Comments about ‘Opposition against Common Core is gaining steam’

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Published: Tuesday, Jan. 21 2014 10:37 a.m. MST

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E Sam
Provo, UT

Unfortunately, opposition to Common Core is being constructed along tired old ideological lines; conservatives are against CC, liberals for it. As a card-carrying liberal in good standing, let me make another case against Common Core; it takes the most basic decisions about curriculum out of the hands of teachers.

Joseph M
USA, CO

As some one whose son has been in 4 schools in three different states in the last 3 years I would have apreciated a common refferance for determinign what he should have been taught in school.
As I understand it the Common Core was developed by educators and officials at the state and local level not the federal governemnt. It is not mandatory no funds will be taken away for not following it though incentives to adopet are being offered. It lists skills that should be aquired not how they should taught.

Now arguing about what should be on the map for our childrens education is I think a good and usefull debate. I have no issue with people arguing that the skills listed is wrong. Arguing that it is wrong to even have a common map that we can all use as a refference for that debate leaves us wandering in the wilderness.

Joseph M
USA, CO

As I understand it from reading the spec, the common core is a list of skills that a group of educators and local and ste officials have put together for what they think kids should know how to do and when they should know it. Curiculum is the plan for getting there. As a systems engineer one of the big things I deal with is the diference betwen requirements and design.

As a father whose son has been in 4 schools in 3 states over the last 3 years a common set of requirements would have been greatly apreciated. We accept common standards for a lot of things that generate different soltions . If requirements for millitary service, or awards in the Boy Scouts, or reciving a doctors lcences were different in every town. It can be argued that this is the wrong list of skills but it would be nice to be focusing on the content of the list rather than its existence.

OlderGreg
USA, CA

As a military brat senior, I left a HS where I was taking physiology, solid/analytical geometry, no PE because I was a jock, literature. I wound up taking biology, regular geometry (because that's as far as they went), and sentence-diagramming English.
After the graduation robes and party tickets were paid for, I had to cancel my date. School #2 decided I could not graduate because I had not completed their requirements of state history and 4 years of PE. No diploma, no entrance to the graduation party. School #1 would not issue a diploma because I did not finish even the first semester of my senior year with them, nor followed through with comparable courses.

I wound up going into the military with a GED.

Some kind of standards are needed, yes. But definitely not the micromanaging stuff that is being presented.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

We've had de facto national standards for years because of the ACT and SAT. The CC standards are more in line with what's needed today--i.e., better critical thinking, more aligned to the needs of business, etc. Most of the opponents are AM radio listeners who don't like it because those right-wing talking need something to keep their ratings going.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

What I'm wondering is... where in the Constitution does it say the role of the Federal Government is to mandate the curriculum taught in schools in every State?

I must have missed that part.

===

The Constitutional role of the Federal Government is...

1) Defense, war prosecution, peace, foreign relations, foreign commerce, and interstate commerce;

2) The protection of citizens’ constitutional rights (e.g the right to vote) and ensuring that slavery remains illegal;

3) Establishing federal courts inferior to the SCOTUS;

4) Copyright protection;

5) Coining money;

6) Establishing post offices and post roads;

7) Establishing a national set of universal weights and measures;

8 ) Taxation needed to raise revenue to perform these essential functions.

Those are the only prerogatives of the Feds. The Tenth Amendment states that all prerogatives not explicitly given to the Federal Government, nor prohibited of the states, are reserved to the states or to the people (i.e. individual Americans). So the Feds are not allowed to handle any issues not explicitly listed in the Constitution; their prerogatives are limited to what the Constitution explicitly states.

That's what our Constitution says...

Janet
Ontario, OR

As an educator, I have heard the flak about Common Core and have researched, to the best of my ability, what it means. "The devil is in the details," perhaps, but on its face, it makes sense! So many students arrive at college unable to think critically. The variance in what students have been taught makes it hard to teach a freshman college class. For example, half of my students in freshman composition say they have never written a research paper.

Mamma C
HEBER CITY, UT

Common Core is becoming increasingly unpopular for different reasons, for different groups. Taxpayers don't appreciate tens of millions of their hard-earned dollars going, without prior vetting, to implement tests, technologies, books and trainings that are just as likely to harm as to help a student, since the Common Core standards are experimental and have never been piloted to see what their consequences will be over time.

Teachers don't appreciate the high pressure tests that force them to teach what politicians value over what teachers or parents value.

Parents don't appreciate being told that they cannot opt a student out of the tracking system, Utah's SLDS, that reports to the federal government.

High school students don't appreciate being told there's no more calculus being taught in Common Core schools.

English professors don't appreciate the marginalization of classic literature in the name of pushing informational texts on all students.

Those who value the Constitution don't appreciate the (lack of) authority that those who manage the Common Core standards have assumed over 45 states.

Stop Common Core.

souptwins
Lindon, UT

Contrary to what some are saying in their criticism of CC-- it does not regulate HOW the standards are taught so if you have a problem with a particular assignment or textbook, make it known. This was researched and started by educators on the local and state level well before Obama became Pres. so it's not about him, either. I've seen kids have to change grades one direction or another when moving from state to state because there were no consistent standards for what is taught in what grade. That along with improving college readiness is what started CC in the first place. If you have concerns about the content, talk to your school. Some of the same people being critical are those who also scream to hold schools accountable. Common core sets the standards and yearly standardized testing shows how schools perform to those standards. How else are we supposed to do it?

Mike W
Syracuse, UT

re: 2 bits

Relax the paranoia... Common Core is not dictated by the evil Feds... it is your own state legislators who have opted in on this. Take your rage to Governor Herbert, not Obama.

While I'm not a fan of a lot of the Common Core techniques I'm seeing in my kid's classes, the general idea does make sense - what one should be learning in Math and English in one state should be comprable to another state. It is considerably different than what I grew up with, and thus can be challenging trying to explain it to your kids while they do homework - and challenging to teachers who are trying to adapt lessons to the core on the fly.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Mike W,
Just referencing our Constitution (the document that constrains what the Federal Government can do). If referencing the Constitution makes you "paranoid"... then I guess I'm paranoid.

But you make a good point. Since States can opt out... it's OK.

I personally hope Utah opts out... and then commits to exceed all the standards in CC. It's a pretty low standard (lowest common denominator).

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

My solution would be to have the Federal government separate public schools into those controlled and completely supported by their state government or whatever, and those controlled and supported by the Federal government. Parents/children could have the freedom of choice of attending either the Federally operated school or the state operated school.

10CC
Bountiful, UT

Maybe the biggest reason to jettison Common Core in Utah schools is that it's revealing that Utah students have fallen behind students in other states, and the long term ramifications of underfunding Utah public schools is coming home to roost.

It would be much easier - not to mention *comforting* to Utah adults - if Common Core is thrown out, and Utah can create their own curricula, and on that point declare our students the smartest in the world. The parents would feel better, the Legislature would have pressure taken off them, the students would feel better, and teachers would be relieved from trying to catch Utah kids up to some national standard.

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

I think the bigger problem is data-driven education. It has brought lame ideas such as the No Child Left Behind Act, Common Core and generally non-stop testing of our students. It has killed creativity in our students. It is hampering our teachers. Go to youtube and find that speech given by a Tennessee student at a school board meeting. It does criticize the common core but the bottom line, it is a scathing critique of what data-driven education is doing to education.

We already had enough data. It is called grades, it's called ACT tests, SAT tests. Enough is enough...

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

"I personally hope Utah opts out... and then commits to exceed all the standards in CC."

Hey that's a good one...chuckels in the morning. Thanks.

JJSullivan Sandy UT
,

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 entitled, "40 Years of Education Reform," that his intention was to throw national standards together and use them to dismantle local control over education. They are using the Elementary and Secondary Principles Assoc. to implement their teaching guidelines in local schools. These guides tell teachers how to "shift instructional practice."

The architect of Common Core, David Coleman, admits (on video) that he was part of a "collection of unqualified people" who created the standards. He now heads the College Board and is aligning GED, SAT, ACT to the standards.

It's up to our legislators to provide the due diligence and due process denied in Utah's adoption of national standards. Parents and taxpayers deserve to understand the 4 federal education reforms in the federal stimulus bill, particularly the creation of our federally-funded state longitudinal data system to track teachers and students.

Mark l
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Parents are the key to education. Government workers can't provide the love and support that a parent can. Parents know their children best.

Spoc
Ogden, UT

If you like your policy, you can keep your policy, if it meets our national standards.

Of course, if it doesn't then it is a junk policy and you will pay a financial penalty for not getting one we think is not junk.

Does anyone else see a problem with surrendering the right to determine what your children are being taught to a national standard?

Of course, if your school doesn't teach to the national standard, then you have a junk school and will pay a financial penalty!

timpClimber
Provo, UT

As a long time teacher I've seen many new "Best" ways of what and how to teach. About half of them turn out to be recycled under a new title. The one core for all states and schools is both strong and weak. Strong in that it provides a common set of bench marks and content for the states who adopt it and weak because once imposed it will hinder innovation and experimentation. For example, I teach physics to students who have struggled with math and carefully and logically introduce math to solve physics problems. Most of my students have improved their math skills through this approach. Under the CC this approach would not be possible. The CC should serve as guidelines which would be reviewed every three years by all the stake holders and modified as needed. But get the Feds out of the picture. Getting anything modified after they take over is like mating elephants.

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