Comments about ‘My view: Common Core an assault on liberties’

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Published: Thursday, June 13 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I am assuming that the nomenclature of “Utah Delegates” applies to people at the Republican Nominating Convention. Their goal would therefore be to nominate government representatives who would favor local control over any outside, especially federal, involvement.

While the favorite argument against the outside is all about liberty for local masters, the real motivation is very probable commercial indoctrination at the desires of the local businesses.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Time for repubs to deal with it. The time to debate the common core has already come and gone. It is here to stay. Deal with it


Yes, our education system in Utah is the envy of the nation. There is absolutley no need to try something different. Please ....

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I don't think Common Core is as evil as some people think. It's well intended, but I agree that it's just an over-reach by the national government to try to mandate what must be taught in schools from Washington DC.

What is taught and how it's taught should be decided at the most local level possible. And I'm not talking about the State. Or the District. I'm talking about the school. Where parents can go to school meetings and be heard, or go to school administrators and not just hear "We can't change anything, it's mandated by the State or by Washington DC".

What does some group in Washington DC know about our local values, local concerns, local issues that need to be addressed in our schools? They don't. They can't. That's why schools need to feel free to educate their way (the way the local parent's want it done).

In Vermont they have more local control of their schools. Each school is funded locally (leads to higher property taxes but more local involvement because you voted on the higher tax to improve your local school)

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

It's attitudes like Maverick's that concern me. The "We won.. the nation decided.. the debate is over, if you don't like the national education beuro's decision you had no say in that's too bad deal with it", type of attitude.

That's why I don't like decisions being handed down from Washington DC. Because people like you get all... "If you don't like what the group in DC decided too bad deal with it... it's the nation's decision, not yours", type of attitude.

That's what bothers me about big_government fan_boys.

Do we need to keep changing until the Nation approves???

Actually Utah's education system IS the envy of the nation in some areas. Many States are trying to find how we do such a good job with so little money, and how we get such good graduation rates, and the highest rate of children going on to secondary education in the nation.

We have more work to do in Utah, and funding issues to address in Utah... but Common Corer doesn't answer these.

Sandy, UT

I don't understand why people in this state have issues with defining what kids ought to know in certain grades compared with other students throughout the country. As an educator since 1971, I have nothing but applause for citizens for finally coming together to decide what kids should be able to know, do and benchmarks that show that. I want to know what my grandchildren are expected to know and do, at each grade level and also if they meet a national as well as state standard wherever they live. When teaching twenty years ago, we finally were coming up with curriculum maps for the year for each grade so that we knew we were covering the critical concepts. Imagine that your child was being taught without a "roadmap" of the curriculum throughout the year. That is how most teachers taught then, and would still do so without the "Common Core".

Heber City, UT

“To tell the truth is not just to state the true facts, but to convey a true impression.”

My problem with Common Core opponents is captured in this Robert Louis Stevenson quote. To get their way, opponents must frighten people by telling half the story, using buzzwords like “Washington” and even fudging their own credentials.

Even here, the author continues to convey the impression that she’s a Utah teacher -- and one who left teaching because of CC (on Beck’s show). I find no record of her actually teaching in the last seven years – even that was in charter schools before CC was developed not by DC, but by Governors (many Republicans).

Another example is continual references to “… reduction of literary study …”. This is another canard in the anti-CC argument. Under CC, districts would only reduce literature if they choose. CC simply calls for more reading of informational texts – which has turned out, ironically, to be things like the Constitution and inaugural addresses. And even the Robert Louis Stevenson (classic) essay from which the above quote comes.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I don't understand why we need people in Washington telling us what kids ought to know.

That doesn't need a national debate to me. They ought to know as much as they can at that age. And that isn't a one_size_fits_all thing. Not all kids are capable of leaning as much at every age as other kids.

I think parents and teachers learn what each kid is capable of and adapt to it. National think tanks and Common Core writers may know the MINIMUM kids should know, but not what YOUR kid should know. Most kids are capable of understanding WAY more than is in Common Core. But if Common Core is all that is expected/required... I'm afraid some teachers may teach to the test and only teach what is required for Common Core (when so much more COULD be done).

We already have schools dumbing down curriculum to the lowest common denominator... do we want to NATIONALIZE that lowest common denominator? I think we can do WAY more than Common Core. But I'm afraid teachers are going to accept it as the standard.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Is it only in public education that we would reject the wisdom of the larger group of people? Are we rejecting the group wisdom only because it comes from the distrusted government?

We often accept the large group wisdom in other things like medical care, legal matters, standards for measurement, weight, and all sorts of commercial things used in the American world. They are mostly private individuals.

Should we let the town doctors decide how to best cure their patients? Should each town decide how to plug into electricity?

Is the education needed different for different states and towns? Do we take away a persons freedom to move about the country by providing a custom education applicable only to where he is born?

Is local education desired as an enslavement tool by some with ulterior motives?

Heber City, UT

2bits- "National think tanks and Common Core writers may know the MINIMUM kids should know, but not what YOUR kid should know." Which is exactly why common core is put out as national MINIMUM standards to be adapted by local school boards. If local schools don't succeed or push beyond the minimum standards they ought to be held accountable. Locally.

Ultra Bob- "Are we rejecting it because it comes from the distrusted government?" No, we're afraid of it because we've been told it comes from the Obama feds, even though that's patently false.

However, if HAD come from the Feds under a republican administration you wouldn't hear a constitutional whisper from this vocal minority. Kind of like NSA monitoring - fine as long as W was in charge. Just more obstruction, just misplaced this time because of purposeful mislabeling.

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "2 bits" I don't think that people understand what the purpose of Common Core is. Education is only secondary. According to the Common Core website, the assesments are being used to "Create economies of scale". If you look into what an "economy of scale" is you find that it is a business term where a corporation optimizes its resources for a desired output. In other words, the government wants to test your children so that they can decide for your children what career would be the most efficient use of government money.

Does the US seem like the type of nation that should be deciding for you what your career will be?

To "utahprincipal801" and others who support Common Core. Ask yourself this, did the No Child Left Behind program work? If it worked, why do we need this program. If it didn't work, do you really trust those same organizations to give us a better standard?

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT


Is that all the radical right can do now?

Scare us?

Why should we let local hicks and hillbillies determine our educational standards? Do they not realize that America is in an economic war with other countries? No longer can we disregard science, history, and reading and writing skills. The minimum standards are about 3 decades overdue. Enough with the local standards which have endorsed mediocrity. Set the standards and then let localities increase them from there. But no more of this local nonsense of no standards and merely turning biology and history into seminary lessons. Enough of this "kick the can down the road" approach so common amongst the GOP.

Salt Lake City, UT

The Deseret News editor needs to step in and clarify Utah State Delegates to what? Since the author thinks this vote should be dispositive, we are entitled to know who she is talking about.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

"hicks and hillbillies" huh... So classy. Reminds me why your stereotype based views have no credibility with people who can see past your stereotypes and see people as people and not your stereotypes of people.

Heber City, UT

"..did the No Child Left Behind program work?" Nope. That's why state governors and educators pushed for trying something else. Common Core is the result of that effort. If it doesn't work, we'll try something else. But we need a coordinated approach to compete. And we don't need to fear coordinating with other states as long as we have flexibility to improve upon the standard. Before worrying about caps on how much can be added to these standards, we should try to achieve them.

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "marathonman" are you familiar with the definition of insanity given by Einstein. "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Why keep going back to the federal government and expecting better results? Why not look to history when education standards were higher or else the standards encouraged more knowledge to be taught. See the NAS report "Today’s College Students and Yesteryear’s High School Grads: A Comparison of General Cultural Knowledge" where they find that kids in 1957 knew more about general culture than kids today. There are also studies out there that show how the language used in textbooks from 60 years ago (or more) was more advanced than the language in modern textbooks.

The government has been watering down the education. Take a look at "Solving America’s Math Problem" at EducationNext. They have a picture showing how watered down a pre-algebra book is now compared to 100 years ago.

So again, why keep going down the same road if 100 years ago they had higher standards? Shouldn't we look to the past for answers to our future?

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Why are repubs constantly being "assaulted" and attacked? They are constantly on red alert and being made to be "victims."

Are they not fighting anyone or anything? Or are they merely taking punishment?

I sense a growing fatigue of the general population towards the GOP's fear-mongering and paranoia. We aren't falling for their old bags of tricks anymore. Sorry fox and AM radio! Better try something else!

Heber City, UT

Redshirt, einstein's definition could apply to your comments. How many times do you have to be shown that common core is not a federal program before you stop saying it. Again, "no child" was a federal program; common core is the states trying to educate according to common standards.

No argument from me that knowledge levels are falling. What's your solution besides using old text books? How about setting a minimum standards that can be improved over time?

Highland, UT

Awesome op-ed Christel. They haven't answered the tough questions yet but they'll keep spinning it like the debate is over.

It's hilarious how some people are grasping at straws above questioning your credentials. How funny that someone is trying to find your teaching credentials just like one of the state school board members, and accusing you of being a liar. To MarathonMan, keep looking. :) Oh, and informational texts also include books recommended by the USOE such as "Children and the United Nations." A small informational booklet on the virtues of the UN that teaches children the benefits of smaller families and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Mamiejane, please read the first sentence of the article for an answer to your question. Christel said it was 2/3rds of the Utah GOP delegates at their convention that voted for an anti-Common Core resolution. That's a huge margin when you consider that 60% of the delegates voted for Herbert who is a well-known supporter of Common Core.

"But no more of this local nonsense of no standards and merely turning biology and history into seminary lessons." In violation of state law? Yeah right...

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Owen" but it is a federal program. If a state adopts the standards they receive.....Federal money. Read "Common Core standards drive wedge in education circles" in USA Today. There they are quite clear that "President Obama, who has tied "college and career-ready standards" to billions in federal grants". If it isn't a federal program, why is it that those who adopt it get federal money? It is like saying Social Security isn't a Federal program.

You can't set a national set of standards because educators, like anybody else, will typically aim to meet the stanards and nothing more because there is not a reward for exceeding it. Now, when the school standards were set more on the community level, the standards were higher. You should ask why. I would argue that when the standards were set on a community level, it reflected the desires of the people sending their kids to that school, and the motivation for the educator to meet those standards was to either keep their job or else they themselves had kids in those communities and wanted those same standards for thier children.

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