Comments about ‘My view: What to expect of Common Core’

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Published: Wednesday, Aug. 7 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Owen
Heber City, UT

Yawn. Another anti-cc and anti-government columnist masquerading as a teacher. Search engines makes this too easy. Mr. Orsmby, who is so concerned about probable outcomes, also rails against seatbelt and helmet laws. The reason Utah math teachers (remember local control?) have issued a statement supporting common core standards is that they are better than what we had. Massachusetts (one of the highest per-pupil spending states) and Utah school districts are free to exceed the standards, which, once again are a floor, not a ceiling.

The Hammer
lehi, utah

@ Owen

Yet your side has not one rebuttal of his concerns for the poor curriculum offered by common core. Common Core is fundemenatally flawed and its ridiculuos that those who support it lack the answers for the problems in it.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Owen,
So... if you don't support seat-belt laws and helmet laws your opinion is invalid? I don't understand how you assume supporting helmet laws means you are masquerading as a teacher and your opinion on math should be dismissed.

Search engines may be great, but having a brain is even better. We don't disqualify opinions just because a background search reveals that they don't support seat-belt laws.

I agree knowing they don't support seat-belt laws tells us something about them, but it doesn't automatically mean they aren't a teacher, or their opinion about math curriculum doesn't matter.

I don't need seat-belt laws (I guess that makes me crazy). But I think we should all wear seat-belts and I always wear mine. But not because I may get a ticket, I were them because they can save our life (Not because of the Government mandate or fear of a ticket). I know... crazy.

You may need that law before you will wear your seat-belt. That says something about you, but it doesn't automatically mean your opinion is more valid than mine or Mr Orsmby's.

marathonman
Heber City, UT

@2 bits -- Mr. Ormsby is being disigenuous - hiding behind claims like "I am not an expert on Common Core standards..." while blaming them for student shortcomings. Using blargle like "distribution of outcomes" when his poitical positions expose that he clearly doesn't really care about common-sense approaches. In fact, he is a well-known anti-CC and anti-government journalist/educator in Massachusetts. One who continues a pattern we see locally - anti-government activists posing as concerned parents and teachers.

@The Hammer -- I don't rebut comments about the poor curriculum offered Common Core because, despite what detractors say, CC offers no curriculum -- only standards, which, in my district, have been exceeded. That's because, despite what detractors say, CC allows local control.

Ya Buddy
Spanish Fork, Utah

It shows how uninformed the author is about the Utah Core. Utah did not have trig in the core on our old standards. Now we have much more trig presences in the Utah Core Standards. Look it up on the USOE Web Site. The improved presence of trig is better for Utah math students.

Charles Ormsby
North Andover, MA

Mr Owen's response to my OpEd is off base for many reasons.

First, I am not anti-government. I am anti-big government. Maybe Owen should read the Federalist Papers to see that I am in very good company.

Second, having published over 100 columns, I cannot be sure that I have not written about helmet or seat belt laws but, if I did, it would be in the context of government over reach. FYI, I always wear seat belts and helmets.

Readers might note that these issues are irrelevant to the topic at hand.

Owen's reference to local control is a good one. Does this mean he is against a national standard? Is Owen anti-government?

I agree, there should be no national standard. Our constitution leaves such issues to the states. If a national standard is being foisted on us, it should reflect a high standard that prepares students for the increasingly sophisticated world they will face after graduation.

Regarding the support of Utah teachers, why have they not raised Utah's K-12 standards without imposing a federal standard? Maybe Owen's beef is with the Utah legislature or his local school boards and not with me.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

marathonman,
So people with a pattern of "anti-government" comments can't be concerned parents and teachers? IF they come from a different background than you... they are only "posing as concerned parents and teachers"?

You say "his poitical (sic) positions expose that he clearly doesn't really care about common-sense approaches"... I don't get the Lefts "if you don't agree with me you don't care about common sense" logic.

It's just bogus to come on and only try to smear the poster instead of addressing his opinion.

If people who don't support helmet-laws are disqualified from having a valid opinions on anything government-control related... why don't we just turn these pages over to you guys (who are obviously the only people with opinions that should matter)?

What I'm trying to say is... consider the opinion and comment on it... don't just smear the poster because your search engine results indicate that he's an "Anti-Government" wacko. Even anti-big-government people may really be teachers, and may have valid thoughts and opinions (may come as a shock to some big-government fans).

Mamma C
HEBER CITY, UT

I am so grateful that people are discussing Common Core. I pray every day that Utah opts out so we can have local control, and legitimate, time-tested standards.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Owen" you obviously don't have kids suffering through the CC programs.

The math standard is a joke. The standard dumbs down math to the point that kids are learning less now than even 10 years ago. At one time kids were able to do basic multiplication and division in their heads, now that has been done away with. There are kids who are almost through elementary school and and have to use their fingers to do addition.

The standard will only lower the US standing in the world.

The Professor only gave one example of how the CC standards are detrimental to our kids. On top of that, the standards sacrifice repitition and mastery of mathematical concepts like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division in favor of teaching advanced concepts that the kids never master. Who cares if they know some algebra if they still can't do basic math.

If you don't believe how bad the CC standards are, just watch and see how many kids are going to be pulled out of public schools and become homeschooled.

Malihini
Northern, UT

"A student that exceeded the standard would leave high school with a solid algebra/trigonometry foundation plus some (possibly a substantial) degree of understanding of calculus.."

If this is the "exceeded" outcome, then count me as one who is against CommonCore.

I've had two high school students graduate from the Chandler Unified School district in Chandler, AZ where expectations, and curriculum, were both challenging. They both graduated having taken Calculus as Juniors and AP Statistics as seniors (they had the option of taking Calculus II as seniors.)

They are really not an exception nor any type of unique, prodigy situation. They were both just hard working students who got into an advanced program in elementary school, got on an advanced track and were challenged.

Why can't Utah schools do the same thing? Why can't they challenge their students and have high expectations?

They continue to compare themselves against the historic in-state curriculum and therefore limit themselves. They are comparing themselves to a low standard, a low-level of performance and rather than lift their heads up and look across state lines and do a regional benchmark they continue to do a dis-service to their students.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I disagree with people who think smearing the letter writer is the solution, and dismissing his opinion without consideration (because their search determined he has said anti-government things in the past and therefor can't have any common-sense ideas).

But I tend to disagree with his opinion (but I'm not an educator, nor do I think I know what's right for every school, or every state).

I didn't take Calculus in High School (I had a bad experience with an Algebra class in Jr High and avoided math for awhile). But I did fine in college and graduated with a BS in Computer Science and a minor in Math. A lot of my friends took Calculus in High School, and that's great. But I wasn't ready for it (and a lot of 16 year olds aren't ready for it). But I was able to catch up with the kids who took Calculus in High School in College.

I think Trig and Calculus should be an OPTION in High School... but not a requirement. But I'm just an anti-government wacko who can't have any common-sense thoughts.

Malihini
Northern, UT

@2 bits,

That attitude is part of the problem. Basically, "It worked for me, it should work now for my kids." No, it doesn't.

Like you I never took Calculus in high school and I have since graduated with 2 Masters Degrees...one in Information Systems. But that is exactly the issue. Our kids are growing up in a totally different educational and technical environment. The workplace they will face is completely different. Everything is global and connected and our kids will be competing against other graduates that have had Calculus in HS and are beyond them in their technical abilities.

Again, this myopic attitude of not looking beyond the borders of Utah is so debilitating. I have brought this up to my local school district and will continue to do so. I would encourage you all to do the same.

We need higher standards and higher expectations, not lower, for all students. Those at the lower end will also respond but lets not lower the bar or falsely claim that we will raise it just because it is relative to our historic performance.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Malihini,
Psychologists acknowledge that a teens brain isn't fully formed and sometimes not capable of some things (like the 15 year old who killed his 2 brothers recently and we gave him a pass because teen brains are not fully formed and not ready for some things yet). But all teen brains should be ready for Trig and Calculus? I don't think so. Many are. Some aren't (no matter how hard we WISH they were ready).

I'm not saying because I didn't need it nobody needs it. I'm pointing out that those who are ready should get it. But we don't need to label a kid a "Failure" if they aren't ready for Calculus in high school. That's all I'm saying. And I'm out of posts, so that is literally my last word on the subject.

BTW... does EVERY career need to be able to use Fourier analysis, Eigenvectors, sins and cosines at work? Probably not. IT people don't use them. It's good to learn it, but should it be REQUIRED by the government (for EVERY HS student)? IMO it should be "offered" not "Required".

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

This is what to REALLY expect. Ignore the posters above :)

The common core will be no better or worse than what is happening now in our Utah schools. No core or curriculum will succeed at a wide level in our schools in Utah as constituted. Class sizes are too big, male teachers hardly exist in elementary schools, too many novice teachers are in our schools and too many teachers are frustrated and burnt out. Also, too many secondary schools are on the block bell schedule which will kill many subjects like math no matter how they are taught. Unless these problems are fixed arguing about the core curriculum is paramount to arguing where to place the deck chairs on the titanic as it goes down.

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