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Comments about ‘State School Board facing pressure from all sides ahead of NCLB waiver vote’

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Published: Friday, Aug. 8 2014 6:47 a.m. MDT

Updated: Friday, Aug. 8 2014 6:47 a.m. MDT

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Oldika
Spanish Fork, UT

Now that you've had a sampling of soundbites from various sides, some facts might be helpful: While some provisions of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) are delayed for a year by renewing the current waiver, it also requires Utah to commit to a number of new policies in regard to standards, assessments, data collection and teacher accountability under the supervision by Federal Department of Ed. NCLB allows for states to request waivers on their own terms. We do not have to commit to additional terms in exchange, in fact NCLB expressly forbids that (see NCLB Sec. 9401)

Oldika
Spanish Fork, UT

No funding is lost if we return to NCLB, but flexibility of how a small percentage of Title I funds can be spent is affected. The $26 million figure described in the article is a very small percentage of the overall education budget which reportedly has a $50 million surplus right now in addition to the assurances of legislators to fund the difference. While it doesn't solve all problems of executive overreach, we can afford to cut this tether to micromanagement of our schools and one-size-fits-all mandates invented by unelected bureaucrats in DC who lack perspective on the challenges unique to the schools in different Utah communities.

LoveBoxesCkTops
Kaysville, UT

As of this evening, the Utahns Against Common Core letter has the signatures of more than 2,100 Utah Tax Payers. DON'T sign the waiver. Get Utah out of Common Core and then get Utah out of ALL federal entanglements.

Kim Burningham's millions turn out to be less than 1/2 of 1% of our state education budget. Don't be fooled folks.

We could find every dime of that money and more just by kicking American Institutes for Research out of the state.

bradleyc
Layton, UT

If not the common core, then what? The old Utah core? Really? Following a core set of standards other than the common core will place Utah on an education island. The common core is flexible enough to meet our needs and there are curriculums written to teach it. There are really no curriculums focused on the Utah core. Never have been and unless the state wants to go into the curriculum business, probably never will be. What really needs to happen is that education needs to change so that our students are creating authentic knowledge from what they learn and presenting it in a way that demonstrates what they can really do in the real world. Until we get to that type of an education system we will be stuck with things like standardized tests.

Grandma Char
Kaysville, UT

It is time for Utah to cut themselves free from federal involvement in our schools. The really scary stuff is still coming in curriculum that does not support the values of the citizens of Utah.

The Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce should not have a seat at this table. It is working with the Gates Foundation in support of Common Core. It is becoming more and more clear that people like Mike Leavitt are part of the big machine of government who no longer know what it is to be just a citizen.

Kim Burningham's comment about administrators having to fire new teachers was preposterous. It is a scare tactic. School boards have a lot of money, and this federal money is a drop in the bucket. I believe, at least here in Davis County, that the district office siphons way too much money from the fund and they could cut back and leave our local schools and their teachers alone.

I hope the State School board takes the plunge today and rejects the waiver as a starting point for getting Utah out of the grip of the federal government.

Grandma Char
Kaysville, UT

Even Bill Gates whose baby all these standardized tests are has said parents should opt their kids out of the tests.

Common Core is more than just a set of standards. The curriculum that goes along with it is damaging our kids. Math is presented in a way that takes all the joy out of learning and in a way where parents are cut out of the education process. English is now 70% "informational text" for high school students. Who chooses this "informational text" and what does it teach our kids? Just the sex ed part is enough to make me run from this forced federalization of our schools. Sex education is woven through all subjects in K-12. It's sickening.

Utah was doing just fine before Common Core came. We can go back to that. If you think America is doing poorly compared to the rest of the world, it is because we test everyone, most countries only test their top students. We are more than holding our own in education.

Orem Parent
Orem, UT

So state school board are you going to listen to the business leaders and education leaders or a group of about 2,000 that don't really even understand what the common core is? This waiver really has nothing to do with the common core at all but this group really wants to turn it into just that.

Please get the waiver. If our schools have to go back to NCLB and the AYP reporting system, it will be a huge step backwards.

Grandma Char
Kaysville, UT

Maybe Orem Parent would like to tell us all what "common core is"?

Most people don't understand how many things are linked to common core. Things like data collection, curriculum that is not consistent with the values of the majority of Utahns, the dumbing down of our kids, making them common instead of individuals who learn at different rates through different teaching tactics.

bill in af
American Fork, UT

Again we hear more lies spread by the anti common core uninformed.

Grandma Char: Informational text is an improvement over what was required before. Teachers select their own informational text examples used in class. No one dictates what I have to teach. I am a well tranined teacher with 38 years of experience. We as teachers are the same people who live next door to you who raise our children with the same values you do. When did educators become the bad guys??
Sex education is NOT woven through ALL subjects. Where is your proof? Come to my classroom anytime and see what is really going on in education. Comments like yours give no credibility to your arguements which is typical of most anti common core uniformed.
NCLB was more of a federal education program based on federal government over-reach with not a lot of reasonable thought out requirements. CC is a step in bringing education back more under local control.

Orem Parent
Orem, UT

here you go grandma. None of this is common core:

"Things like data collection, curriculum that is not consistent with the values of the majority of Utahns, the dumbing down of our kids, making them common instead of individuals who learn at different rates through different teaching tactics."

Common core is a set of standards.

Elles
Lehi, UT

@Orem Parent- the NCLB waiver has EVERYTHING to do with Common Core. To get the waiver, we have to agree to a set of common standards.

Elles
Lehi, UT

bill in af,

Common Core does dictate how you teach. Instead of letting you, the teacher, decide how to spend your class reading time, Common Core dictates that you spend 50% of your time on informational text and 50% of your time on literature in elementary grade. Prior to Common Core, you could decide to spend 80% of your reading time on informational text if you wanted to and thought it was in the best interests of your students. Now you can't.

You want to talk about federal overreach? The NCLB waiver requires federal approval of standards adopted by states (Assurance 1) and requires standards to be submitted to the Dept. of Education for review (Attachment #7). NCLB on the other hand actually prohibits this: "no State shall be required to have academic content or student achievement standards approved or certified by the Federal Government,in order to receive assistance under this Act." and "... a State shall not be required to submit such standards to the Secretary." The waiver from the law actually violates the law.

Oldika
Spanish Fork, UT

Orem Parent, that is very arrogant to assume you know what 2100 people know and don't know. Your comments reveal that while you may be familiar with the standards, you are not familiar with the Waiver under discussion here, or any of the other Stimulus programs that incentivized not just Common Core but a number of other reforms including data collection, teacher accountability and federally approved assessments aligned to Common Core. The same four policy requirements have been identical in each program from the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, Race to the Top and the Waiver. Common Core is not data collection, but it is very much connected to it because it was adopted part and parcel with the other reforms. The CCSSO who own the copyright to the standards has been working on better ways to centrally collect and compare student data. They needed Common Standards across states to do this. They have published extensively about their data goals. Such specificity for common standards were not designed for children. It defies what we know about variations in cognitive development. These standards were designed for more homogenous statistics across states with the purpose of increasing centralized decision-making in education.

Orem Parent
Orem, UT

The waiver passed the vote this morning. Common sense won out over the emotional blackmail that was being thrown at the board.

2,100 signatures vs. 2.8 million common everyday folk doesn't hold a lot of water. The standards are good. They aren't much different from what we had before. If we would have just stayed with Smarter Balance (which was spearheaded by Utah by the way), we would be sitting quite nice financially.

At any rate the waiver will go forward and our schools can go ahead with the hirings the have already done for the coming year.

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