Comments about ‘How education may be dividing the Republican party’

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Published: Tuesday, July 1 2014 7:00 a.m. MDT

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Light and Liberty
St. George/Washington, UT

Those with the faintest understanding of liberty would see clearly why Common Core is antithetical to education, which also explains why our whole culture is troubled.

ordinaryfolks
seattle, WA

Sad to say, but I think the common core is a valuable, if poorly applied tool.

Why should a child in Mississippi get a lesser education than one in Utah? Aren't we all Americans?

This is an increasingly competitive world. We Americans have fallen behind a motivated world. How else does the country push up the standards in education if not by a common core of expectations?

Andrew
American Fork, UT

The problem with Common Core is not so much national standards as it is national curriculum and indoctrination. That is why some support it(national standards) and others oppose(national indoctrination). Keep out the indoctrination and you would have more support. As is, I can't see this program surviving long term. Then again the ignorance of people in this country is rather alarming. Read up on what Common Core is teaching our children; what it emphasizes(civil rights, worker rights/robber barons and slavery) and de-emphasizes(founding fathers vision and sacrifices, inventors, etc.)

Furry1993
Ogden, UT

There should be a country-wide standard curriculum for the core subjects -- reading, writing, arithmetic, history, science, etc. -- and the standard curriculum should ensure that the subjects are properly presented (real science as opposed to a philosophical version of science, tec.). This needs to be done due to the way families relocate from one city, state, etc., to another -- subjects should be treated in the same way, and at the same level, in each place to which a child can relocate. Non-core subjects could be left up to the individual jurisdictions.

RedWings
CLEARFIELD, UT

Sandards are good. Common Core consists of lower overall standards along with a lot of secrecy, and not a little indoctrination into a specific social agenda.

School districts and teachers have been very secretive about the content that comes along with CC. A search of the web will find many horror stories of kids threatened with expulsion for refusing to follow lessons that go against what they have been taught is moral.

Schools and teachers work for the parents. The school system has forgotten this. We need to remind school boards of this when they are up for election next....

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

I have found the responses almost laughable.

I'll say one unifying thing about the GOP. Whether they support the common core or not, they certainly don't support adequate funding in either case.

But both proponents and opponents of the common core still miss the central issues of what is ailing education. We need to actually invest in education. We need to take the Finland approach, pay teachers better, have reduced class sizes and reduce standardize testing. Really simple solutions.

As for proponents of common core. It won't be the savior of anything unless other problems like class size and teacher pay and benefits are improved. Curriculum has always existed, I mean haven't teachers been teaching something all these years.

As for opponents of common core. I don't see any secret indoctrination going on. As far as teachers being secretive about the common core, this is laughable, most are actually trying to survive the day-to-day stuff of teaching, many don't even know what it is really. But it is actually on the Internet so to speak, not locked in some vault only to be let out when the time comes.

Ender
Salt Lake City, UT

@ Andrew
You need to educate yourself, my friend. You obviously have never actually even looked at the Core. You can do so by Googling "Utah Core Standards".

The Common Core is a set of standards. There is NO curriculum set forth in the standards. There is NO "indoctrination" set out in the standards. For example, a standard for Grade 2 Mathematics is: :"Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies. By end of Grade 2, know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers."

The standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them. Curriculum (how to teach) is still very much dependent on individual teachers and districts, and especially parents!

Ender
Salt Lake City, UT

@RedWings
Please point out some specific examples of your claims. I have read a good part of the 6th grade standards themselves, and I find them to be excellent educational goals. No where does it "indoctrinate". In fact, curriculum is still left up to each individual teacher, school and district.

If you'd like some factual information, rather than unjustified (and untrue) claims, please Google Utah Core Standards. The Utah State Board of Education has put together a nice website that clarifies many of these misunderstandings, complete with links to the standards themselves.

RedWings
CLEARFIELD, UT

Ender - The State Board of Education is hardly an impartial or reliable source. The evidence against Common Core and the secrecy surrounding what it really is can be found very easily on the web. Far too many parents put their heads in the sand and "trust" the school system to teach their kids. Schools are about money, and Bill Gates promised a lot of it to sign on for this crazy ride.

One example is the reading list for high school teachers choose from. If includes "The Bluest Eye", a book that tells of child molestation from the molester's point of view. Want your kid to read that?

There is a lot of cirriculum along with CC, not to mention the secrecy. No taking books out of school. No asking parents to help. One student took a photo of a question projected to the class in a Powerpoint and was threatened with suspension.

Parents need to take the education of their kids away from administrators and demand better. They are our future....

CylonesRus
sunamn, IN

No, the headline is not accurate, it should have stated “Education defines why the GOP is split” between the Rockefeller GOP (MCCain, McConnell, ) and the conservative, Strict Constitutional constructionist, liberty loving side of the GOP. They each gravitate to their real belief system such as the role of the Federal Government as its influence a should have on our young impressionable learners.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Furry1993" and "ordinaryfolks" we do not need a national education standard. Think about it. What do politicians in Washington DC know about the needs of the kids in your neighborhood?

For example, if you live in an area with a lot of well educated people most likely your kids will benefit most from a high standard for reading. At the same time if you are in a low income area you will most likely not need the same standard. The standards should be set locally, even the state level is out of touch.

To "Howard Beal" and "Ender" you obviously have not had to deal with kids doing worked based on CC standards. If you had, you would see that the math problems that are given are often filled with propaganda. Throughout the standards there are things being put in that take away from education and replace it with indoctrination. I have seen social study questions that teach that banning guns is constitutional, and that communism is great and the perfect political/economic model.

GaryO
Virginia Beach, VA

" . . . a large shift in GOP attitudes . . ."

. . . about education? yes, definitely.

You've got to remember that Rush Limbaugh (considered by many to be the de facto head of the GOP) and his ilk have offered up the specter of an educated but worthless elite on the Left who are enemies of "True Americans" such as himself.

Face it . . . 30 years (since the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine) of such propaganda has done a job on the pliable minds of "Conservatives" who respect and admire the uneducated know-it-all; and they incessantly parrot his words.

So of course federal government mandates about the quality of education are evil.

. . . as is education itself.

After all, if it were not for education, we would not have all these educated elitists on the Left trying to subvert America with such ridiculous notions as Global Warming and other nonsense, would we?

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

Redshirt:

I have two students in our public schools. I have seen and worked with them on their math, not seeing any problem with their math problems indoctrinating them. They actually look like math problems I did years ago. Can you go get some math problems used by teachers in our UTAH schools to show your claims? I would like some EVIDENCE! I do have quite a bit of samples from my children's own work that say otherwise.

Speaking of which...as far as your other concerns, well what if the students were exposed to say essays saying banning guns was unconstitutional or even Global Warming was occurring or say an excerpt of The Communist Manifesto? The common core, as I understand it, would teach students to critically analyze these documents or positions. They would teach the students to perhaps write persuasively to rebut these positions, citing credible sources as basis to their arguments. Any problem with this?

Of course for many, the biggest concern about the core curriculum in Utah might be the actual endorsement of "socialists" like Gary Herbert and Howard Stephenson. These endorsement alone should send a chill down many a conservative.

Ender
Salt Lake City, UT

@RedWings
Have you read the Core Standards? You absolutely can. I encourage you to do so. NO SECRETS! The Utah State Office of Education has a link to the standards on their website... although why you think the USOE is not a credible source for education related topics in our state is... well... confusing and a bit disturbing...

Even at the high school level, specific math problems, worksheets, books, etc. are NOT proscribed. As I've stated before, curriculum is not a part of the Common Core standards. They are standards, goals, benchmarks, any other synonym that you can think of... THEY ARE NOT CURRICULUM (and they certainly aren't "indoctrination").

Curriculum (how to teach the standard) is left to each teacher, school, and district. An example of a 12th grade literacy standard is: "Demonstrate knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century foundational works of American literature, including how two or more texts from the same period treat similar themes or topics." (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.11-12.9)

But it is the responsibility of the teacher, school, district (and of course parents!) to choose how students reach the standard.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Howard Beal" I pulled my kids out of public schools because of the low teaching standards and the confusing math methods being taught. I wish I would have kept their papers that were filled with indoctrination. There was the lack of emphasis on getting correct answers, but on making the kids feel good that was the final straw for my family.

It isn't that they are being exposed to essays about banning guns. There are some CC text books that say banning guns ins constitutional. The books are not presenting an unbiased view of history, but are presenting a highly biased view of history that is globalist in nature. I have no problem if the texts and tests were getting the kids to think about what they have read, but they do not. The history and social studies courses are set up in a way that the only correct answer is the indoctrination answer.

Just look at what they are doing to the AP American History Test. They are turning part of it into an essay. That means if you do not answer it the way that is expected, you will fail.

michaelitos
Salt Lake City, UT

RedShirt
"For example, if you live in an area with a lot of well educated people most likely your kids will benefit most from a high standard for reading. At the same time if you are in a low income area you will most likely not need the same standard."

Are you really suggesting that poor people somehow deserve a lower educational standard???

I don't want to accuse you of elitism, but...

Light and Liberty
St. George/Washington, UT

If you were to ask all the pro Common Core people here that the government has come up with a new government program which requires parents to switch their kids to another family for a few years on the grounds that their children will be taught the same things (actually not a far fetched idea considering), most parents would object. How anyone with the slightest intelligence thinks that Common Core is any different beggars the imagination! Children are individuals and any teacher worth his/her salt would demand the latitude to teach those children the way he/she thinks will lift and inspire. One more point. At minimum, in the tiniest minuscule ability to think, anyone that thinks that another government mandated one size fits all approach is the answer, he/she must be living in the dark ages! Historical proof worlds without end cannot refute in any way, shape, or form the truth of that!

Howard Beal
Provo, UT

Redshirt:

Your response is somewhat silly in its basis. Thousands, probably tens of thousands, pass the AP exams in history all the time. They come from conservative and liberal states, they come from conservative to liberal students and they come from what you say are conservative and liberal teachers alike. I know the AP teacher at our local high school well, he is no Communist or Socialist but a good old-fashioned Mormon Conservative/Republican. His students do just fine. He teaches them how to write persuasively. They don't have to regurgitate what he and they might guess is the socialist/liberal response. And I would imagine the readers/evaluators of these exams are politically diverse, not monolithically liberal/socialist.

And any student worth their salt should know their history, not rely on any text or teacher. The text and teacher is just a source as is the Internet, books, TV programs, films, and the parents themselves. Students need to discern from all these sources.

Again, I find the proponents and opponents of common core somewhat humorous. Their "religious zeal" to defend their position, however, is concerning, and again mask the real issues facing our schools.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "michaelitos" no I am not suggesting they deserve a substandard education. I am saying that one area within a city has different educational needs than another. Giving them a single standard can impede their educational development by focusing on areas that may not need special attention.

To "Howard Beal" there is a difference between knowing how to write persuasively and writing what is expected on an exam. The AP American history test is going away from testing actual knowledge to regurgitation of pre-approved points of view.

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