Comments about ‘My view: Some questions about Common Core’

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Published: Friday, Aug. 23 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Voice of Reason
Layton, UT

The more I read about Common Core, the more concerned I am as a parent of school children. Yes, Common Core can be adjusted to local needs. But that brings up two concerns:

a) WHY must it be adjusted to local needs in the first place? That would mean the original guidelines were in OPPOSITION to local needs. Then why not stick with guidelines that support Utah values in the first place, the same values that have allowed our state to literally lead the nation in educational success on so many measures? Super Bowl winners don't improve by emulating teams with .500 records.

b) Federal funds are already being linked with the Common Core standards, and in my long experience working with the federal govt, when you accept federal funds, you accept the federal "values" that come with it...or you lose some or all of the federal funds. Better to NEVER become reliant on those funds in the first place, especially when those values are going to be so obviously bad for our children. It's called federalism.

Too much power is evolving to our federal government, and it's not making our country better. Time to reverse course.

bandersen
Saint George, UT

With all due respect, he must be kidding! Common Core has been swallowed hook, line, and sinker without a thought, which is quite an irony, considering that 'critical thinking' for students has been such a rallying cry in the education establishment. When the real thinkers emerge, Common Core will cease to exist. In its absence, Common Core will not only be welcomed, but expanded! Go figure! In Utah, no less.

Noodlekaboodle
Poplar Grove, UT

Here's what i'm not understanding about the direction the Deseret News is going. The man who wrote this article, according to the D-news provided bio, has a degree in choral conducting, and is a piano teacher. While these are nice accomplishments, why does this make him an educational expert? If you are going to have people write an opinion in a daily newspaper shouldn't they have actual expertise in the subject they are writing about. If not what makes the writer any better than the comments you see here or a long form letter to the editor?

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: ". . . shouldn't they have actual expertise in the subject they are writing about[?]"

Let me translate from the liberal newspeak -- "I have no logic-based argument to address the inarguable facts laid out in the op-ed piece, so using classic, disingenuous liberal tactics, I'll engage in unsupported argumentum ad hominen, in the hope of diverting attention from the truth I'm afraid of."

Liberals -- so predictable.

Rhonda H.
South Jordan, UT

The man who wrote this article IS an expert. He's an expert on his children and grandchildren, which ties into the concern he mentioned. He is the head of society's basic unit. In addition, one does not need to be accredited to recognize correct principles or when they're being violated.

The bigger point, though, is who is in control of whom.
Our nation was founded on the principle of individual liberty and personal responsibility, with a smaller and less-intrusive government. The last thing the Founders wanted was for so-called experts to constantly set policies for everyone else.

Noodlekaboodle
Poplar Grove, UT

@Procderofiscal
OK, let's break this down if that's what you want.
What is the cause of poverty in 3rd world countries.
Large families and large farms(no)
Large families and small farms(no)
Large families and no farms(yes)
This is called propaganda in this article, seems like this question just needs common sense to answer correctly. I mean all 3 answers include a large family, so really the question is, do people starve with a lot of food, a little food or no food. If you can't figure that out your lacking common sense.
He wonders if were supposed to be impressed that Bill Gates, Jeb Bush, Chris Christy and Bobby Jindal are in favor, no, not necessarily impressed, but if a group of politically diverse, smart people are all in favor I wouldn't just dismiss them out of hand.
He wonders if there will be a bait and switch. Well, that's not really an argument, that's called hyperbole, a classic right wing AM radio technique. CONT'D

Noodlekaboodle
Poplar Grove, UT

@Procedurofiscalwhateveryournameis
Finally, he starts off his "editorial" saying he has aproblem with the content of the curriculum. Aside from the example in my first comment there is no further mention of what the problem is. After reading this article I looked through the governments common core standards. For example it says kindergarteners should know how to count to 100 by 1's and 10's, be able to count to 100 starting at a number that isn't one and write number 1-20. Oh, the horror, those liberals say our kids should be able to count by the end of kindergarten. And as well all know counting is the first step to liberalism. Really what i'm saying is that in a real opinion piece I expect them to do more than whine, I know it's a dirty word to conservatives, but i'd like some facts, and I expect them to be some sort of expert in the field they are writing about. He's no more of an expert than you or I in common core, so why is he granted such a large forum for his giant letter to the editor?

John20000
Cedar Hills, UT

As a test question, having the same thing in all three answers makes no sense. The question options should be: large farms, small farms, or no farms. The addition of the words "large families" is unnecessary. This question is ridiculously easy to figure out the "right" answer even though the causes of poverty in 3rd world countries may have very little to do with small or no farms.

What "expert" wrote this question? And what exactly does it test? There may be reasons to believe large farms (controlled by aristocrats or government) is a big cause of poverty in 3rd world countries. South America is a great example through the years of that exact thing. Unlike the early US settlers, land was not divided among the citizens in most of South America. Citizens couldn't own land and had to work as peasants for the land barons.

Winglish
Lehi, UT

Too little farming and agriculture equates to a short food supply. And you have a problem with this fact of life on Earth? Why?
Come on, certainly you can form a better argument than this.

Syd
Salt Lake, UT

I am confused. How does a person get an article published without knowing a single fact about what he or she is supposed to be writing about? If you want to see the terrifying common core that the writer believes is somehow being kept hidden, you can access it on the USOE website, at UEN.org, or at your child's school. In fact,you likely received a copy of it when you registered your child. No, the core is not a secret, it is actually stupidly easy to access. In addition to that, the writer of the article seems to be under the misinterpretation that the core tells teachers what to teach. It doesn't. Here is an example from the fourth grade social studies core "Analyze the different ways that the governement is organized in Utah." yup. That's the standard. How a teacher choses to teach that standard is up to him or her. The test question that had the writer so up in arms likely came from a test the teacher wrote that goes along with a lesson he was not there for so he does not even know the context for the question.

Owen
Heber City, UT

From the "editorial:" 'Why are some of those who find out what Common Core contains turning away and leaving teaching rather than implementing these unproven principles?"

They aren't. I challenge anyone to name one active teacher in Utah's public school system who has left a job over the Common Core standards.

A few activists, who hold teaching credentials, but have not been fully employed for years, have conveniently blamed the standards for not working. No one has quit.

dailynews
Augusta, GA

The real answer to the question has nothing to do with large families or farms. Political corruption, both here and abroad are the reason why people are still in poverty.

WGS
Goodyear, USA, AZ

I feel like I'm back on the mission listening to people tell me why the Book of Mormon is bad even though they had never read it. I am a conservative. I am a teacher currently teaching middle school Science. I have actually read through the Common Core standards and I cannot understand why everyone is so worked up about the content. I do agree, however, that the Federal Government should not be involved. I think we need to separate these two issues while talking about the CCSS. If you are against the CCSS I challenge you to actually look up and read through the standards, you will probably be surprised that they are, in most cases, more rigorous than what they are replacing (go to corestandards.org). My mom always said, "don't cut off your nose to spite your face." Just because the CCSS isn't being implemented the way conservatives like doesn't mean we should totally reject a better set of standards.

Also, sticking with the Mormon theme, quitting teaching because of CCSS is kind of like leaving the church because someone "offended" you. There were probably bigger issues involved, you just wanted an excuse.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

I guess I need to be more explicit ha ha. The curriculum direction matters not. It doesn't matter if it's the golden core, apple core, or common core, no quality teaching in general will be done in huge classes and scores of inexperienced teachers. It won't happen when teachers are confused, frustrated and overworked. End of story. End the debate already.

SquarePeg
Enterprise, UT

I think the article was well thought out and asked some excellent questions.

The common core certainly reduces local control. Common core suggested reading lists recommend materials that contain pornographic writings and significant amounts of propaganda. The math standards are sequenced in a way that seems haphazard and illogical to me. (I have a bachelor's degree in math and have taught for over a decade...)

It seems to me that teachers and parents that have studied the common core the most are much more likely to be opposed to the common core than for it, and morale concerning the school system is worse since the introduction of the common core than it was before. Trust is disappearing in the name of accountability. And it costs millions of dollars to accomplish all this.

It reminds me of an old, bad joke: "But other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?"

So...aside from the fact that I think it is bad for our kids, teachers, administrators, parents, and country (this list not all inclusive...), I love the common core.

odewan
Stockton, UT

There is a huge nationwide movement to discard common core strictly because of it's content and the fact that it is set up to where it's compulsory standard test for high school would be required to be passed in order to attend college. One of the "facts" it espouses is that America is a "democracy" and not the Constitutional Republic is really is.
There are many other reasons, a recommended reading list that contains Pornographic literature for 11th graders. And one that tells how awful America is. I tried posting the links here but could not. If you simply look up David Barton Common Core, I am sure you will find the info you must have to make a sound judgement. He is a renown American Historian who is consulted by many states to establish an accurate history curriculum and writes the history books. He has collected actual historical artifacts for decades.

Oak
Highland, UT

@Syd, it's not about the standards. It's the baggage that come with them like ASSESSMENTS which can't be previewed by teachers or parents. A 15 panel parent committee is being assembled which is only allowed to consist of parents with children in schools (means they're busy) and they have to sign a non-disclosure agreement (so they can't tell anyone if they see problems like this). This panel will have only a few weeks to review possibly as many as 100,000 questions (according to Superintendent Menlove). The standards themselves were never internationally benchmarked and it's widely accepted that there are better standards available, but that's never been the "core" issue.

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