that the fact that Common Core's lopping off local educational freedom, autonomy, and rights to privacy over student data, are "just a scratch" on the armor of the Constitution, when really, we are losing limbs we can't afford to lose.

Orem Parent
Orem, UT

This was the best piece I have read in the Dnews in a long time. Well said my friend. Our schools are better than ever and we get that with the worst funding in the nation.

Anyone that has complaints about Utah's education system needs to go live in another state for a few years and realize what a bargain we are getting.

The teachers here are amazing and dedicated to what they are doing. If you, as a family, put education as a top priority, your child will be very successful and totally prepared for college.

Believe me, I know. I have lived in other states and we have it better than anywhere else I have lived.

Camas, WA

What is not based on reality is any legitimate research or basis for the many claims made by those who support the Common Core Standards. Incredibly, the biggest reason given by governors, state school chiefs, and school board members, including CK Jones, for adopting the CCSS is that everyone else is doing it.

There certainly is a conspiracy to have national standards in this country. That conspiracy was not hatched by the federal government but the federal government is certainly complicit in that conspiracy by way of requiring adoption of the CCSS by states seeking Race to the Top funds, and by funding the national assessments that will measure state progress on the CCSS.

The CCSS are not about higher standards or increased learning as claimed. They are about taking away local control and giving it to unelected and unaccountable people who have their own agenda. The CCSS have legions of supporters like CK Jones who believe it must be a good thing because everyone is doing it.

Supposedly the CCSS will increase the ability of students to think deeply; an incredible claim when you consider the CCSS have been adopted using the shallowest thought process imaginable.

Lehi Mom
Lehi, UT

@Mamma C and Bounty Hunter. Your comments are exactly what the article is about. Scare tactics. Specifically what “rights” and “freedoms” are being taken away by having educational standards in common with other states?

Local school districts will still approve curriculum and budgets. Individual teachers will still decide how to achieve goals. Nationwide testing and data have been in place longer than most of us have been alive. How else would we have constant stories about how the states compare to one another? And what personal information do you think your local school would share that isn’t already known by the state or federal government – besides test scores and grades that are already shared?

Finally, we are more conservative than any state. Virtually everyone you accuse of undermining our “rights” is as conservative and wary of the feds as you. Do you ever consider that you might be part of a very small vocal minority?

Henderson, NV

CK Jones, great article. You just get it.

Lehi Mom's final paragraph is right on point as well. Let me add to the end of her paragraph. "Do you ever consider that you might be part of a very small vocal minority? YOU ARE!"

This is why I will never move my family to Utah. Even though the majority of it's citizens share most of my beliefs, they also add a whole new meaning to the term, CRAZY!

Henderson, NV

Issues like this are on my short list of things I don't miss about living in Utah. It's so nice not to have to wonder whether the legislature is going to waste time (taxpayer $) trying to send messages or placate a tiny constituency. Thank heaven there's at least one school board willing to stand up to the loud, but self-righteous few.

jb heber
heber, UT

Amen to this article. I am a teacher. No one says that the Common Core is the answer or a perfect system. But its standards are a good start. Critics don't want to cooperate with other states, but at the same time don't offer any real solution to improve the educational system. Utah does well with what we have, and I take offense as an educator to be attacked by those who criticize the system that we are working so hard to improve.
MammaC: What is your solution??? What can we do better???
The reality is that it is program designed by teachers, not politicians or bureaucrats with an agenda. Its not perfect, but it is good, and its a million times better than No Child Left Behind.
Stop complaining and realize that we all want what is best for our children. Stop politicizing programs that are in place to strengthen education, especially until you have something to replace it with.

Henderson, NV

As a current high school teacher, I think I am one to be able to see the difficulties of common core. In the last three years, I have had to redesign the three classes I teach each year. Any teacher knows that rewriting your lesson plans is not an easy task. Especially when you are attempting to get kids to learn things on an exit test you have never seen. This only gives me the opportunity to research more, read more, and become a better specialist in the subjects I teach. I had a student this past year that had to retake the same class, wasting time, money on materials, and a desk space in my room because common core was not yet practiced in my subject area. She was bored relearning the same things just because she moved and was attending a new high school. I believe Mr. Jones has this right, and that Utah will benefit from this great program which has its focus in the right directon, the children. It allows teachers and students to be flexible and adapt to the ever changing "real world."

one old man
Ogden, UT

For some pathetic people, fear is the only thing they have going for them.

Tracy M
South Jordan, UT

Mr. Jones - Thank you for having the courage to share your opinion. It is not easy to do so when the people against this are not afraid to lie, bully and attack character. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I have been very suspicious of the groups that are against the common core. I have done a lot or research and discovered that most of the "facts and research" being sent out by the groups against the core are gross misrepresentations of the truth. I hope our legislature learned a lesson from the sex education bill veto and Rep. Wright losing his re-election bid. This very vocal group does not represent the majority of Utahns. The core is not perfect, but it's a start toward improving educational standards. We need to work together with our school districts and legislators to ensure the common core continues to work for our state.

the truth
Holladay, UT

I find it odd that the people who support common core, attack groups and indviduals and NOT their arguments, and coall thme names lie "fearmonger"

We have extreme leftests here that reject any argument from any conservative or conservative group just based on fact they they are conservative!

And then they mock them severely t and name call them to try and minimize the conseravtive opposition..

So who is really spreading ignorance and fear (for conservatives and their ideas) just to impose a bad program and everyone.

Conservative have come up with great arguments, and serious concerns, what has the left got say?

We don't more head-in-the-sand-support from the left-wingers.

Anything the imposes a one size fits all answer is bad and dangerous.
It is extreme socialism, even communism, to impose social equality at the expense of the loss of local control, individual freedom and responsibility,

but that seems to be the answer for everything from the extreme left, in healthcare and now in education,

and if an argument comes from the right or a conservative attack and destroy the individual or group.

How about listening for once rather than hating the messenger?


Regardless of who the messenger is the message that the State of Utah and local school boards should do everything thing in their power to retain control of curriculum. This is not about standards this is about ceding our responsibility to bureaucracies that have no local interest. My questions are: Why is it that Utah or any other state, must contractually agree to the standards? Why can't we look at them, like them and use them or change them to suit our needs, without contractual acceptance of the whole ball of wax? Most importantly, why are the State School Board, the Legislature, and the Governor so anxious to wash their hands of importance of teaching our children, choosing to accept without question curriculum that they haven't even seen?

Heber Realist
Lehi, UT

Is there something that has leached into the water in Heber City?

As a very ambitious student at Wasatch High 10 or so years ago, I never went without an opportunity (within or outside of the curriculum). My PUBLIC SCHOOL teachers were and remain as my greatest role models. Jones is right. This is a fear thing-- I can almost hear the panting. Take a deep breath and get real. Think back on your own education at any level. You learned as much from the experience as you learned from any teacher. The culture in public school fosters that growth and experience without sacrificing academics. The biggest problem facing our country today is polarization in politics. Issues like this make things worse. Let the teachers do what they get underpaid to do.

Herriman, UT

@formetoknow: yours is one of the few letters/statements I have ever seen on here accusing the legislature and the Governor of "wash their hands of importance of teaching our children". Our state's education system is one of the most micromanaged systems in our state. You have legislators who, as an example, required our students to take the old UBSCT test as a step in the graduation process but refused to take it themselves. They have tried to ramrod through school vouchers when the voting public told them time and time again no. Senator Stephenson, and others like him, want to"starve the beast". Choosing to accept without question curriculum they have not seen? They have seen the standards and they know when they have met a mountain they should not climb.

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