Comments about ‘Common Core spawns widespread political fights’

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Published: Monday, March 24 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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t-ville, UT

The conservatives want the US in a race to the bottom. When people are less educated and informed, they are more likely to vote against their best interests. I would be surprised, however, if Utahns oppose federal attempts at improving education because our mormon culture places such an emphasis on education and learning. How will the broader conservative movement in the US play out here in Utah with respect to the Common Core initiative? Will we respond with our core values of promoting eduction, or fall in line with the rest of the country's conservatives and encourage "local education" which has so dependably failed thus far.

Saint George, UT

How anyone could claim that "local education" has been implemented is beyond me. I would ask anyone that makes such a claim to come into a school and see what is "local"? Absolutely nothing! I've been teaching for 20 years and for anyone to make such a claim is ludicrous. Everything in education has the hand prints of Federal Education on it! If the regular citizen hadn't been dulled into a deep sleep by the federal monstrosity of Federal Education, the failed policies of 50 years of Federal control would be easy to see. Instead, we have people perpetuating the myth that those darn "conservatives" have been in power and we need not just 95% control of Education, but 100%! 100% of a failed Federal control is hardly a good reason to implement Common Core! I would wager any district, any school, any bankrolled person that any teacher freed from the bondage of federal rules and given the same resources that a public school has would put to shame any public school in America. I digress, which is why the progressives will continue to push for Common Core, It virtually guarantees continued dependency on the Federal government.

Salt Lake City, UT

The Common Core has NOTHING to do with "Federal Control". The curriculum is still set at a local level. No dollars are tied to implementation.

The Common Core is mere a recommended set of benchmarks that will better help our students to be (as the Core puts it) "College and Career ready".

Personally, I want the best for my children. I want them to learn, grow, achieve, and succeed. I want them to be ready for college and a career. That is why I support the Common Core.

Common Core = Better prepared kids = Good for Utah!!!

Salt Lake City, UT

I know several teachers who are energized by the Common Core. My son's teacher is an early adopter, and loves the new guidelines it proscribes! She truly believes that these new benchmarks will cultivate a higher standard for teachers and students.

Of course, my son's friend's teacher is loathing the change because she just might have to change the worksheets she's been sending home to "teach" the same things she's been teaching for 20 years...

Common Core will require both teachers and students to grow, develop, and be better. I just hope we are all willing to put in the extra effort to attain those higher standards!!!

The Hammer
lehi, utah

The math curriculum which was adopted to meet the common core guidelines is a total loser. I have never seen anything so ridiculous in my life. Most kids get more confused by it and the parents who care about their kids are frustrated by it.

Common core has EVERYTHING to do with "federal control." The curriculum has to fit into the guidelines that are set at the federal level, otherwise states won't get the waiver from NCLB.

The Bushes are the wrong people to trust when it comes to education reform. I can't believe Liberals are standing with him on this. What happened to teachers working with local school boards to set standards and develop curriculum? This is what gets kids ready for colleges and careers in the real world common core will only have the same problems that follow a one size fits all standards and curriculum and more kids will fall through the cracks and be less prepared for college.

Logan, UT

I would suggest taking the time to understand the common core, especially the math. I find that common core math is just common sense math.

Terrie Bittner
Warminster, PA

I've noticed the most intense protesters of Common Core have never been to the website to see what it is--and won't go even when I challenge them to do so. It is far less controlling than NCLB, which destroyed the schools. I notice that most complaints against CC are actually related to the textbooks and state implementations--not anything actually required by CC, which is nothing but a list. The main difference in reaction is which party is in power. If Republicans create it, Democrats presume it's evil. If Democrats create it, then Republicans presume it's evil. Forget the kids--let's make it all about party power.

While I feel schools should be child-paced, not government paced, I also know we're not likely to get that, since it's more work for the schools. A mere list of standards is not worth the hyper-emotional reaction it is getting.

Salt Lake City, UT

@The Hammer
Please Google "Utah Common Core" and click on the top link to find out what it is and what it isn't. Unfortunately, your post reflects a clear lack of understanding. Your concerns regarding math, curriculum and local control are not affected by the Utah Common Core. From our own Utah State's education website:

"Common Core State Standards define what students need to know; they do not dictate how teachers should teach or how students should learn. That decision is left to each state. Common Core does not dictate what lesson plans, programs, or textbooks teachers will use for curriculum. Local teachers, principals, superintendents and school boards will continue to make important decisions about curriculum and how their school systems are operated."

Medical Lake, Washington

All I know is that our local school district uses CC and its not working for my kids. I'm sorry if I sound so self centered, but my concern is with my kids and how they are fairing. If it is working for other kids - more power to them, but I want something that will work for my kids. And maybe that is unrealistic, but what is my other option? To concede that my children are a total loss and just scrap them?

Saint George, UT

Common Core advocates: What is it about local control developing their own curriculum that sounds so scary to you? How does it make sense that a school from Tropic, Utah should have the same curriculum as a school from the bronx, New York! Come on! A little common sense would have to open your eyes to the absurdity of such a claim. My biggest criticism against Common Core is not all that's in it, it is the absolute belief in States Rights, in Individual rights, and the belief that the common man in every city and town in America has enough common sense to declare what can and should be taught at a local level. Anything less is a patronizing government telling them how incapable they are, how "complex" these things are, and it's best for them to just stay on the sidelines. Unfortunately, the "do-gooders" of our society want to continue to control the money and power that is associated with it! We do not need the Federal government telling us anything that is not in the Constitution, including federal control over education!

Mcallen, TX

Many are deceived by the fancy rhetoric of how our children will benefit.

Do we send our children to school to be evaluated, assessed, and labeled,-or to learn, and be educated?

Dragging students to a common core collective with a central control is not the answer.

Heber City, UT

banderson -- Administrators, teachers and informed parents know the CC is not curriculum but minimum standards to be met. Tropic is not required do anything the Bronx is required to do except make sure students of the same grade level understand the same concepts. You may have actually been teaching for 20 years, but not in a public school or you would understand this. In our district we choose our own curriculum, text books and lesson plans. In St. George, Tropic and the Bronx, they choose whatever they decide, locally.

Saint George, UT

Owen, I reject it out of hand Federal control over education. NCLB was the response to A Nation at Risk report 30 years ago. It was an absolute and utter failure,not because some of the ideas weren't good, just as Common Core, but the fact that we had the Federal government in charge at all! Why? What is it that the Federal Government does that can't be accomplished much better by the state without all the strings attached and minus the bureaucracy and funds? I want a legitimate answer. Even if you disagree with my firm belief that the Federal Government should not be involved in Education at all (I can't place my finger on any word in the Constitution that says the federal government should be involved in Education), what is it that says the federal government has shown leadership in solving our nation's problems, including education? So, if what you say is true (which is a whole other discussion) about "local" control, why then is there a need to have a Federal Department of Education sucking more money out taxpayer's pockets? Just for show?

Deep Space 9, Ut

Wow, the CC supporters are all out in force today.

I have gone to the CC web site, and the standards that they list are not grounded in reality.

For example, first graders are to write persuasive essays about books they have read. Tell me how many first graders could verbally do the same thing?

Then, there are the math standards. They are going away from the time tested easy ways of learning math in favor of methodolgies that are untested or else make math more confusing for most students.

We could also discuss the fact that the English standards through High School cut out many of the classics. How are our children supposed to understand the stories that inspired the world if they never read them?

If you think federal control is so great, why is it that 100 years ago our kids were expected to have higher language and math understanding than they do today?

The Hammer
lehi, utah

I am a parent that works with my child on his homework. The math is atrocious. It over complicates 8+8. Please google "parent responds to common core math." Common core math is anything but common sense. I find the people that defend common core do not have kids in the program or should I make other wild assumptions that I can't back up?

I oppose common core because I deal with it weekly. It is just as top down as NCLB but now it includes a "blessed" curriculum. The freedom the teachers have is smoke and mirrors and the Math portion of it proves it.

The only reason for states to buy into CC is to get the NCLB waiver. To get the waiver the Dept of Education states you have to have an approved curriculum that meets the CC standards and the only curriculum is the current core (don't say common core) curriculum. This is all in the language issued by the DoEd.

The common line of the apologists is "common core is not a curriculum!" stop playing word games and research what curriculum gives you the NCLB waiver!

Heber City, UT

I can see why so many have stopped paying attention to opponents. Ignoring facts.
Banderson. Everyone agrees that the Feds have no business in local education. And they do not. The standards are not federal and they are not curriculum. Again, we chose our own curriculum, books and lesson plans - at no extra cost. Yours did also. According to your community's values and needs.
Redshirt - there are now third graders across this country that have never known anything but common core standards, and, according to their teachers, are doing just fine in math and language skills. No classics have been cut in our district, because we have local control. We have added more non-fiction -- the nation's founding documents are the only texts prescribed by the common core.
Hammer- check your timing. The vast majority of states had signed on to the standards before waivers were offered. Maybe the reason was they were an improvement. And no matter how you cut it, standards are not curriculum. They may drive locally adapted curriculum, but no two districts are alike and all are using different curricula today and for the last three years.

Mcallen, TX

Education = a teacher + a classroom + supplies + books + a chalkboard. Even for special ed.

How can this simple effective method be so costly?

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Owen" compare the standards that those 3rd graders are learning to the standards 100 years ago. I can guarantee you that 100 years ago, the kids were learning more.

Plus, think about it. The Teachers say that the kids are doing fine, but isn't that what you would expect? A lot of teachers love CC, but from what I have seen, the really good teachers (too few and far between) hate it and only see damage to children.

Ontario, OR

Redshirt1701: Learning more what? You can't compare what people need as preparation for college and/or careers in 2014 to what they needed in 1914! My mother (b. 1912) loved learning, but she wouldn't have to understand computers, a global economy, the world of Islam, Civil Rights, the 24-hour news cycle, debates on climate change, medical ethics, or a lot of other things that will confront today's students. She knew geography, and her grammar and syntax were good, but she would not be called upon to analyze opposing arguments over U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, Syria, or Darfur. Today's students have almost unlimited opportunities -- and almost unlimited challenges. Many students today enter community colleges and are unprepared for what is deemed college-level work. The vast majority of those students require remediation in at least one basic subject. Surveys of employers frequently show that new workers come unprepared for the expectations of the workplace. Common Core is an effort to set the bar for all students so they don't wake up and realize the educational system has failed them.

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Janet" I would contend that they were more prepared for college in 1914 than they are today. Here is one example. From Humboldt University and their page titled Remediation, it states "Basic skills in mathematics are vital to academic success at Humboldt. Some students are admitted to the University with a need for further development in this area..." 100 years ago there was no such thing as the need for remedial math at a University level.

They had a better understanding of Civil Rights than you probably do now.

Everything else is fluff, and not part of a college education. Computers are tools, that are no different than knowing how to operate a typewriter was 100 years ago.

The fact is that students are less prepared now, and have a weaker grasp of reading, writing, mathematics, and history than our parents or grandparents had.

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