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My view: New Common Core lawsuit fights for local control

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  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 6, 2014 12:12 p.m.

    Elles - what you are describing in your complaint about the math part is a bit puzzling to me. Being able to simplify a number into units of single, tens, hundreds, etc is a basic foundation step to doing other mathematical equations. Sometimes you do need some basic building blocks so you are prepared to do more advanced things in the next grade. You can teach a kid how to subtract 7 from 15 by drawing lines, and crossing them out... but that doesn't help with the next step in math.

    And common core does not tell any teacher how much time they need to spend on any given subject. That is your state or local school board. If a teacher can teach a topic in 10 minutes - that is fine. No one is going to tell them otherwise. There is no reporting back to the common core police how many minutes a teacher spends on a subject.

    We had issues when the states operated alone - hence why the creation of common core. There will be issues with common core. But honestly Utah kids educational needs aren't all that different than kids in North Carolina.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 6, 2014 6:45 a.m.

    Light and Liberty.... if your kids are going to be competing with only local kids for their education and jobs... have at it. You keep acting like somehow your local school boards ability to make decisions has been taken from them. If you actually think "entrepreneurial spirit" is crushed by having standards, I am completely lost. Industry every day innovates heavily within the boundaries of standards. iPods, iPhones, airplanes, cars, tv's - you name it, are all results of deep innovation within the framework of standards. And in fact, many have flourished because of standards.

    Why?

    Because of interoperability. These items can coexist together. They have protocols for interaction. They have standards so they know how to communicate and work with each other. Without basic standards, innovation is held back because it can't work with other products. Standards drives innovation.

    Common Core simply tries to assure our kids are ready for college. That they can go to BYU or U of U without having to take basic english yet again. That they show up do basic math - and not have to take any 101 level classes. This has nothing to do with local control - because you still have that.

  • Light and Liberty St. George/Washington, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 5:13 p.m.

    Utahbluedevil: If you are not against local control, then why would we have such a thing as Common Core? Why not Local Common Core, if you aren't against it? Why even have the Federal government involved? The problem I have with Common Core advocates is the notion that national standards, be they high or low, are even necessary! What is it about it about letting things play out on a local level that Common Core advocates can't take! What do they fear? It is because all these Common Core advocates think, ignorantly and foolishly, that they know what the world will look like in ten or twenty years. Therefore, we need to structure the whole education system so that we are prepared for it! How foolish and patronizing! It really is an attack on liberty, individuality, and the ability of the entrepreneur spirit, embed with freedom and creativity, to face the world without government telling them how to do it! We live in a society now that can't live with failure and want to insure that nobody fails! Common Core is an attempt, just as NCLB, to guarantee something that can't be guaranteed!

  • Elles Lehi, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 3:34 p.m.

    @ UtahBlueDevil
    "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."

    With pleasure:

    Common Core Standards specifically tell a teacher what percentage of classroom reading time must be spent on reading literature and what percentage must be spent on reading informational text. Shouldn't the decision on how to spend classroom reading time and what to read be left to individual teachers and be based on the needs of their students? (There is no evidence supporting an increase in reading informational text, rather, a strong emphasis on literature has proven very successful in states like Massachusetts.)

    Common Core math standards also dictate certain strategies and teaching methods. Rather than simply requiring students to add and subtract within 20, for example, CCSS require using "strategies such as counting on; making ten; using the relationship between addition and subtraction; and creating equivalent but easier or known sums." Instead of simply having students prove triangle congruence and leaving the instruction method up to the teacher, CCSS dictate that the teacher use rigid motion to teach congruency- an unproven approach at best.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 5, 2014 7:56 a.m.

    To "The Educator" yes, read what is on the CC web site. It states that they only looked for input from educators. No current educators were involved in writing the standards. Also, think of it this way. How do you know that any comments made by teachers were incorporated?

    You said "Keep education in the hands of educators! I don't believe that folks with zero education experience should have say in education" at the same time that you have declared your support for CC. You should look at the people who wrote the standards, from what I have been able to find less than 10 of the 60 people who wrote the standards have degrees in education, and none of those people actually had any experience in teaching.

    You are supporting a standard written by politicians and a few people that are inexperienced people with education degrees. It is everything you say should not happen.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 5, 2014 7:31 a.m.

    @Light and Liberty - I wish I could answer your questions in a logical way, but the rub is your questions don't make any sense. Never have I ever stated here or anywhere else I am against local control. Nothing could be further from the truth. What I am against is those with local control trying to blame others for their own problems.

    What I am against is teachers or administrators blaming common core for their problems teaching math. Common Core does't tell them how to teach math. It simply says that by a certain grade kids should be proficient in certain skills. Not how to tach those skills. Not what book to use. Not even what curricula to use.

    I can't answer your question because what you are asking for - local control - already exist. No more than the national standard of a red light means stop tells you how to drive - does common core tell your kids teachers how to teach, even if you home school your kids. What you can expect though is colleges , universities and employers will expect your kids to have these skills by the time they graduate high school.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 9:38 p.m.

    When I consider who the outspoken critics of common core happen to be, I know Common Core must be a good thing.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 7:58 p.m.

    50th in the nation, we can only go up from here.
    Fund the schools.
    National standards, have always been a bad idea(?) some children "should" be disadvantaged by the leaders in their state.
    Measurements, size, distance, water quality, yeah that should all be locally controlled?

    When asked specifically what about common core is wrong, the first thing folks mention is political, not education, which is telling.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 7:05 p.m.

    Ah yes, the Common core, where all the right wing crazies get in a tizzy over something they can't explain or recognize. Why are having national standards so bad? Simple question.

  • The Educator Orem, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 6:28 p.m.

    @ Chuck, Redshirt, etc

    Lets read the CC front page:

    "Teachers, parents, school administrators, and experts from across the country, together with state leaders, provided input into the development of the standards."

    Your reluctance to admit that professionals actually trained in education helped develop the core. Rather than focus on the physical location of some of these agencies, why not recognize that the core was developed by those who have been trained in the field that they're in, EDUCATION!

    The silly responses on full display expresses exactly what I've been saying all along... Education should be kept out of the hands of those not trained in education.

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

    Let me answer your question with a question, you need to have open heart surgery or else you will die. Do you trust a "faceless" world renowned heart surgeon or Connor Boyack?

    Keep education in the hands of educators! I don't believe that folks with zero education experience should have say in education. It's that simple.

  • Atlas Smashed Santa Monica, CA
    Aug. 4, 2014 5:55 p.m.

    @ UtahBlueDevil

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

    Too late. Have you read the posts? The same irrational and paranoid right wingers are in full effect.

    @ logic

    " 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."

    That's not Connor's point. Have you visited his website? My wife did, and she's an ex-teacher in Utah. Here are her exact words: "Why is anyone paying attention to anything he says? He advocates for home school!"

    Exactly. Why should anyone care what Connie says? Asking him about public education is like Hillary Clinton asking for Karl Rove's help in being elected in 2016.
    I believe we should do what is best for students. Let's return the focus onto education and not let politics figure into things.

    I have yet to read any rational reason why common core standards are bad.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Aug. 4, 2014 3:28 p.m.

    To "Henderson" wow, you are wandering all over the place. If they were not developed in Washington, then tell us where the NGA has its offices and where the CCSSO is located. Last I checked they were based out of Washington.

    Can you answer the questions you are asked, or are you going to keep running away from them? The biggest question is this:

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

  • Chuck E. Racer Lehi, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 3:02 p.m.

    @ 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.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 3:01 p.m.

    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.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 2:54 p.m.

    " 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.

  • logicandtruth OREM, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 2:47 p.m.

    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.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Aug. 4, 2014 2:32 p.m.

    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?

  • Chuck E. Racer Lehi, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 2:28 p.m.

    @ 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.

  • Henderson Orem, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 2:26 p.m.

    @ 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?

  • Steve Cottrell Centerville, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 2:09 p.m.

    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!

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Aug. 4, 2014 2:06 p.m.

    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?

  • Atlas Smashed Santa Monica, CA
    Aug. 4, 2014 1:45 p.m.

    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.

  • Rural sport fan DUCHESNE, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 1:44 p.m.

    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.

  • Henderson Orem, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 1:14 p.m.

    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.

  • Light and Liberty St. George/Washington, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 12:58 p.m.

    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?

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Aug. 4, 2014 12:07 p.m.

    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.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Aug. 4, 2014 11:33 a.m.

    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.

  • AllSeeingEye Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 11:17 a.m.

    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.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 10:17 a.m.

    @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.

  • Horses Star Spanish Fork, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 10:01 a.m.

    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.

  • birder Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 4, 2014 9:50 a.m.

    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."

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    Aug. 4, 2014 9:48 a.m.

    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.