All I can say, thank goodness there were absolutely no concern with math
programs before the common core. Everything was wonderful, why change?
As long as ignorance in these matters is preponderent then the state education
leaders and politicians can continue to justify their hiding behind their
slippery argument of Utahns are ignorant, not to mention the slippery name game
issue of "Is Utah Common Core or did it actually opt out?" Hopping
both sides of the fence is too easy for anyone in an elected or appointed
position that should have held some accountability to answer the hard questions
about common core. The fact that the highest levels converse among themselves
that Utah is not Common Core while allowing media such as the Deseret News to
consistently report that Utah is Common Core (without making valid attempts to
correct them) is not just irresponsible it is hypocritical.
It is a valid concern to ask whether the standards are too low, and may have the
effect of decreasing the quality of education. If schools are now saying "By
the 3rd grade, students should be able to___" Fill in the blank. Assuming we
are saying they must know how to read from basic introductory reader books,
districts will gear their standards and curriculum to get their students on a
level that was assumed to happen for first graders of two generations ago.The concerns that Common Core might become the de facto curriculum are also
valid.But the concerns that many are bsing their criticisms based on what
they hear and have not researched are also valid. If you have not gone on the
state website and perused the 2500 page document, or at least a significant
portion of it, you probably do not know what you are talking about.
To "Maudine" no. Because you live in a different neighborhood, the
needs of the kids in your neighborhood differ from the needs of the kids across
town. It isn't a matter of income or the type of neighborhood. The
question is the needs of the kids within the neighborhood.Just like
if you had a neighborhood school that had everything from a trailer park to the
million dollar mansions, that school has different needs than a school that has
just poor, or just middleclass, or just rich. Why would a school with a
deficiency in English want to implement the same standards as a school that is
highly proficient in English?Schools are like kids, their needs are
all different.Common Core is designed to make all schools look, act,
and be the same. That will ultimately harm many schools because they are not
the same because you will either set the standards so high that few kids can
pass them or else set them so low that little actual learning goes on.
@ Redshirt: So, because we are lucky enough to live in a "good"
neighborhood, we shouldn't care about other children and just continue to
let them be disadvantaged because, hey, the world always needs another burger
@KWL. #1. Contrary to common perception, most engineers are not prolific at math
all the time. At the university I teach at (math), engineers do not even take
enough math to get a minor. #2. If the math program being used at your school is
poor, it was a LOCAL decision to use it. CC does not dictate math programs. It
was a local leader who chose to teach math in that fashion.
@OwenRE: "Please, please, please pull a real teacher aside, face
to face, and ask questions about the common core"...I did (at my
caucus meeting awhile ago). They said they had no problem with the curriculum,
just with the reporting requirements (so the government and companies can
data-mine your children's numbers as they grow up). They didn't like
that the data was individually identifiable. Not just irrigate statistics...
but they could actually track your child by name and address and decide if they
have the early potential to be smart enough for certain opportunities, or if
they need companies that tutor in specific areas to contact your child to
purchase their services, etc.They had no problem with the curriculum
(because they already intended to exceed it, not match it). But they
didn't like the loss of privacy for young people, data reporting and data
mining that goes along with it.
To "Maudine" but if you live on the east side of salt lake in a upper
middleclass neighborhood, do schools need to work as hard on English language
skills as a neighborhood in Rose Park that is filled with immigrants that
don't speak English in their homes? Why shouldn't different schools
focus on different subjects based on the needs of the community that they
serve?To "The Educator" both my spouse and I have spent time
teaching a classroom full of students. So, I do have experience in the
classroom and understand what it takes. Why should we trust a group of teachers
that don't fight for the students? Why trust teachers to know what the
kids need when the teachers can't identify a child's strengths and
weaknesses without a standardized test?You speak of needing
education experience for understanding how to teach, yet Common Core was written
by people with NO TEACHING experience. You should be fighting against CC,
rather than supporting it.To "Owen" but is isn't
isolated to one or two teachers it is systemic. Stanford did a study recently
that found the old methods worked better than the CC methods.
The complaints I've heard about Common Core from parents include math
homework for elementary school students where adults can't figure out how
to do the assignment--including engineers. Children are expected to use
different ways to find answers and are penalized if they get it right but use
the wrong technique. Concrete skills are sacrificed for math "concepts."
I've read about too many parents with children who were doing well in math
who are losing ground under this program and developing a real hatred of
math.Other areas sound just as bad. Children with learning
challenges who were managing under old systems have lost ground in Common
Core.It's like the story about the eagle flunking the class on
tree climbing. He got to the top faster than anyone else he did it in his own
Please, please, please pull a real teacher aside, face to face, and ask
questions about the common core and it's impact on your locally controlled
curricula. When I've done this, the response is positive, especially when
compared to No Child Left Behind - an actual federal mandate. The problem with
this, and every anonymous comment board, is that anyone can claim to be a
frustrated parent or teacher.
@redshirt - you have commented about students' confusion with core concepts
several times. I have responded with this comment several times: this is either,
a) a local district problem - our math teachers and students have no problems
teaching/learning core concepts; b) an individual problem, the student may not
be able to keep up; or c) a fabrication to support a talking point.
I have taught in the Alpine School District for over 20 years. My comments come
from actual experience. Some teachers like the CC; others do not. I like the
idea of having common goals, but this is a terrible program for achieving that.
1) There isn't TIME to cover all the objectives listed in the CORE. I dare
an administrator to try and cover the math core with 45 minutes/day. Let's
see them teach at a Title 1 school, correct all the homework and then take
responsibility for the end of the year test scores. I don't believe any of
them has the courage or integrity to even attempt what they load on the backs of
the teachers. 2) Common Core wasn't the teachers' idea. We
didn't get to say what should be changed or improved, etc. 3) Follow the
money trail. 4) The "states" didn't get together and decide the
core; it was a limited number of administrators and bureaucrats, not the
everyday teachers. Get rid of the Federal Dept. of Education!
I love it.... parents that expect their kids to be above what they are supposed
to be. Another grand example of exceptionalism. "my kids are
special".... in particular, they are much brighter than an inner city kid.
I got some news for you... there are a bunch of city kids running
leading US corporations today... that didn't come from
"exceptional" schools. I mean, you wouldn't want you kid from Utah
to end up like Don Thompson, who is CEO of McDonalds - a black man who "who
was born in Chicago, grew up near the Cabrini–Green housing project. A
bright student who started the sixth grade at the age of ten, Thompson, due to
the gang violence and crime that began to spread throughout the area in the late
1960's and 1970's, was later moved by his grandmother to live with
relatives in Indianapolis, where he attended North Central High School. Thompson
is a graduate of Purdue University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree
in 1983 in electrical engineering. He also holds an honorary doctorate from
Excelsior College."Nope - your kids need to be much more
exceptional than any inner city kids like this.
@2BitsYou say that you always wanted your kids to read above grade level.
But for them to read above grade level, there has to be a way to determine what
grade level is. I've read over the common core standards for 2nd grade(my
kids in 2nd grade) All it looks like to me is a way to determine what grade
level is. For example, second grade common core standards are that you can group
objects and determine if there is an even or odd number, solve addition and
subtraction word problems, count to 1000 by 1's, 5's and 10's, be
able to look at numbers in their number and word form, and determine if they are
less than, greater than or the same number. There are similar things(that
i'm forgetting at the moment) ALl it seems to be doing is establishing what
skills your kid needs to know to be at grade level. I don't know what the
fuss is about.
For those who worry that Common Core Standards are not sufficiently demanding,
please understand that the core -- whether the Utah State Core first published
back in the 1980's, or Common Core -- is a set of minimum standards by
which our students will be judged by almost every state and national testing
program. Every school in Utah and almost every classroom teacher has offered
instruction well beyond the core. They will continue to do so.
What is actually needed is structure, discipline, personal accountability, and
personal responsibility. Right now the public "education" system is
mostly a tax-funded babysitting service, where the top 10% have parental
involvement and are actually challenged to succeed, and most of the rest are
just serving their time and going along for the ride. When I was in school in
Idaho decades ago, either you cut it or you flunked--and it was YOUR
responsibility to decide between the two. There were no nursery or day-care
facilities, because it was a SCHOOL, not a day-care center. If you didn't
know English, then sorry . . . come back when you do, because English is the
language we speak and use, and we don't feel the need to accommodate every
living organism on the planet. It worked, and it worked well. It was actual
EDUCATION. No new and flashy program is going to take the place of personal
It's always interesting to see people like redshirt and 2 bits comment on
these issues. Have you ever taught a high school class? Why is it that those
furthest from the situation feel a need to weigh in? Trusting in their opinion
would be like trusting someone who was a registered nurse and career politician
to be state superintendent.
I don't know about an evil "East-sider"... but definitely was one
who always tested as reading way above my grade level (it really wasn't
very hard when I was in elementary school, I was always way above my grade level
and most kids in my class were, I always assumed it was because kids in some
other parts of the country weren't very good readers.I always
wanted to test above my grade level, and expected the same of my kids. If this
new standard is accepted as "what we expect of our kids because it's
good enough for Detroit kids)... then I think we are LOWERING our standards.I'm talking about Midvalien's statement, "We need all our
youth to be educated to a certain level"...If we REALLY want all
our youth educated to the SAME level... then I want out. Sign me up for Private
@ Redshirt: No, I am saying without universal standards, such as Common Core,
schools teach different things - and when you move from one school district to
another, even though you are in the same state and less than 10 miles away from
where you lived before, your high school senior may suddenly find he or she does
not have enough credits to graduate because of the differences in what is
taught. Learning multiple ways to a math problem is not a bad thing.
@2Bits. Spoken like a true east sider. It seems that a lot of opponents of
Common Core come from affluent, predominantly "white" (and maybe some
Asian) areas. I hate to say it, but much of Utah suffers from the problems you
proudly excluded yourself from: immigrant population, poverty, lack of interest
from child and parent. I commend you for taking interest in your children, but
keep in mind that Utah as a whole has education issues that originate at a local
level. I work as a math teacher and believe me when I say that Utah
is horribly bad at math. It is disgusting how bad math education is in Utah. It
is filthy filthy filthy bad. If your children are above grade level, you are in
the far minority. Utah needs to raise their standards in a big bad way. All of
this talk of a "new type" of teaching math is NOT coming from Common
Core. It is coming from programs YOUR school (aka, local government) has chosen
To "Maudine" what does common core have to do with moving? Are you
saying that even with common core what is being taught in the classroom is not
the same?So does this mean that you agree that the Common Core
standards are a failure and result in a poor education at best?
@ Redshirt: I have had to deal with it directly - I have also had to deal with
moving from one location to another (often in the same general area, such as the
Salt Lake valley, and has to deal with my child being ahead of her new
classmates if we go one direction or behind her classmates if we go the other.
@ 2 bits: Yeah, sorry - I've lived on other states - the Utah
educational system is not that highly ranked and doesn't really require
that much when compared to some other states.
@Midvaliean,Your comment is right. If this standard is achievable by
every student in Detroit, Chicago, and absolutely every city, every student
(including those who don't speak English), and every School District in the
whole United States, regardless of local or individual strengths, weaknesses,
and special needs (high immigrant population, poverty, lack of student and
parental interest, etc)... then it probably isn't the right standard for
most Utah children who's parents are used to their kids reading and
performing ABOVE grade level.I would not be happy if my kids were
reading and performing at the level of an inner-city disadvantaged student...
and that was their teacher's target for them (because that's all the
"National Standard" requires)...As long as my teachers throw
the National Standard out the window as soon as they see that it's WAY
lower than most students are capable of... I will be happy.
It is funny, most of the people who love Common COre have not had to deal with
it directly. They have looked over standards that sound good or else think that
nationalizing the standards is good.Here is the problem. When you
actually have to deal with your kids and their homework that they don't
understand because they now have to learn 3 different ways to do a mathematical
operation that are each different and confusing, compared to the 1 simple and
logical way you learned. When you deal with that combined with your child
coming home with assignments where they have more misspelled words than
correctly spelled words you begin to realize that Common Core doesn't
educate, nor do the kids learn to think out of the box. The standards reinforce
thinking with the government pre-defined box.Remember the government
writes the tax code that is very confusing, do you honestly think that they are
capable of writing an educational standard that isn't filled with garbage?
Why would it be misunderstood? It's from the Government! EVERYTHING from
the Government is simple to understand... I mean I can't think
of a single government program that's hard to understand or implement or
misunderstood by ANYBODY... do you?
DN - thanks for shedding some light on this discussion. It has been incredably
frustrating seeing people with political motives not at all tied to the core
issues here try to hi-jack this into something this isn't. This problem of if you don't like what you are hearing from one source,
just change sources until you hear what you want to hear is becoming epidemic.
There are no corporations making hay with common-core dollars. As said earlier,
the issue of text books and their cost has been a problem that long predated
common core.But people want to be angry, and find a reason why their
little look alikes aren't achieving the high expectations they have of
them, without looking in the mirror and realizing that the person who can most
impact their kids academic performance is looking back at them. If
it wasn't common core, it would be some other excuse why their kid is under
I hope that now that people see that many do not understand what the Common Core
standards are nor how they came about, they will actually read about the history
of them rather than listening to conservative radio hosts trying to rile people
up -- or their similarly uninformed neighbors. These standards were started by a
set of REPUBLICAN governors -- so they grew from states' desires,
responding to the business community's concerns about inconsistent and
outdated standards across districts and states. Then, once the U.S. Department
of Education came on board years later to encourage their adoption, all of a
sudden people became suspicious. They are basic math and literacy standards,
which do not dictate how or WHAT to teach. What a waste of energy while we have
hundreds of thousands of foster children in America who need help, kids who go
hungry every night, and sick children with no health insurance.
Common Core is necessary for a country of our size. We need all our youth to be
educated to a certain level. My worry is that the bar will be lowered rather
than raised in certain situations. In addition to our schools, we as
parents need to always be diligent in ensuring our children like to learn. You
get out of public school what you want. Some people drop out and quit, other
attain greatness, yet we all went to the public schools. So we all know that
you can get out of school what you put into it. With Common Core adaption this
will be no different. If the level of learning is below your child, you
had better be aware of this!
Until Common Core was brought to the battlefield by those with strict partisan
ties, few people gave one wink to CC. Most people did not even know what was
being taught in their schools; and moreover they did not truly care. I have read
from the standards and they seem to be quality to me. Too bad Oklahoma got rid
of them.It is a sad fact that in the US most people know next to
nothing about a subject, yet listen to vigilantes from the side of their
choosing, then vote accordingly. I have heard that the standards are too low
from some opponents, then that they are too hard from other opponents. Which is
it? Or do you oppose the standards because Glenn Beck says so? The opposition
was quoted in the referenced survey article as being that people are misinformed
as it allows for cheap and easy recruitment to the anti-Common Core movement.
The opposition thrives on misinformation. Do we really want to hop on the
bandwagon of misinformation? I support the ideals of Common Core and hope that
everyone can actually read the Core, then make a decision.
Common Core is a set of innocuous standards that encourage students to think a
little out of the box. I've read the language standards and they seem
perfectly good to me.
Common Core merely states that by the end of each grade level students should
know certain facts and how to do certain math functions. As far as
who profits from Common Core, yes, there are only a handful of companies that
provide educational supplies to American schools - but that situation predates
Common Core as anyone who has followed the recent text book controversies knows.
For all the talk of "local control," local school districts do not write
their own textbooks or tests as doing so would be extremely costly, labor
intensive, and redundant. How Common Core is implemented is up to
the individual school districts. (And yes, one if the main proponents of Common
Core thinks that each state should only have one school district unless they
have a really large city, in which case the city should have its own, but
nothing on Common Core promotes or creates that situation.)
Look at who profiteers from Common Core, it's big business. Huckabee would
not want big business to get in the way of his business aspirations now would
he. I think Common Core is one of those issues where those on the left and
those on the right can come together and agree that local control is the best
answer rather than huge profits to the corporate sponsors.