Comments about ‘Public debates Common Core standards; both sides remain entrenched’

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Published: Thursday, April 26 2012 9:45 p.m. MDT

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Steven Harper
Salt Lake City, UT

There were enough actual educators present to keep the anti-fed ideologues and Ruzickistas in check with facts, accurate history, and detailed classroom experience with actual students. Many non-educators had a difficult time separating standards from curriculum, but had plenty to say about the U.N., California liberals, Bill Gates, and President Obama's lack of critical thinking skills. The common core standards are the best thing to happen to education since on-line textbooks, on-line testing, e-books, digital projectors, Canvas, SmartBoards, and laptop labs for every classroom. Unfortunately, not all these educational tools are available to the majority of Utah's public education students. The same folks who oppose too much rigor, analysis, and argument in Utah's schools also oppose, with their "starve the beast" philosophy, the schools that over 90% of Utah's students attend: our public schools.

buffy
American Fork, UT

Luckily there were enough parents and teachers who think critically enough to present actual facts, accurate history and detailed experiences as to how Common Core will affect their own children. Many educators have a difficult time understandings that standards drive curriculum--and we're stuck with a tenacious refusal to assess the involvement of the U.N., Arne Duncan, Bill Gates or the sustainability movement in education. The same folks who oppose too much analysis and argument over Utah schools also oppose, with their "nothing to fear but fear itself" philosophy, the freedoms that Utah has enjoyed for over 200 years. We are trading our national and state sovereignty for an educational mess of pottage.

Robert Wren
Heber, UT

While the "standards" may, or may not, be improved under the new Common Core, teaching techniques and technology seem to be improving in Utah. Personally, I didn't hear anyone in the discussion claiming the standards were too high or rigorous.

However, the question still needs to be answered as to why school districts are be 'required,' (or persuaded) to change the student privacy rules to comply with recently modified FERPA regulations to allow MORE private personal student information to be transmitted to the Dept of Education for the purpose of analyzing common core results.

NPRM 2011 "The U.S. Department of Education today announced a series of initiatives to safeguard student privacy while clarifying that states have the flexibility to share school data that are necessary to judge the effectiveness of government investments in education."

How does releasing MORE private information protect privacy?

As per newly enacted SB 287, the state of Utah should forthwith withdraw from at least this portion of the Common Core initiative.

Let the standards be debated, discussed and improved in Utah as was the apparent desire of most of the participants at the forum

Carolyn Sharette
Sandy, UT

I was sorry to have missed this important public debate, but glad to hear that there were educators present who could provide facts and information to counter the extreme views of the anti-common core group.

Granted the process may have been a bit rushed in adoption, but the language arts standards will provide an improved template for educating our students, and will do so immediately, which is almost never the case with education change.

Our students will benefit, and that must remain our "bottom line". We must focus on "what is best for students" in education, and learn to set aside all the political "noise" that surrounds making improvements.

I am proud of our state leaders for moving forward with what is best for students and taking this "heat" but not letting it distract them from their taxpayer-funded charge: to ensure the best possible education for our students in Utah.

Fortunately, most Utah citizens are not willing to send all the federal dollars (that we pay) back to Washington to make a point of "state sovereignty". We need those dollars here in our classrooms.

Canto
Holladay, UT

I was unable to attend the meeting, but was able to watch it on-line. What became very clear to me and my family was that those in favor of the Common Core didn't understand what many of those opposed to Common Core were concerned with. It was not the standards themselves. The concerns are about the strings attached to them. How many of those in favor of Common Core have read and understand what those strings are? The concerns and questions raised need to be answered.

CaptainMidnight
Saint George, UT

Where were all of the states rights activists when "no child left behind" was adopted? Strange to see such a double standard. Makes me think that they are political ideologues rather than people who have been actively engaged in the educational process. Anyone with even a basic understanding of federal funding should know that it is never "free money". There is always a quid pro quo and rightfully so. in Utah the fanatical movement that preaches a constutionality that is woefully distorted is simply peeved that they can't have their cake and eat it too. In this instance I am glad that the educational leaders did not cave to a misinformed fringe vocal minority.

worf
Mcallen, TX

You can't make things common without restricting creativity and independence. It simply lowers the bar.

Mamma C
HEBER CITY, UT

Stanford University Professor Michael W. Kirst said:

My concern is the assertion in the draft that the standards for college and career readiness are essentially the same. This implies the answer is yes to the question of whether the same standards are appropriate for 4 year universities, 2 year colleges, and technical colleges. The burden of proof for this assertion rests with CCSSO/NGA, and the case is not proven... I
cannot follow how the panel deduced that college and career readiness standards are the same."

Two other professors who also served on the validation committees for the standards refused to sign off that they were rigorous and adequate: Dr. Sandra Stotsky and James Milgram.

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