Comments about ‘My view: New Common Core lawsuit fights for local control’

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Published: Monday, Aug. 4 2014 9:25 a.m. MDT

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Durham, NC

Please tell me what local control has been lost? Please show me - or reference anywhere Common Core tells a single teacher how to manage their class room, recommends a single text book, or even details how a math problem should be solved?

This ongoing campaign of false information, paranoia, and down right rhetoric is amazing. Common Core no more tells a teacher how to teach then does the SAT or ACT test do likewise. This is a campaign by those who wish to shift responsibility for the current state of education, indemnifying those who actually have incredible control over the daily activities that happen in our schools. If school boards, administrations, and teachers are trying to blame their failures on simple, very basic standards, they are abdicating their responsibility to our kids.

Lets start by actually reading the standards before going off on rants based on complete fabrications.

Salt Lake City, UT

Amen! I'm a teacher, and I don't think that those of us in the trenches had one bit of input into this decision. Since a portion of our salary will now be based on the (excessive and ridiculous) testing that the State Board and Legislature require, we certainly have "a dog in this fight."

Horses Star
Spanish Fork, UT

Thank you Connar Boyack and Libertias foundation for calling attention to this important issue. I as a parent and taxpayer am suspicious of any program that is secretly and forcefully inserted into my children's education without the rules of checks and balances, Governor Herbert and the Board of Education, I would admonish you to listen to the people. Please let the Great State of Utah, the Legislature, local school boards and parents have control over our children's education. The Board of Education perhaps means well, but the control must stay at a local level, progress through the process of checks and balances and then if Common Core is appropriate for our children, then let it be law, but not before.

Kearns, UT

@Horses Star,

I would go even further than you mentioned and ask that the Legislature get out of education and actually let the Board of Education and local school districts make the important decisions. Our Legislature has caused a bigger mess for our state's education than any other group.

Salt Lake City, UT

The author describes a silly, self-serving lawsuit that will do much better in the newspapers than in the courts.

This whole debate is strange and hard to understand. Math is math; reading is reading; science is science.

Our education system is behind most of the developed world in terms of hours spent learning each day, amount of homework, number of school days per year, and rigor of measurement standards. So, when rigorous standards are proposed, with leeway in how to approach them, certain folks cry foul because the standards weren't locally developed? What gives. Do we want our children to pursue mediocrity?

My public-school educated kids have gone on to do wonderful things academically. I think what happens at home, as a supplement to public education, is more important than the public education itself. But, I would have welcomed more rigorous public school standards if for no other reason than to inspire teachers to inspire students. Helping kids learn more by lighting the fire of learning in their hearts is the right thing to do.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

This lawsuit is frivolous. The State Board held an open comment period just as the law requires. Those who wished to could be as involved as they pleased, and many were. This article twists the facts and makes the Board look like conspirators trying to hide evil intentions. Ridiculous.

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "AllSeeingEye" the problem is that since your kids left the public school system (assuming they are all over the age of 20) is that math is no longer math.

Over the past 25 years or so, the school system has been leaving the tried and tested methods for newer methods that are tried for a few years then dumped because kids aren't learning anything or can never master the subjects.

It used to be that schools participated in standardized testing once every 2 years. Now it is mandated 2 to 3 times per year, every year. We waste many weeks of valuable teaching time and learning for standardized testing that does not improve education.

Light and Liberty
St. George/Washington, UT

A few questions for Utahbluedevil: What is wrong with education decisions being made by individuals? Why is it that local control of education fills you with so much fear? What is it that makes me think that only those people with poor self worth would give to anyone the right to make decisions about their future?

Orem, UT

What's wrong with this comment?

@ Redshirt

Just a quick yes or no question, when was the last time you actually went inside a public school and interviewed a public school teacher about the Common Core and testing?

I'm not sure you should comment on this issue if you haven't gotten yourself informed yet. Would you instruct your doctor on how to best perform surgery if you haven't spent any amount of time in medical school?

It would be silly, right? Because the doctor is informed and you aren't. So why do the worst informed feel like they can spout off about education?

Which is why I cannot understand why so many feel like "local control" is better.

Do doctors ignore fellow "national" doctors in favor of being instructed by local real estate agents and high school teachers?

Do teachers come into ERs to micromanage what doctors are doing? So why do folks feel like they can manage education? Shouldn't education be left into the hands of those who have studied, been trained, and are professionals in their field? "Local control" just seems like code for special interest groups promoting their own personal agendas.

Rural sport fan

Once upon a time the buzz word in education was "Data Based Decisions".

Common Core is producing a LOT of data...but none of it means anything yet. Utah decided to shake up the order in which secondary math is taught. But no one knows for certain if that is actually going to work! There is no data that suggests we should be doing it this way. A committee essentially decided to chop things up, throw away the expertise of all other math text book writers and curriculum designers, and do their own thing in regards to what gets taught in what year. When the class of 2015 hits college, we'll get to see if they are better at math or not, as they took the Common Core all the way through high school.

My guess is, not.

Atlas Smashed
Santa Monica, CA

Henderson nailed it. My sister is a teacher in Utah, and she tells me stories all the time about how teachers are micromanaged. If I ran my business the way the Utah legislature tries to micromanage education, I'd be out of a job and fast! I believe that the Common Core standards, developed by genius businessmen like Bill Gates in conjunction with educators is a good thing. These folks know what our children need more than right wing fringe groups that are still living 200 years in the past.

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Henderson" it has been less than 6 months since I was discussing CC with a teacher.

Your analogy is false because the Medical Profession is quite different from education. Doctors don't have a set of national standards that dictate what they must do throughout the course of a year.

Would you go to a doctor that had to be told by doctors in Washington DC what your diagnosis is?

Local control is better because my neighbors and I know what our children's strengths and weaknesses are better than some suit in Washington does.

Why do you think that some faceless person in Washington knows what your children's needs are better than you do?

To "Atlas Smashed" if teachers are micromanaged by the Utah State Legislature, how do things change by micromanaging the state by Washington? If one layer of micromanagement is bad, how does 2 make it better?

If Bill Gates is such an educational genius, why is it that he stands to make millions of dollars off of the CC testing? Also, if the right wing is so out of touch, why is it that the right wing homeschoolers outperform public schools in every category?

Steve Cottrell
Centerville, UT

For those who think math programs that integrate statistics, geometry and algebra skills in several courses rather than in one course for each content area, you need to take a look at the international education picture. Those countries which typically outdo the US in mathematics testing have been integrating this content for decades. That's the biggest change in the mathematics standards from the old state core which has been in place, with revisions, since 1983.

It just might work here. I believe our kids are as bright as theirs!

Orem, UT

@ Redshirt

The Common Core wasn't developed in DC. See, it's a comment like that which places into question the credibility of your entire post. Now I seriously doubt whether you even spoke with a teacher in the first place.

From the CC website:

"The nation's governors and education commissioners, through their representative organizations, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), led the development of the Common Core State Standards and continue to lead the initiative. Teachers, parents, school administrators, and experts from across the country, together with state leaders, provided input into the development of the standards."

Educators from around the country were given opportunity to develop them. In fact, Utah held several meetings to discuss them. Just because you failed to participate doesn't mean that there wasn't a national effort to develop them.

My question is, why do you think some local person from a anti-public education special interest group knows best how to educate your children than a group of professionally trained educators from around the country?
Should a doctor trust Connor Boyack over a group professionally trained doctors?

Chuck E. Racer
Lehi, UT

@ Henderson, Local control means the local patrons AND educators. Local control does not mean those who have nothing to do with education. And I know plenty of my colleagues (teachers) who do NOT like Common Core.

It's also interesting that those who came up with CC were not practicing teachers! I trust our local educators and parents far more than a Washington D.C. think tank, which is what came up with CC.

Deep Space 9, Ut

To "Steve Cottrell" if we are to adopt what the other countries do, can we go all the way. You know, like all highschool classes having 40 to 50 kids in there. Test the kids in Jr. High to determine if they are to go to trade schools or go to the College Prep High schools, then only test the college bound kids on the international tests.

You will have to figure out how to make parents care about school so much that they enroll their kids in summer learning programs to keep their testing scores up.

Oh, we will also have to CUT spending on education since we spend more per pupil than most any other nation.

Are you willing to do all of that so that we can improve our world standardized test scores?


The federal government has no constitutional role in Education. The control of standards, curriculum and education should be kept local. Connor's point is that State's are becoming a pawn of the federal government or outside interests. True local control, means that PARENTS, teachers, and local school administrators have a huge role in creating standards or curriculum. I have worked on the state and federal government level for several years, and see how state's are basically carrying out the work of the federal government in so many ways. So many entities want control over our children's education. Education is NOT or should not be a job's program!! Education help us learn to think, grow, and connect. Control over what is taught and how it is taught, should bee controlled by parents and teachers and local administrators. The Utah law in question in the lawsuit, mandates that these local groups be consulted in making standards. So many state agencies, including our State office of Education are taking their lead from Federal agencies. Connor's point, is that these state agencies should be taking their lead from local groups and not big business groups or federal agencies elsewhere.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

" Local control means the local patrons AND educators. Local control does not mean those who have nothing to do with education. And I know plenty of my colleagues (teachers) who do NOT like Common Core."

And how is this supposed to prepare our students to compete on a global market? You seem to make the greatest case for CC yet! This whole model of small municipalities and districts deciding the standards and curriculum worked 200 years ago. Not anymore. We're not competing between Orem, Provo, and Salt Lake City. Our students are competing against Germany, Canada, Finland, Brazil, and China.

"Oh, we will also have to CUT spending on education since we spend more per pupil than most any other nation."

Why not take it out of the defense budget? We spend 4 times as much as #2 China? We had $2 trillion to waste on Iraq? Think the $2 trillion we used on Iraq could have helped in education? I think so.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I think it's sad that parent's politics are rubbing off on kids, as they use their kids as props for these protests. There's better ways for them to learn your politics. These rally's are almost never productive, and the emotion involved can damage your kids outlook on education for the rest of their life.

I don't care about the curriculum. I'm assuming if it was insufficient... teachers would oppose it... but they don't.

The only problem I have with this far flung government control of education is... the data collection, reporting and data mining the government AND corporations will be doing on your kids once their testing and intelligence data is in the system.

IF you could opt out of the data mining. Or you could have your individual child's identity obscured (so they were working with aggregate data instead of individually identifiable subjects)... I would be more comfortable that this data would NEVER be abused by a future administration, or an aggressive corporate data miner.

Chuck E. Racer
Lehi, UT

@ Henderson, Common Core WAS developed in Washington D.C.! NGA and CCSSO are in D.C. They are think tanks that Governors and state superintendents subscribe to.

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