Common Core, as simply explained -- in this case, teaching critical thinking --
is hard to argue with. I might even go a step further and say we should teach
the Platonic Method (i.e., scientific method) throughout.The
problems: 1) Much decision about what constitutes critical thinking is
controlled by government bureaucrats with a particular viewpoint; .... leading
to ...2) Often when some one tells you (at College/University or
earlier) to "think critically" and challenge your basic
assumptions," they really only mean to challenge YOUR OWN or your PARENTS
basic assumptions --the principles you grew up with. They (academics, etc.)
often get very upset if you challenge THEIR basic assumptions. They don't
say, as Elder Uchdorf said last October, to "...doubt your doubts..." at
least as much as anything else. It's often very one way.If the
critical thinking is presented so that it "cuts" in ALL directions, I
would favor it actually.But also -- there are some things where
memorization (in ADDITION to critical thinking) is appropriate. Multiplication
tables, etc., are examples -- some things need to be in your head in order to
I would suggest those who are upset go and read the common core standards. They
are standards of the minimum proficiency level students are expected to learn.
Schools and teachers choose how to meet those standards so the control is in the
hands of local people not the federal government.If you want to get
upset about something involving the federal government telling Utahns what to
do, get upset about Day Light Savings. That is true government control that the
State of Utah should finally do away with.
One need only read liberal educator, Diane Ravitch's blog to understand
that standards opposition is not mostly "tea party patriots." But, the
focus should be on the intentions of the standards creators, not who opposes
them.Achieve Inc. is the policy group that facilitated the creation
of the standards, and used their relationship with the National Governor's
Association (State Governors) and Council of Chief State School Officers (State
Superintendents) to coordinate education reform in States. Their founder, and
the former CEO of IBM, Louis Gerstner, admitted in his Dec. 2008 Wall Street
Journal article that his intention was to throw national standards together and
use them to dismantle local control over education.The architect of
Common Core, David Coleman, admits that he was part of a "collection of
unqualified people" who created the standards. He now heads the College
Board.Rather than using this series to convince Utahns of the
integrity of the standards, it would be advantageous for journalists to help
provide the Due Diligence and Due Process that Utah taxpayers have been denied
by our State Board. Help vet the goals of the standards creators, along with the
four other reforms in 2009 Federal Stimulus.
There is no evidence that Common Core (CCS) will do anything it has claimed; no
empirical data, pilot test or study to verify claims that the standards will
improve learning. In a recent interview at Harvard Bill Gates , CCS biggest
architect and briber, (using 5 billion dollars to push his liberal agenda) said
the following about CCS “It would be great if our education stuff worked,
but that we won’t know for probably a decade. It is unbelievable that
something so secretive and experimental has been adopted by Utah Educators.
Common Core is not about standards, college readiness or critical thinking.
These are buzz words and smoke and mirrors. Common Core is about control, money
and power. Can we have reporters perform real investigations instead of
regurgitating what the media elite dictate? It is time for journalists to do
their own homework. Scrutinize who’s behind CCS. The main architect,
David Coleman, refers to children as “Human capital needed in order to
fill the needs of the managed economy”. I think educating individuals
with local control not federal is more important. My children are not for sale.
No test or standard can determine the worth of my child.
For those who don't know much about Common Core, please know that it's
not about what is in the standards, but about how they are governed, that is the
danger. They are governed not by Utahns but by unelected D.C. groups who have
copyrighted the standards and retain the right to alter them as they see fit
without input from the states. Arguing about the standards themselves is akin to
listening to a sales pitch about the quality of the chairs on the Titanic.
Doesn't matter if they're made of pure gold. They are on a doomed
vehicle. For Common Core, the doom is in the governance, not in the standards
themselves. Look for yourself: the official Common Core website says the
standards are a "living work" that will be changed. It also says that
the "sole developers" are the CCSSO and NGA, who copyrighted the
standards. They have authority over them. Not the state of Utah. That's why
it's unconstitutional and must be opposed. Look at the framework, not at
the temporary picture inside.
I find it hard to believe that Utahan's of all people don't see what
Common Core is.. it is to dumb down our children and grandchildren. Unless we
all wake up we will soon be a communist country and everyone of our freedoms
will be gone!
For any of you who think this is about right-wingers complaining about federal
control but being OK with micromanagement on the state level... The people
I know who are against federal involvement with education are also against state
micromanaging education, as well. It's not about right versus left;
that's something someone made up to pit us against each other. It's
about finding the right spot between anarchy and tyranny, where liberty can be
maintained.One of the teachers quoted in the article stated, "We
need some sort of evidence that they're learning," to justify extensive
testing. Nearly half of all American households today have at least one person
relying on government entitlements. I'd say that's a pretty
strong statement against how we've been taught. We don't need
near-constant testing to see if they're learning.
@BYUalum – “… frustrated by some of the content in Common Core
especially in Math. I find a lot of ambiguity, gobbledygook, and unnecessary
pages and pages of explanation of a simple concept and strategy!”Is that the fault of Common Core or a poorly written text book? As
a former teacher I can say that students who more completely understood the
concepts behind the operations were far better at handling unfamiliar complex
problems down the road – and life (and most jobs) is filled with complex
problems that do not look exactly like a quadratic equation (but need the same
“cognitive muscles” to solve them). @Oak –
“Under Common Core, we now SLOW DOWN math and complete algebra by 9th
grade so most students will only get to pre-calculus by 12th grade.”This may be a good thing for most students, especially those who will
not use high level math on a daily basis in their future jobs (see above
comments). They will be served far better by thoroughly understanding the basics
rather than moving too quickly into advanced math (calculus) before the
foundation (algebra) is firmly set.
Funny my son graduated last year. He only attended schools in the Alpine School
District. He memorized his times tables and learned how to do long division as
assigned by his teacher and supported by us at home. He also learned math
through the investigations math program. It is an excellent program when done
correctly. He got the best of both worlds. He scored a 31 on the ACT with the
math portion being at 34. He was a bit weaker on the english portion. I've been nothing but happy with the math he has learned in the
ASD. There is a reason the ASD scores at the top of almost every test given in
the state. I'll take the education my son got here in Utah over just about
anything else I have seen. By the way my son was accepted to BYU
and received several scholarships based on his math and science knowledge. He
earned enough to cover at least the first 2 years of school.Not bad
for supposedly attending a district that some claim to be teaching math
critics — mainly tea party-aligned conservatives. Well of course! Who else
will fight the scourge of evolutionists and scientists if we teach our children
not WHAT to think, but HOW to think? How to differentiate fact from fiction?Starting Point - Learn to tell the difference between fact and
fiction“when puzzled, it never hurts to read the primary
documents—a rather simple and self-evident principle that has,
nonetheless, completely disappeared from large sectors of the American
experience." - Stephen Jay GouldREAD - "The Magic of
Reality: How We Know What's Really True" (Critical Thinking Skills)
" students are being asked to think more critically " - This does not
bode well for religion. But it is fantastic for our future.
I've spent a lot of time in my 1st grader's classroom. I've
noticed that the math and LA lessons are scripted--now seriously, how is that
teaching? Kids are individuals, not little robots. I also observed that the
teachers do not have time to go back and reteach a student who is struggling.
How can this be good for the kids? My own daughter struggled with the math.
She would come home completely lost, and I would have to reteach her the entire
lesson. I fail to see the point of sending her to school anymore if I'm
going to have to spend most of the evening reteaching her the material.
Those who have done their due-diligence know the real issues with Common Core
are not as much about the standards, as the intent of the outcome and the
connections. People who think for themselves, understand local control is
threatened. They don't believe that all teachers, parents and
administration should be forbidden to see any of the questions or the answers of
their own students on computer adaptive tests. Thinkers do not want their
personal identifiable information to be gathered and shared with the NSA.
Thinkers understand that Common Core critical thinking is like telling someone
to think, without giving them something to think about. Real thinkers want their
children to be truly educated, not just socially engineered and prepared to get
the job that a few big businesses have designed for them. They want their
children to be free, self reliant and thinking citizens, who understand the
free-enterprise system and the miracle of America! Ask questions! Find
evidence!Don't just trust, VERIFY!
Many government programs have been used for education.Now, half our
people are on welfare, and must be fed by the feds. We have become dependent
on skilled workers from other countries.The term critical thinking
has been over used, and our education is a flop.Common Core is just
another expensive program that won't work.An example.--Has Head
Start reduced the amount of people living in poverty? It's an expensive
baby sitting program.Let local areas do their own education.
Government can't even balance a budget, let alone be responsible for
teaching math to students.
This part of the article is untrue: " The standards are not a curriculum,
despite the opponents' claims." If the standards don't come with
curriculum to meet the standards, then why is a Utah studies teacher teaching
about global warming and telling his class "I don't agree with this,
but I have to teach it."
As an educator, I like a lot of the new standards that common core has
implemented. However, I don't feel that old methods of memorizing are
outdated. (China and India don't teach these new methods, and they
outperform our students! With that being said, I feel our state is lacking what
Texas and other states have done in accountability. In Texas, students must
pass off a certain set of these standards to move up a grade. In Texas,
students are expected to graduate with a certain knowledge base. In our state,
if a student is behind, they move up to the next grade regardless. They
don't really need to know their times tables in 3rd because it would be
"too hurtful" of a child's self esteem to hold them back or hold
them accountable, for that matter. The whole reason Utah children fare as well
as they do on government testing is because of the high number of two parent
households, and the prominent values of this state.
How old school does it: 29+17 = 46 common core: 29 = 20+9 17 = 10+7 so now take
9+7=16.... and 16= 10+6 So 20+10+10 (from the 16) = 40....plus the 6 left over =
46... I can't wait to see what they do with calculus!
I think it's impossible to form an opinion about Common Core without
hearing opinions from both sides because then you aren't really seeing the
truth of the issue just what people want you to see. To really SEE the truth of
Common Core I had to talk to people on both sides and more importantly
experience what REALLY goes on in the class room. MY findings are that this
country is headed towards Socialism especially in the Education Department.
Believe it or not, like it or not, our children are being taught (indoctrinated)
by the Federal Government. For the future of our children and our Country
please wake up Parents and take responsibility for educating your children, YOUR
CHILDREN, not the governments. Common Core is only the beginning. There is only
the truth and lies and you either accept the truth or all that garbage that they
are trying to pass off as the truth. I think many parents really are good
parents and just accept what they are told about this issue with out truly
finding out for themselves because if they really knew the truth I know they
would be appalled.
Wow...obviously the way I and generations of folks where taught
wrong....wait...if the people that are coming up with common-core where taught
wrong...how do we know their "right" this time! It's like the loop
in the time space continuum. By the way, I've never considered my kids
"common". The "social engineering" aspect of this is amazingly
As a new parent, I haven't paid much attention to Common Core and the
surrounding hoopla. A co-worker of mine recently talked to me about it. Or
rather, went on a tirade about how my toddler will be brainwashed by the
government in the giant conspiracy once my toddler enters school. I paid no mind
to this tirade other than thinking I better educate myself on Common Core so I
know what to expect in a few years. So, I educated myself (a common theme in my
life) about the standards. I ignored opinions from both sides, didn't read
biased articles about it, and oh my goodness... formed my OWN opinion about it.
Come to find out, the standards are just that - standards. There is no evil
agenda or ridiculous conspiracy behind it. The people having a fit about it
should pause long enough to read about it themselves from legitimate and
Its funny to read these opinions and the complaints about the government control
of education, and yet you are perfectly fine with the Utah state legislature
introducing over 200 bills each and every year that deal with education and
further micromanage and control the education in this state. So I guess I
should take it that it is not ok to have national standards and national
government management, but it is ok to to have state micromanagement of
education because that is being done by the far right.
"At the core of the standards is a reduced emphasis on memorization.
Students now have to connect the dots and apply critical thinking."This is nonsense. Utah schools were not focused on memorization prior to
Common Core. In fact for years in Alpine School District, they practically
banned teachers from having students memorize the times tables or learn long
division. That was Investigations math. Common Core is now statewide
investigations-style constructivist math. The implementation of Common Core math
is going to cause math performance in Utah to decrease. It is not more rigorous.
Under our A- rated 2007 math standards, most children would have completed
algebra in 8th grade and could take calculus by 12th. Under Common Core, we now
SLOW DOWN math and complete algebra by 9th grade so most students will only get
to pre-calculus by 12th grade. It's not more rigorous unless you want to
imply rigor mortis from students reading EPA reports instead of classic
literature. By 12th grade 70% of English reading is supposed to be
informational, not literature analysis that teaches culture and critical
thinking. The problem with Common Core isn't just the standards, it's
the whole agenda coming with it.
Was critical thinking not a part of our education before Common Core? It's a good thing we have the government to help us learn how to
critically think. What would we do without their great example? Because they
certainly are right about everything.
Do you know what another hallmark is? Socialism.
An expert is a "has-been" under pressure.There are no right
or wrong answers for a math problem? But there is a correct answer? This is
common core?Here's one question I have in the common core
debate: How are gifted students kept challenged? What about those who are
slower (or incapable) at getting the concepts? Is the whole class slowed down
to accommodate them?Yes, students should explain their answers so
corrections can be applied as needed. To categorically state that there are no
"right or wrong answers" for math problems is doing a disservice to the
students. Will you be comfortable with an engineer who provides an answer to a
bridging problem who was trained to think there are no right or wrong answers in
math in elementary school? I am for increasing the learning in our
children. Is this the best way? Nationalized standards? But then, I have been
looking a clear explanation of just what Common Core really is and have been
unable to find a clear answer.Teacher: LOL?Keep in mind
that the author of the article (opinion masquerading as news?) works for a
propaganda arm of the democrat party (AP).
I am a Republican, a father, and I support common core as a way to enhance our
children's education. This is not some left wing propaganda. Many opponents
only get their research on the subject from biased sources and not from
objective sources. BTW, my wife is also an educator and she is very supportive
of common core as well.
I love the joy of teaching and am frustrated by some of the content in Common
Core especially in Math. I find a lot of ambiguity, gobbledygook, and
unnecessary pages and pages of explanation of a simple concept and strategy!
Mostly I don't like the government control on this and so many
other areas of our lives now. I teach the love our country and what it means to
be a patriot and a real American. I have to fill in the holes of information now
left out in the new curriculum on the Founding Fathers, history of our great
country, and the Constitution, etc. Teaching values are important to me as well
For a few, it's critical thinking.For the rest, you lose your
thoughts, and ideas to conform. Part of the collective.Champions run
I know very little about Common Core but vividly remember the frustrations of
learning subjects (mainly math) where memorization was the primary method.
Teachers rarely took the time to properly explain concepts but instead would
often extol me to “just keep doing problems.”Having been
out of school now for a number of years I can say without a doubt that the
workplace is filled with smart, college educated professionals who have little
understanding of why they do things, yet are technically proficient in doing the
task – they are excellent time tellers but poor clock builders.Since more and more “doing” will become automated in the future,
the most valuable currency our children will possess is the ability to think,
analyze, create… understand.If Common Core will shift that
focus even a little, society in the long run will be better for it.
I have been totally amazed at how a few extremists have totally misconstrued
what the common core is. It has gotten so far out of whack that it is now
laughable to hear what these people are saying. Just watch some of the comments
that will be posted below mine.It isn't some conspiracy to
brainwash your kids. I just read a long rant by a lady of Facebook about how
evil the common core is and how it is socialist propaganda!I
literally laughed out loud.The common core is simply a set of
standards we want all children to achieve. Of course they won't all get
there but the hope is still there. It doesn't tell a teacher how to teach
or what material to use. It is simply a set of standards. By third grade we
want johnny to be able to __________. That is it.I read another
rant about how a common core book was teaching left wing ideals. LOL again
because there is no "common core book". Teachers can use whatever they
want to help the kids meet the standards.