Herbert on Common Core: 'We are going to settle this question once and for all'


Return To Article
  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Aug. 26, 2014 8:21 a.m.

    'Common Core,' in fact, has become so contentious that it is dividing us on things we all actually agree on, like the need of local control.....

    Federal funding will never lead to local control but continually reduce it. So, based on the "things we all actually agree on", we cannot accept Common Core because it is federal funded. We need to reverse the flow of power from the states to the federal government.

    Secondly the flow of power from parents to "experts" also needs to be reversed. A vast majority of the people of this land are sick and tired of not being listened too, and that includes deciding what PART of the discussion we can participate in. These are OUR children, not yours. These are OUR tax dollars, not yours. Administration and State legislators are recipients of taxpayer money not providers of same!

    Finally, as another very recent articles in the DesNews have shown, we need more skilled people not more academics. How about helping those children who wish pursue those skills. In Math concentrate on teaching about private debt, compound interest and checking your change accurately.

  • Herbert Gravy Salinas, CA
    July 21, 2014 2:04 p.m.

    Parents, are you teaching your children to use Khan Academy on the internet? It is free and it is an awesome resource. Those who utilize it will have a distinct advantage over those who don't! Who needs Common Core?

  • Herbert Gravy Salinas, CA
    July 21, 2014 2:00 p.m.

    Common "corn"! Do away with the Department of Education and get the Federal Government out of education. The several states will do just fine competing with each other and we will save billions of dollars. Time to wake up!

  • Mom of Six Northern Utah, UT
    July 19, 2014 12:59 p.m.

    @Kings Court- Indeed I am a teacher. I understand very well that Common Core is a set of Standards, and not a curriculum. I work for a district that is often applauded on a state level. Yet, most people fail to realize that the teaching morale is at an all time low in this "applauded" district. I have spoken with numerous teachers from various schools, who feel the same way I do. We are told as teachers that we will tow the district line or face "serious consequences". Where is the academic freedom in that? My guess is that you are a secondary teacher. When you only teach one subject a day, of course these standards would not seem that different to you.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    July 18, 2014 7:53 p.m.

    I never hear anything overwhelmingly good about Common Core. As one wise and informed reader stated, the Constitution does not provide for the Federal Government to dictate anything to do with education - that is left up to the states and quite frequently, I read in the news that another state is option out of CC.

    Instead of trying to compete with the world, let's try to educate our children and let them use their education to compete with their peers if they so choose.

  • sg newhall, CA
    July 18, 2014 1:02 p.m.

    Common Core was designed for the millions of illegal children invading our country. They don't speak English, therefore, classes are now taught in Spanish. According to the Feds, these kids are labelled "special education" kids. I know, I worked inputting data for these kids and that is what we were told which category to put them in. It is reprehensible that textbooks today have glossaries in both English and Spanish. Why? English is the primary language (heaven to bid that we make it the formal language of the United States--don't want to upset the liberals and those dainty, weak of heart nonspeaking illegals. The Federal Government has no business being in the business of teaching our children. Common Core is a complete and utter failure and is just a ploy by the liberal left to dummy down kids. Home schooling is the way to go. Until teachers rid themselves of their corrupt Teachers' Union, the status quo will remain the same. Lousy and corrupt.

  • notme layton, UT
    July 18, 2014 12:15 p.m.

    By signing onto Common Core, they now take and keep longitudinal data on every aspect of your child (NOT just academic, but physical, behavioral, financial, etc.). You as a parent cannot even protect this information anymore as they have changed the FERPA laws to say it is just "Best Practice" to inform the parents.

    Bill Gates, who is funding a major part of the Common Core drive said "When the tests are aligned to the common standards, the curriculum will line up as well-and that will unleash powerful market forces in the service of better teaching."
    YES, this will lead to uniform Curriculum. It will be made and sold by those who funded this drive in the first place, and all of the information and data about your kids will be theirs for the taking.

    Google David Coleman,known as the "architect" of Common Core. He is now the President of the College Board who the writes the SAT/ACT. They are changing it to follow Common Core.
    This leads to Uniform Curriculum!

  • Claire B West Jordan, UT
    July 18, 2014 11:10 a.m.

    Of course SSB Chairman Crandall would agree with Herbert's decision to have 'higher education define what it means to be college-ready'; he wants to keep his job on the state board. The problem is that what these standards accomplish and what is meant by 'college-ready' is that students will be prepared to enter 2-year colleges, community colleges. While beneficial and legitimate, the FACT is that the vast majority of Students (and their parents) aim for and desire their attendance in 4-year Universities- these standards simply will not prepare them for that. The goal should NOT be to get as many students as possible to achieve a lesser 'standard' to claim success, the goal should be to provide Utah students with the highest quality education possible and to prepare them for pursuits in higher education, or careers as they so choose. You do not LOWER the bar so that more can reach it, you help those who struggle to reach the bar, so that even if they fail, they will still have achieved more than they thought themselves capable.

  • Claire B West Jordan, UT
    July 18, 2014 11:09 a.m.

    It is laughable that Gov. Herbert asserts that the State School Board 'cooperates' with local school board members, teachers, and parents. Any in those groups who dissent from toeing the line, who would bring actual, legitimate concerns to light are met with reactions ranging from being ignored, to labeled as a 'fringe element' to being met with outright animus. I know of MANY Elementary classroom Educators who have stated that these standards will NOT work, yet feel unable to do so publicly for fear of losing their jobs; their Principals and even their District officials have 'warned' against speaking out in opposition to these standards. And again, it does not matter how well Educators are prepared and trained to implement the new standards, the FACT is that with so much being tied to the high stakes tests, only the minimum required will be taught to the students, for the sake of test preparation; and when that standard is so minimally set to allow the highest possible number of students to 'achieve' it, (as it is with the CCSS) the result will be students NOT receiving the best possible education, which should be the Primary goal.

  • Claire B West Jordan, UT
    July 18, 2014 11:08 a.m.

    YES, we absolutely need to prepare students for careers and higher education pursuits. But what this article, FAILS to acknowledge is that the *approach these standards take- starting at the end (college) then working backwards all the way down to Kindergarten breaking it down into benchmarks- does NOT take into account actual brain development and capabilities! In regards to what they expect students to accomplish and when. A uniform standard is a good idea to help ensure quality education is received by all, but, for example, requiring ALL babies to walk at 10 months will NOT change the biological FACT that only some will be capable of doing so. It is perfectly normal for some babies to walk that soon, as well as not until nearly 2 years of age; you CANNOT take a desired goal, make it a requirement for all students, and expect that doing so will somehow make it possible for it to be achieved by all. We need STUDENT based education, not STANDARDS based education. This is a big part of the problem that Teachers and Parents have with the Common Core/Utah Core standards, as well as high stakes testing.

  • caf Bountiful, UT
    July 18, 2014 10:16 a.m.

    I wonder exactly how many "Common Core" supporters have been approached by 'Kings Court'. Just as there are plenty of Common Core supporters who have no real idea of what is taught in school, I am sure that there are some anti-Common Core supporters who haven't taken the time to read the new standards. 'Mom of Six' is absolutely correct, the new math standards are problematic for many students and upper level grade children are receiving a less challenging education, albeit confusing. 'iceskatercjudd' pointed out one valid issue; if Common "Core standards make it harder for kids to find their way to AP, IB, or other advanced standards, we are only going to see it (our ability to compete internationally) fall farther" behind.
    Those of us who have read the new standards and are anti-Common Core have other concerns as well. A great way to voice our discontent would be how we vote at the next election. Let's hope that we have some good people to choose from.

  • rlsintx Plano, TX
    July 18, 2014 8:17 a.m.

    Root cause analysis.

    The single most significant problem we have in our graduates is lack of useful math abilities. (Basic writing skills and grammar come next) Physics, chemistry etc. are all unachievable without the math. Go get the math books from the 1950's, junk everything in use now and start fresh. It's our best hope. Oh, and if you can do it online so many of the students can self-pace themselves and challenge out of the classes that would be a bonus.

    It should NOT be unusual for 1/3 of high school graduates to have at least done a year of basic calculus without being in some fancy AP/IB program. We've dumb-ed down our expectations and the students have thusly not been challenged. We've gotten too clever and confused the world. We fail to excel because we don't expect it, from either teachers or students.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    July 17, 2014 10:22 p.m.

    @Mom of Six

    RIGHT ON!!!!!! I home schooled all my kids (4) and they are further along than the public school kids. Common core is a common failure.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    July 17, 2014 10:12 p.m.

    To everyone: Generally, the debate on the common core is almost laughable. We NEED to reduce class size NOW. We need to pay teachers more and restore benefits, Curriculum decisions don't matter with the class sizes our teachers are facing. We won't attract or retain good teachers with our current system of compensation plus laying all this stuff at their feet.

    Kings Court:

    I agree with you mostly. However, the math common core is a bit convoluted or different. I think there is genuine concerns about it from teachers, students and parents alike. The fears about the Language Arts curriculum is generally misplaced and the conspiracy theories are generally humorous.

    I totally agree on the testing. But I hear the SAGE tests are not exactly tied with the common core but come from the state office of education via the legislature. I'm not sure what the connection is generally. But most teachers hate them. They are very time consuming and cause students, at least in high school, to miss too much class to do them. As I said in a previous post they need to die.

  • birder Salt Lake City, UT
    July 17, 2014 8:22 p.m.

    I spent 3 hours at the state school board meeting tonight. They were discussing the education question that Gov. Herbert has requested citizen feedback on. I fail to understand why the state school board, who makes life-changing decisions for the people of this state, are so opposed to hearing what the parents and other interested citizens have to say about hot topics like this one. They seek to lock the public out of the debate. Believe it or not WE are the major stakeholders in these decisions!

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    July 17, 2014 6:22 p.m.

    Mom of Six, the Common Core is a set of standards or benchmarks of skills students should master by the time they enter college. It is NOT a curriculum. Are you really a teacher? I'm a teacher and I have no problem with the benchmarks. They are actually quite rigorous and a vast improvement over current previous state benchmarks. The curriculum is still controlled by teachers and districts. The teachers can still decide how they teach something and use most of the same materials they always used. This is exactly the type of misperception I'm talking about. I'm not sure if it is ignorance or these false perceptions are purposely put out there. I would suspect there is a bit of both at play.

    The Common Core not without faults though. The testing regime is way too lengthy and something needs to be done to vastly shorten the tests or only test the students in certain grades. That is the worst aspect of implementing the Common Core and I think most teachers would agree.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    July 17, 2014 6:06 p.m.

    @ Chuck

    So what if the government receives these scores? Then they'll know where we lag behind in education. We will all know what we excel at and what we don't excel at.

    What's wrong with that? What's to fear?

  • Chuck E. Racer Lehi, UT
    July 17, 2014 5:48 p.m.

    CC becomes the catalyst that will allow the government to data mine information on the students under the guise of it being "in the best interest of the student." And Utah won't be able to stop it no matter what the Governor says.

    What happens when the history and science and sex education "standards" come out? They will be much more controversial than math and language arts. If CC is allowed to stand, these standards will be crammed down our throats too, because of the tests and the funding.

    The only option is to get out from under federal control of education, or we will keep getting further into the trap. The further in we go, the harder it is to get out. Let's get out NOW.

  • iceskatercjudd Coalville, UT
    July 17, 2014 5:48 p.m.

    While it is great to have a national standard like Common Core the problem is though while it elevates many under performing students, it also brings down students the are top performers. If you look at the new common core math, to reach a high level calculus class while in High School was very manageable before the standards changed, now though a student must either double up on a math class or at a very young age test up to the next level to get out of it. Like No Child Left Behind this new core standard focuses more on leveling the playing field for everyone rather than raising education for everyone.

    Tests show that the US is unable to compete internationally anymore when it comes to education and if the core standards make it even harder for kids to find their way to AP, IB, or other advanced standards, we are only going to see it fall farther. It is good to raise the standard but not to make a national curriculum that holds some back, is unable to teach different areas effectively, and is unable to change depending on a schools success rate.

  • Chuck E. Racer Lehi, UT
    July 17, 2014 5:47 p.m.

    As long as the committee has this restriction "...but Herbert cautioned that comments should be specific and related to the actual content of the Core," it cannot solve the problem, because the standards themselves are the minor problem. The major problem is what HAVING these de facto national standards does to education in this and every other state. The very fact of having these standards as a national "goal," allows Congress, the DOE, and the President to control our community schools, much more than anyone ever was willing to allow.

    The tests, developed with national funding and oversight, will drive the actual teaching, particularly as scores from these tests become the major part of teacher evaluations. Teachers will use exactly the methods that the tests are made for and will also not teach anything else. They become the lid, not the floor, of what is taught. No one will teach more, because that will not be tested, and the tests will be the bottom line.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    July 17, 2014 5:14 p.m.

    Common core is MOR%E than just standards as many on left want to claim.

    It has test that contain certain material, which must be taught in order to pass the said test.

    So the test dictate what must be taught in the classroom.

    If the test has very communist socialist, or progressive material, ideologies, and and views, then that must be taught in the class room for the student to pass the test.

    if the test denigrates the founding fathers then that must be taught.

    if the test denigrates the United States then that must must be taught in the class room.

    If the test deem Lincoln is not very important, then, lincoiln will not be taught in the class room.

    if the test decides

    I could on and on but you get the point.

    The test dictate and control what must be taught in the classroom.

    The tests are very troubling, That is a very big problem.

    You can claim the local state has control over what is taught but that is not true if want the student to pass the liberal and leftest written tests.

  • pardu Cedar Hills, UT
    July 17, 2014 5:13 p.m.

    When the founders created the constitution they were concerned that any centralized government become too powerful and limit the liberties of the people, therefore they enumerated 18 powers the federal government could operate under and then the bill of rights was created, the first ten amendments, to ensure the federal government was kept in check. The tenth amendment clearly states that anything beyond those enumerated powers were to be left to the states and the people respectively. Education is not an enumerated power and therefore, should be left o the states and the people. The federal government has already exceeded its bounds far too often and far too much, let the people of Utah, parents, educators and legislators who represent them decide what standards are appropriate. Policies outside the jurisdiction coming from the top down from the federal government are a result of public apathy and the designs of those who seek power, either with good intentions or not.

  • humbug Syracuse/Davis, UT
    July 17, 2014 4:53 p.m.

    I was behind Common Core until I started reading some of the math problems. The goal of math instruction should NOT be to make it more complicated, more difficult to understand, and more confusing. The goal should not be to guess what the writer of the question had in mind. This is nuts. Math is pretty straight forward. Keep it that way.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 17, 2014 3:45 p.m.

    Re: "I found nothing to be concerned about except that it is not a very high standard."

    Why wouldn't you be greatly concerned over that? That's the primary reason most real people object -- the federally enforced dumbing down of education.

  • Mom of Six Northern Utah, UT
    July 17, 2014 3:35 p.m.

    As a teacher, I thought Common Core would be a good thing. We had so many students coming from out of state. It was explained to us that this would ensure that all grades across the country are learning the same curriculum! Fantastic....or so I thought. The curriculum is very flawed. It was written by people who either have not been in the classroom for a very long time, and run all of what they do by research they have performed in a laboratory. Children are not lab rats! Children are all very different with unique learning abilities. The Common Core approach to math is ridiculous. In second grade students are taught ten different ways to add and subtract. For most students around (80%) this serves no purpose but to confuse. The Common Core approach to teaching has done nothing for kids but to sap the joy out of learning. It has also introduced concepts such as equivalent fractions to 3rd graders who are not equipped developmentally for this type of challenge. Homeschooling is sounding more and more enticing!

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    July 17, 2014 3:24 p.m.

    What we need is to cut through all the propaganda, misperceptions, and flat out lies the anti-common core crowd keep squawking about. I have found that those against the common-core are very few, but they are obnoxiously loud. When I try to sit down and talk with them about their point of view, they are eager to share, but once you start asking them critical questions, they get extremely defensive. I've also found out that the majority of those who oppose the common core have never even read the core standards. They can only repeat what a neighbor, friend, family member, etc, heard from someone, somewhere, yet they put 100% trust in what other tell them rather than finding things out on their own. I have no problem with the core standards, but I do not like the over-emphasis on testing. The testing regime is way too lengthy. The writing portion of the test is more involved the GRE writing test. I've seen this with my own eyes, so yes, I do know what I'm talking about. I've even read the common core too.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    July 17, 2014 3:22 p.m.

    Whether it is "associated" with the common core or not, the SAGE testing needs to die.

    July 17, 2014 3:18 p.m.

    As someone with children in K12 I decided to read "common core" and I read the entire standard, every grade level, every page. I found nothing to be concerned about except that it is not a very high standard. However, I do agree it is good to have a national standard, but we might do better to look at Finland or other countries with great public schools for that standard.

    Most students can learn much more and be pushed much faster than they are in K12 education, especially with regard to STEM, so I would like to see an enhanced standard above common core used in our schools.

  • bill in af American Fork, UT
    July 17, 2014 3:00 p.m.

    I applaud the Governor and his efforts to bring a common sense approach to the debate. Too bad that "Queen Gale" and her Eagle Forum will still find fault with any results since they know what is best for us all. Just ask them.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 17, 2014 2:57 p.m.

    Re: "It's about time we standardize educational benchmarks and hold our students to a higher academic level!"

    Yeah, that might be nice -- not the standardization, but the higher academic part -- but that has absolutely nothing to do with Common Core.

    Real teachers and real parents object to Common Core, not just because it's an attempt to federalize control of education, or that it bureaucratizes teaching, but because it dumbs down the good basic education teachers already know how to give. It diverts good teachers and good schools away from real education, making them teach kids nothing more than how to take tests.

  • J in AZ San Tan Valley, AZ
    July 17, 2014 2:51 p.m.

    Someone please explain to me why 56 different definitions of what a High School graduate should know is better than one.

  • Justmythoughts Provo, UT
    July 17, 2014 2:48 p.m.

    I don't get the hysteria over common core. Uniform standards that students need to meet to compete in a global economy seems reasonable to me. It makes sense that we require our students to prepare for the future....? These government conspiracy claims perplex me.

  • srw Riverton, UT
    July 17, 2014 2:38 p.m.

    procuradorfiscal wrote, "But, requiring a group of out-of-touch eggheads to confer, then expecting a recommendation for anything other than higher pay, more posh surroundings, and doubling the number of endowed departmental chairs, is lunacy."

    Are you opposed to endowed chairs (university faculty positions paid for by private donors)?

    "In addition to the review by the attorney general's office, Herbert announced that a committee of higher education representatives had been formed to review whether Utah's current standards adequately prepare students for careers and higher education."

    I don't think this says that the higher education representatives will review their own working conditions...

  • liberty or ...? Ogden, UT
    July 17, 2014 2:31 p.m.

    Follow the money. He is refusing to take a stand on this issue because of the federal dollars attached to it. His statement that these standards are not mandatory is irrelevant due to the fact the SAT and college entrance exams are all being geared to this curricullum and standards so if you don't implament them your kids are already at a disadvantage. His other statement about recieving support calls for & against is deceptive. My wife worked on the PTA and many of my relatives are teachers as well as myself at one point I left largely because of this garbage and government redtape as far back as NCLB for every 1 teacher in support of this there are 15-20 against it. Even the liberal teachers unions of Chicago and Newyork have come out against this.The same was true at the convention the 5-6 people for it were easily outnumbered 20-1.Despite the Feds should not be dictating standards to begin with The curriculum content scares me. Check out the new AP college history test. If leaked information is true Karl Marx's statement that a people seperated from their roots are easily moved is at the core.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 17, 2014 2:27 p.m.

    As to Common Core, or any big government program we need to realize that there is big money to be made, in testing, and staffing or teaching which brings unions (AFT, UEA) into the picture. Control of the process is paramount because it will direct the money towards "desired" goals and products.

    We elect local boards of education and then eviscerate their authority with an indirectly nominated state board who are selected by the governor, who in a sense poses as the chief educator to select the candidates. (There is a corollary in this as to the folly of having an appointed AG, but I digress).

    Eliminate the state school board, let local communities decide via boards what will be taught and how.

    Oh, what about meeting college entrance criteria with out the sacred Common Core? That's why there are ACT and SAT exams. The diploma is not really necessary if you score well on the tests. This also protects Home Schoolers who will be forced into the Common Core herd.

    The committee is political cover so the governor can support common core against the citizen's desire for its demise.

  • srw Riverton, UT
    July 17, 2014 2:26 p.m.

    "'If there is a standard or grade level benchmark that you disagree with, I want to hear about it,' Herbert said."

    This is a brilliant idea. They have made it so easy for everyone to review the Common Core standards. I really can't wait to see which standards the Common Core critics disagree with.

  • michaelitos Salt Lake City, UT
    July 17, 2014 2:02 p.m.

    I'm glad they're doing the review AGAIN. Yes, I think it's a waste of taxpayer money. However, I've met so many people who continue to believe that curriculum is somehow affected by the Common Core (which it's not!), that I think we do need for our local and state leaders to come out AGAIN remind everyone that we are not ceding local control.

    This review is unfortunate, but necessary.

    The Common Core, however, is FANTASTIC! It's about time we standardize educational benchmarks and hold our students to a higher academic level!

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 17, 2014 1:52 p.m.

    Re: ". . . Herbert announced that a committee of higher education representatives had been formed to review whether Utah's current standards adequately prepare students . . . ."

    Yeah -- that's what we need. Another committee of "educators," not one of whom has ever had to earn an honest living or run a business, studying whether Utah students are being properly prepared for a life they've never known.

    If they're studying whether Utah education properly prepares students for the "rigors" of an unaccountable, taxpayer-funded academic position, and its accompanying tenure politics and social obligations, it might be a valid study.

    But, requiring a group of out-of-touch eggheads to confer, then expecting a recommendation for anything other than higher pay, more posh surroundings, and doubling the number of endowed departmental chairs, is lunacy.

    We all know what Utah education needs -- less trade-union control, less pampering of students, less focusing on and catering to deviance, and more accountability to the ultimate customers, parents and business leaders.

    Anything more is, at best, expensive, unproductive fluff. At worst, it's just another excuse to spend more on education and get less in return.