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Comments about ‘My view: Common Core standards are a repeat of insanity’

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Published: Thursday, Sept. 12 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Owen
Heber City, UT

The Common Core standards have been adopted. The decision was already in the rear-view mirror before the Deseret News began proving Mr. Thomas's oft-cited definition of insanity true - by running weekly editorials on Common Core and Mitt Romney's defeat.

Mainly Me
Werribee, 00

Common core is an extension of socialism. It's all about levelling the playing field, just like socialism. Every kid has the same poor standards to achieve, which are set by the goobermint, and those in the goobermint education system are overwhelmingly socialist.

The best thing you can do for your kids is home school them.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

In an multi-national organization of over 14 million members that crosses many geographies and cultures can develop a standard core of eduction for its members, to ensure everyone gets the same level of benefit from that organization, can pull this off.... surely it is not a bad thing to ensure that at the end of 12th grade students in the US can have the same level of proficiency as their peers across the nation in other states.

Common Core tells no one how they have to teach the subjects. There is no notional text book for US history or standardized lesson plan for how to teach english to 4th graders. That is up to individual teachers, schools and school districts to decide.

But since the vast majority of American workers only have a high school education plus some post secondary experience, it is not such a bad idea to ensure that when an employer looks at someone they can reasonably believe that person has some basic core competency in math- if they graduated from High School..

Common core sets basic standards and prescribes nothing in the pursuit of those standards.

J Johnson
SANDY, UT

It's time for our teachers to be allowed to teach. We've stifled our valuable seasoned teachers. These programs from CEOs and politicians and administration have taken away "dated" (hand-picked by teacher) reading materials to be replaced by overloaded curriculum. I would choose to home school. I challenge you to visit a classroom learning current reading curriculum. In a first grade class of 18, 9 or 10 of the students were not following the story given. There is value in letting a teacher choose what stories to teach and read from instead of the ones used in the current reading program.

one old man
Ogden, UT

If critics would take the time to actually sit down and compare Common Core side-by-side with the Utah CORE standards that were used for many years to guide Utah schools, they'd find they are actually so similar that they are almost identical.

But, hey, conservatives need something for a boogey man to scare people.

procuradorfiscal
Tooele, UT

Re: "If critics would take the time to actually sit down and compare Common Core side-by-side with the Utah CORE standards . . . ."

That just means crypto-socialists have been in charge of the Utah Department of Education for WAY too long. The only reason education hasn't suffered more from those standards is that districts have been free to ignore them.

Now state-wide grading and commom-core [TM] national testing are attempting to exercise control and force districts to dumb-down and knuckle under to these socialist standards.

Che
Payson, UT

I just took a look at an excerpt from a Common Core suggested literature book...Dreaming In Cuban. It was complete explicit filth. I couldn't believe what I was reading. And it was required to be read aloud in an Arizona classroom. What kind of program suggests such garbage? It's what we get when we relinquish control of local school curriculum.

Best to leave the States to develop their own school curriculum. Better yet, leave it to school districts that are locally controlled and supported. And give vouchers to families so they can choose the education they want for their children, at whatever school fits their needs.

Utah must be doing something right to be tops in ACT testing.

Che
Payson, UT

One more thing.

How is it that the Nebo School District was recently graded a "C", yet they had the highest ACT scores among the same school districts?

Does anyone know what they're talking about?

OHBU
Columbus, OH

Che,

Common Core does nothing to relinquish local control. You criticize a local school for choosing a book off the list of SUGGESTED books, and then state that local people should be able to choose what's right for them. Which is it? Does that school have the right to choose that book, or are you advocating for the Federal Government to impose restrictions?

States and local school districts have absolute freedom to develop their curriculum in the way they deem best to reach the standards. You're irrationally playing of people's fear of the federal government boogeyman. It's of the same line of thinking that has some parents in Utah not allowing their children to fingerpaint in school because they think it's being used to collect their fingerprints (not kidding, this is actually going on).

As to the ACT testing, I'm not sure where you're getting your data. According to the ACT organization, Utah's standing of last data compiled (2012) is 33rd with a composite score of 20.7--below the national average of 21.1. In fact, the top 10 states are all Democratic states with heavy investment in the Common Core.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

@ OHBU

Che is referring to the brand new grading system that our local Utah state government just started. Many schools are ranked high by federal standards. But because our state legislature is obsessed with passing public vouchers, they sought out a grading system that would make many public schools look bad... Our best ones in fact! So they hired a public voucher lobbying group to create a grading system for our public schools. And now, you have a public school grading system that ranks many of our top schools as failures.

Once again, we see the "myth" of local control being better go up in smoke. For me, I don't need to go to Washington to see corrupt politicians. We have plenty here in Utah already!

Random
Redlands, CA

My biggest education complaint, in general, is that it doesn't matter what is taught, who will be blamed, whatever, it is that you can't teach those who don't want to learn. You can't change human nature. Read a book by Mark Twain, who wrote in the 1800s. Some kids then didn't want to go to school. In the 20s, some kids didn't want to be in school. Those who don't want to be there make it difficult to teach those who do want to be there. Laws can change, but human nature remains the (general) same.

RWSmith6
Providence, UT

On education K-12, here's not much to talk about in Utah. We haven't even begun to plumb the depths of our main problem--perennial underfunding. We have begun chasing away those who probably would do well in the classroom by allowing word to get out that we expect "more for less"; that we'll undersupport teachers physically, monetarily and emotionally; that total compensation packages for teachers will be less here than in most states, and that we'll throw in, for good measure, micromanagement from the Legislature.

It remains a mystery to me that a state that professes family and children as most important continues to support K-12 education minimally--and I do mean minimally. Check out what's being done in states like Massachusetts or countries like Finland. In Peter Cooke's words, we're "the bottom of the bottom." And, you know what? There's no excuse.
Tax aversion and the nation's highest birthrate tells all.

Tell your legislators--if, that is, you really care about children in Utah.

birder
Salt Lake City, UT

If you really want to know how well Common Core is or isn't working, talk to the teachers who are on the front lines. In my classroom this year, Common Core math is a mess. I have 2 grades in my classroom, and it is too hard for one grade and too easy for the other. Easier topics are beat to death, and hard topics get little time or coverage. It is crazy hard to teach, and we get a lot of complaints from parents who don't know how to help their kids at home. My friends who are eligible for retirement are getting out as fast as they can. I feel sorry for the brand-new teachers who have to take all of this on. No wonder half of the new teachers leave after a few years. There is no incentive to stay.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

birder - my wife returned to teaching this year - and her lesson plans are not being dictated by any federal plan. If you are having to teach bad curriculum, then it is your states or your districts fault. I know the popular trend de jour is to blame the federal government for everything.... but the buck stops a lot closer to home then that.

I challenge you, show us where in common core it dictates which text book, what math learning strategy is prescribed. Its just not there. It says 5th grade students should be competent in X..... not how to teach X. That is a local decision.

If teachers hate their jobs.... please.... leave. Do something else you will put your heart into. But please do not stay, and be angry, and short change a generation of kids their education. What you do with your day is your choice....and not anyone else's. If you aren't happy... go find something that does make you happy.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

I don't have anything substantive to add to this, just an observation. Once again here's Republicans/conservatives simply making up their own reality and then acting as though it's truth. Move from letter to letter today in this paper and you'll see the same thing. There are valuable discussion to have and varying opinions to consider but when one side simply makes things up the whole process falls apart.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Based on what Birder wrote above, I have to wonder if Birder is really a teacher.

If he or she is, then there's a huge problem in the school or district in which this person teaches. And the problem is NOT Common Core.

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