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Comments about ‘Herbert's new education adviser says she's terrified and 'having a ball'’

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Published: Sunday, Feb. 2 2014 6:20 p.m. MST

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The Balloonatic
Taylorsville, UT

I am still very surprised that Pyfer was appointed as education advisor. When I asked her questions about Common Core, her reply was unprofessional and rude, and unfortunately dishonest. And I'm not the only one. Many people who have concerns over Common Core been treated rudely by her, by letter and face to face.

Go West
Taylorsville, UT

Pyfer mocks and ridicules mothers who have concerns about Common Core. I wouldn't call that being a good liason or communicator.

Heidi71
Taylorsville, UT

"In regards to the Common Core, Pyfer said she has strived to provide good and accurate information to parents in the hope of moving the debate beyond how the standards were created — a sticking point that has led to a stagnant dialogue over the past several years —"

Yet, how the standards were created is an important discussion. A few states recently have the gumption to refuse Common Core. The people who are against Common Core are people who have researched it. Herbert signed on to it as one of the requirements to receive stimulus money. This should have gone through legislature first.

Craig Coleman
Genola, UT

The people who support Common Core have also researched it. The Common Core was adopted as part of Utah's core curriculum standards. By statute, curriculum standards are the responsibility of the State Board of Education, an elected body, not the legislature or the governor. Hence, the governor never signed on to the Common Core and the legislature never voted on it. In 2010 the federal department of education offered a competitive grant program to states called race to the top that included as one criterion, that states adopt high quality curriculum standards. Adoption of the common core fit the federal definition of high quality standards. Utah applied for race to the top money but did not receive it. Indeed, Utah was informed they would not be receiving any grant money before the State Board voted to adopt the common core standards. I believe Tami wants to move beyond the debate about how the standards were created to a more useful dialogue about the appropriateness and value of the standards themselves. Are the standards rigorous enough? Can achievement of the standards be measured in an appropriate way? Do additional standards need to be adopted? Are there standards that should be abandoned?

cjb
Bountiful, UT

I've read a lot where common core is denegrated, but so far I have yet to read any specifics of why common core is bad. Would anyone reading this care to give some specifics of why common core is not good?

Heidi71
Taylorsville, UT

Good question, cjb. Proponents of CC will say they're standards, not curriculum. But the standardized tests will align with the CC standards, so that dictates the curricula. Most of the textbooks are CC aligned. Teachers have quit over it, many other teachers who don't like CC are afraid to speak out in fear of losing jobs. One teacher at our school said to us that the methods taught CC aligned Math textbooks are "weird" and "illogical.". Instead she'll to the old fashioned, solid way previous generations learned it. Also, in Language Arts, children are taught to write persuasive "essays" supporting opinions with emotional argument, rather than by facts. Ethos over Logis. In high school American literature books, Mark Twain is diminished while modern leftists are strongly featured. Many more examples. Schools will need more money to fund these "experiments.". People who are against CC run across the whole political spectrum. And then there's the data collection to be share with workforce services, etc. It's true, CC has raised some states standards, but has lowered other states standards like MA. But if it's still not up to par with Singapore, why bother?

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

For a lot of teachers the common core was implemented without much logistical support (textbooks, technology, and training). These are reasonable concerns, not just knee-jerk tea party complaints.

Also, it does change the curriculum. It probably isn't as evil as it detractors say, but as I've said many times on these blogs, it's no silver bullet either.

Education has bigger fish to fry vs. collecting non-stop data and changing the curriculum. Teachers need reduced class sizes, higher salaries and restored benefits. Add this list to better access to technology for them and the students. They need to have less burdens placed on them by district administrators, school administrators, legislators, and the feds. This is the best reform in education we can do now. Get off of teacher's backs!

Mamma C
HEBER CITY, UT

I'm limited to 200 words so I'll let the professors talk:
Dr. A. Manning - BYU:
“The Core standards just set in concrete approaches to reading/writing that we already know don’t work very well.”
Dr. A Esolen - Providence College:
“What appalls me most about the standards is the cavalier contempt for great works of human art and thought in literary form… We are not programming machines."
Dr. T Moore - Hillsdale College:
“The thing that bothers me more than anything else is found…in the introduction...that Common Core is a "living work." That means that the thing that you vote on today could be something different tomorrow, and five years from now it is completely unrecognizable.”
Dr. T Newkirk - UNH:
The standards are portrayed as… so self-evidently necessary to economic progress…so broadly representative of beliefs in the educational community—that they cease to be even debatable… We lose opportunities when we… allow the CCSS to completely set the agenda.”
Dr. D Coupland - Hillsdale:
“Concerns about cost, and quality, and yes, even the constitutionality of Common Core, pale in comparison to the concerns for the hearts, minds, and souls of American children.”

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