Comments about ‘Misinformation or monopoly of thought? Common Core opponents, supporters square off’

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Published: Friday, Aug. 2 2013 2:20 p.m. MDT

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West Point , UT

I am dumbfounded as well. This isn't about pushing socialist agendas or creating Marxist ideology in the classroom. The common core are standards the government has researched extensively to better prepare students to compete in an increasingly global society and economy. As was mentioned, the states are still given the power to establish curriculum to support the common core objectives. There's nothing leftist, or liberal about it, and I'm speaking as a conservative republican educator.

Farmington, UT

The whole idea that standards are a good thing in education really needs some careful examination. Given the wide diversity in needs, talents, interests and abilities among students, wouldn't it behoove us to build an education infrastructure that allows parents and teachers to collaborate in the process of uncovering students natural talents. Students that struggle in a highly structured educational environment all have something at which they can excel. If we help them identify that area of talent and help develop that into expertise and a passion, that one area then becomes a catalyst that will drive their participation in and engagement in all the other aspects of education that will support and feed their passion in an ancillary way. A student with a passion for music may never be motivated by studying math for math's sake, but will eat it up once she realizes how an understanding of math and physics enhances her ability to understand and create good music.

Approached thus, learning as a delight, not a task. The rewards for all are overwhelming. To learn more, search for Educating for Human Greatness.

Saint George, UT

If UEA is for it; I am against it!


The only real objection that can be raised over "Common Core" pertains to Utah's primacy in setting its curriculum standards. Does the USOE set the standard or do they simply adopt a national standard. As a parent, I certainly would not want Utah to adopt a standard that was less rigorous than Common Core in English or Mathematics. On the other hand, if the Social Studies or Civics curriculum were to indicate a bias, there might be cause for an objection. As it currently stands, however, there is no Common Core in Social Studies, History or Civics. Note however, that any curriculum, no matter how balanced, that teaches counter to an individual's bias will produce objection, while a biased curriculum that is aligned with the individual's bias will be welcomed.

Beaver Native
Garland, UT

If people really understood the purpose of the core standards, I don't think there would be as much opposition. Core standards are not about teaching a liberal or conservative agenda. The core standards, in elementary school mathematics for example, provide that students master the same mathematical concepts no matter which school they are in. It better prepares them for life, and should they transfer to another school, it provides continuity so that they have a minimum level of competency expected for their grade level. It doesn't tell the teacher everything they can teach, nor does it tell the student everything they can learn. It provides a set of minimum acceptable standards. It's about competing in the workplace or college upon graduation.

Orem Parent
Orem, UT

The phrase cuckoo for cocoa puffs comes to mind.

They are basically saying, "We are against raising the standards of what we want our students to learn". That is all the Common Core is but because it uses the word common a bunch of people have misinterpreted what it is. I've never seen a bigger mountain being made out of what isn't even a mole hill. They are STANDARDS! It doesn't say how to teach them. It is just the minimum that we want a graduate of high school to do. Simple.

Stop giving this group press and stop catering to them. Let them all home school. They would be better off and so would we.

Lehi, UT

“But Menlove said the board was not attempting to ‘sell’ Common Core to voters and taxpayers, but simply had a responsibility to ensure that accurate information was being relayed to the public.”

The State Board isn’t trying to sell Common Core? Really? Not according to the Communication Plan they approved in June:

“Seek out opinion leaders within key groups (LEAs, schools, PTAs, business partners including Prosperity 2020, social media and bloggers, legislators, party leaders, delegates, Governor’s Office personnel, local media, personalities, etc.) and ask for their assistance/endorsements through media outlets or personal contacts.”

“Initiate an advertising campaign in media to include newspapers, radio, etc.”

“Send out regular Tweets (daily) and Facebook updates (every 7-10 days) highlighting aspects of Utah’s Core Standards.”

“Seek the assistance and advice of legislators and business leaders on the issue and encourage them to both publicly and privately endorse the standards if they support them."

What an incredibly inappropriate use of our education resources!

Mcallen, TX

Teaching strategies over the passed forty years-equals:

* half our population fed by the government
* high unemployment, and a debt equal to $550,000 for every second in a yrear.
* 4 of 5 having lived in poverty
* education funds exceeding all countries combined.
* a third of our college graduates from other countries
* having many of our engineers, chemists, skilled medical workers, etc, from other countries.

Now the feds tells us how good common core is suppose to be? Same old dance, and song. Crazy

Kaysville, UT

This sounds similar to the way the group of anti-Common Core got into the GOP convention and ramrodded some of the propositions with Rob Bishop leading the bandwagon with Sherilyn Eagar. They don't listen to the views and don't care about what the teachers at the convention said. They use emotional pleas and not sound reasoning.

Plenty of legislators such as Rob Bishop want votes so they are persuaded by the few loud people that appear to have gone to the USOE and use some of the time of the Superintendent by force.

100 people are not very many with some of those being home schooling parents and children. That means maybe 20 parents or 40 parents were there and the rest children.

So much bitterness in Utah about public schools. These teachers and administrators as a majority are not only upstanding individuals but outstanding. They have high moral character and values. The legislature has demonized these outstanding people for years. Move to another State and there is a difference. We spend a lot of our budget on education with a high number of children. The various groups keep on coming up with data that is not valid.

Lake Havasu City, AZ

currently it is my great Grandchildren that are attending school in Utah Schools. i suggest tht the parents that are against the State Board of Education, spend some time on their knees and do what is best for their children, not for the poiitical action they want. I can't imagine anyone wanting to have their kids be home taught. Don't Mothers have plenty todo without teaching their kids what they need to learn to live in this fast paced world. I have seen many changes in my lifetime, but still think children need to be taught the basics to read, write, do math, and learn to spell. You never know when they might have an experience and no computer available to help them. The world is full of people wanting to make truble, I would plead with the people of Utah to be supportive of teachers, and not constantly causing

Reasonable Emotion
Springville, UT

Please stop putting these people on the front page. They are completely misinformed about how standards function in a classroom (they are not curriculum) and apparently won't listen to reason.

the truth
Holladay, UT

Common Core is NOT just about standards.

If you believe it is only about standards you just have no idea what common core is.

Amd that is the big problem, the devil is in the details,

It is about the federal increasing its control over local schools, and dictating what and how children are taught including sex education in kindergarten to social protesting in second grade, it ignores the tried and method building basic foundations and replaces it with inferior methods, it collects vast amount of personal data not only of the children but of the parents as well, as a result it creates a vast federal bureaucracy.

There is nothing good about it,

If you believe it is only about standards you just have no idea what common core is.

We already have standards from standard achievement tests to no child left behind.

Eden, UT

I was there at that rally. The fact about Common Core is that it is a federally imposed regulation system that Utah has adopted because if it didn't, it would not receive $400,000,000 for it's education budget. Unfortunately, people do not realize exactly what these regulations that have been put into place are, and exactly how they are dangerous. Even worse is the fact that the Utah State Board of Education is not giving people a chance to speak. When the entire Board was assembled in the room, they only gave two minutes to three people to speak. (six minutes total). Then of course the Superintendent did give a lot of time to listen to everyone only after all the other board members had left the room. Not to mention the answers he gave were dodging the questions that were asked. John Adams once said, "Facts are stubborn things." Well that is exactly what I think. To any readers of this story who think that Common Core is a good thing, please go out and research this for yourself and find the facts. Look at the documents themselves. They will give you t he facts. It is dangerous!

Salt Lake, UT

I would truly love to hear a single researched argument against the common core. Why would anyone be against raising the bar in education? If you have attended school in a state other than Utah you probably have noticed that Utah is really behind. I lived in Arizona until fourth grade and then spent two years repeating everything since Arizona is more rigorous. After I got married we moved to Nevada and recently moved back only to have our daughter experience the same thing. She basically repeated everything she learned in first grade in Nevada as part of the second grade curriculum here. Its pathetic and embarassing. We criticize teachers for being against reform and for fighting change, but when something comes along that will push our kids to excel we fight against it? Why?

Salt Lake, UT

@Worf, what point are you trying to make? If teaching the way we have for 40 years has not worked then why are you suggesting we keep things the same?

Spanish Fork, UT

Sometimes I wonder if Mr. Woods is an editorial writer or a reporter. I see this is filed under News, rather than opinion though. How many were at the meeting? Were they mostly parents? How were they received by the board? Instead we get a statement from a trade group that hands out grants from Exxon Mobil, one of the major promoters of the CCSS. There are real issues of process and local control that need to be discussed, but the "news" always focuses on the more sensational parts of the topic. We have pundits for that, thank you.

Spanish Fork, UT

I wonder what it would take for a journalist to do similar homework as a 15-year-old student presenting to the Arkansas legislature about Common Core. (Search YouTube for Common Core Hearings Q&A pt1 by Nancy Miller)
Mostly facts about funding and timelines and not talking points. People need to make their own decisions about whether they like this education reform package (not just standards, teacher pay tied to test scores part of stimulus deal too) but it is very difficult to do without knowing where it came from and what the full impact/cost will be. 100 people might not seem like a lot unless you realize that most of the time, very few if anyone from the public attends these kinds of meetings. Moms do indeed have enough to do, including overseeing the education of their children, without having to worry that our Governor and State School Board will sell out our children's schools to the highest bidder in defiance of the constitutional protections against such. Utah deserves the highest academic standards, we don't have to undermine our laws and local input to have them.

Mamma C

People, study the issue. There is so much more to Common Core than talking points. There is more than low, minimal standards. It is a complete power grab by corporate monopolists and the federal Dept. of Ed. And yes, it dumbs down high school graduates while it calls itself "rigorous."

Mcallen, TX

@Syd--keeping things the same? You missed the point. "Common Core is keeping things the same".

It's just different words to advertise what's been tried over and over. May have started with cooperative learning, than renamed every year or two. Changing names with added well meaning goals, has tricked people into supporting public schools. Look at our society, and it's plain that our education system has failed. Proof is in the pudding.

Most teachers with a history of teaching, will tell you, every year or two, a new teaching method with added expectations pops up, and does little to nothing to improve education.

Words can be tricky, but observing results is much more accurate.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Most of the people who are against the common core are also the ones saying that our education system is failing and our kids can't compete. So what happens, a set of standards is put in place, and assessments are written based on these standards (what a novel concept, match the test to the standards). If we put the right standards in place and then assess correctly, we can find out what kids know and what the don't know based on a set of standards. We can then adjust teaching to match the needs of the students. What a socialist, marxist and totally insane concept.


We can continue as we are doing now where we don't have a set of standards that are common to all students, so no two groups of students are taught the same thing, we give assessments that don't match what we are teaching, those assessments give us no useable data and then we complain about the poor job our schools are doing, because our test scores are so bad, even though the tests don't really measure what is being taught.

Doesn't seem like rocket science to me.

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