Common Core resolution is the most laughable bill of 2013

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  • amberoseinjune Cedar Hills, UT
    Feb. 21, 2013 9:18 a.m.

    I have been watching this issue for some time now. I believe the actual standards are not the biggest issue. The real issue, in my view, is that with "gifts" of money also come strings of obligation, and loss of local control. Why is this important? Anyone with a child who has gone through the math Investigations fiasco of the last 12 years understands that when you are concerned or upset with a methodology, you would like to at least feel heard. It took 10 years for our LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICT to pay ANY attention to what every parent knew- the program was full of holes, misconceptions, and diatribes- not to mention meaningless exercises that were both above and below the efforts of the children.(Don't even get me started.)So, if we can hardly be heard at a local level, what are we going to do when the now federally governed education curriculum department does something we disagree with? To me, it is not what the curriculum is that is the biggest problem, it is the potential loss of local control that is the largest problem. Loss of local ability to change local policy is dangerous to local freedom.

  • On the other hand Riverdale, MD
    Feb. 20, 2013 10:23 p.m.

    Mr. Norton is sadly mistaken. While there are always plenty of contenders, the Utah Legislature's most laughable bill of 2013 is HB289, which limits municipalities' ability to regulate fireworks.

  • EDM Castle Valley, Utah
    Feb. 20, 2013 8:54 a.m.

    But Utah isn't "jumping ahead", as the author hopes. Utah is lagging, so common standards might actually pull us forward.

  • Formerspud South Jordan, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 9:15 p.m.

    I want to know why I am teaching long division, fractions, common denominators, prime factorization, and decimals in fifth grade if according to Michele Malkin they are not part of the common core. I think someone should be finding out what is in the common core before they become experts.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 8:31 p.m.

    I'm going to try to be the reasonable person here.

    We have no idea if the common core is a boondoggle but we also have no idea that it is the education savior that its proponents hope.

  • danielgeery Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 7:15 p.m.

    I taught elementary school for twenty years, won educational awards, and wrote professional educational articles. One was titled, "No Child's Left Behind." You get the idea. I can only add that this bit of legislation is of the same ilk.

  • Iolanthe Providence, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 4:57 p.m.

    It is important to raise our skill sets. I do not see how reading descriptions of books raises our literary skill sets.

    To Quote Michele Malkin's article
    "algebra I instruction is pushed to ninth grade, instead of eighth grade, Division is postponed from fifth to sixth grade. Prime factorization, common denominators, conversions of fractions and decimals, and algebraic manipulation are de-emphasized or eschewed. Traditional Euclidean geometry is replaced with an experimental approach that had not been previously pilot-tested in the U.S.

    Ze’ev Wurman, a prominent software architect, electrical engineer, and longtime math-advisory expert in California and Washington, D.C., points out that Common Core delays proficiency with addition and subtraction until 4th grade and proficiency with basic multiplication until 5th grade, and skimps on logarithms, mathematical induction, parametric equations, and trigonometry at the high-school level.

    I believe the Common Core marks the cessation of educational standards improvement in the United States. No state has any reason left to aspire for first-rate standards, as all states will be judged by the same mediocre national benchmark enforced by the federal government. Michele Malkin

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 12:55 p.m.

    I still hear people who believe we can mimic Singapore's high student performance by using the Singapore math curriculum. I say their curriculum is only a small part of their success, if any. The real difference is that Singapore teachers in Singapore are paid, recruited, and treated like royalty. Only the best students need apply to become a teacher, because competition is fierce. Once selected, teacher-candidates are given a full scholarship plus living money. Graduates from their teaching college earn as much as or more than other professionals, like lawyers and engineers, and accountants. Doctors are about the only profession that earns re. They are widely respected by the public and the press. If you want to mimic Singapore, mimic that.

  • concerned grandma Saratoga Springs, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 12:03 p.m.

    Dear one old man,

    I have put forth considerable effort and homework in reading and listening to many different ideas and sides of the Common Core issue. There is some good in the program but I think we need to be careful and watchful as to where it may be leading us. The old adage of "follow the money" could apply here as well as "who really benefits".

    The truth? I think you and I differ as to what the truth really is, and here in is a big part of the problem. The truth is different to different people and trying to help someone recognize and accept the "truth" isn't always easy. But hopefully we can all be diligent in our search for it. Hopefully you too will put forth a little more effort.

  • What in Tucket? Provo, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 11:38 a.m.

    Why not survey 50-100 teachers and see if they feel Common Core is working. Our biggest need is math. Seems to me a trial of Singapore math should be done. I have not noticed any big changes in our test scores.

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 10:34 a.m.

    Decades ago we heard complaints about how every state was teaching to such different standards that it was extra difficult for students who moved from state to state. Utah WAS one of the states in the coalition that pushed to work with the other states in writing a common curriculum.

    A big misunderstanding lies behind the word "core." The Common Core curriculum is not dumbed down, nor does it treat all students the same. I think it raises the standards. It includes objectives in math, for example, that encourage students to describe HOW their methods of calculating with fractions and long division actually work. Teachers and schools can and do offer much more than the basic core, and they also are free to teach it using all the creativity they have always done so that it is adapted to individual student needs. That's why teachers need and receive professional training.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 10:30 a.m.

    concerned grandma, what you have heard is completely wrong.

    Listening to people like this author and Rob Bishop is like buying one of those ridiculous tabloid newspapers and actually believing its stories of alien and Bigfoot abductions, or any of the garbage about the President and his wife, or the salacious tales about some "celebrity."

    It may take a little effort, but if you try, you will easily be able to learn the truth.

  • Grover Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 10:19 a.m.

    While I commend Io for stating what the letter writer does not i.e. what is wrong with the Common Core, I still am at a loss for seeing what the fuss is about. A major issue at play today in education is that the basic form has remained unchanged since the days of the horse and buggy. Taking the summer off is and semesters are two of many outmoded concepts in an era when graduates are facing worldwide competition for jobs. The only way that Utah should opt out of the Common Core is to make it MORE stringent and raises the bar HIGHER than the Common Core. Citing the Gates foundation and United Nations is just code for partisan blather aimed at those of a certain persuasion who still think parents with a high school education should be the deciding vote on the issue.

  • concerned grandma Saratoga Springs, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 9:05 a.m.

    It's my understanding that in order to do away with NCLB (which I hear was a disaster) the states had to sign onto Common Core and there was government money for them "if they qualifited". Evidently Utah didn't qualify because I heard that they didn't get government money. However, once signed on, no going back.

    After listening to Rob Bishop speaking to our legislature, I think that Utah is "hooked", maybe unintentionally but still hooked, to big government telling our states and local education boards what, how, where, and when we teach are children and moving our children's education further away from parents and local schools having any say in what our children learn. I think government has their big toe in our door so we need to watch out for the rest of the body coming through.

  • Iolanthe Providence, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 8:53 a.m.

    Just because many states have adopted Common Core does not make it valid, correct or sensible. We are not lemmings jumping off a cliff after a fad . . . but people who think, reason and choose . . . because we study it out in our minds and take a long lean view at the future.

  • Iolanthe Providence, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 8:49 a.m.

    Those who study common core and don't just accept the propaganda that is being shared by the education system, find there are no studies that are benchmarked, and no high standards but a form of dumbing down our education and our children. A form of government control is being installed that will greatly affect our ability to make any kind of future change.

    Common Core ignores your child’s uniqueness
    Common Core strips away local control of education, leaving you with no say in standards or curriculum
    Common Core puts your child in a national database for cradle to grave tracking
    Common Core will prepare your child for technical school, but not all colleges
    Common Core math standards are lower than our old standards
    Common Core English standards reduce great literature reading in high school to 30% of reading, while 70% is for “informational texts”
    Common Core was not “state led” or “internationally benchmarked”
    The players behind Common Core are large corporations aiming to massively grow profits by getting all students on the exact same new learning schedule. You could rename this Corporate Core.

  • Mamma C HEBER CITY, UT
    Feb. 19, 2013 8:28 a.m.

    Ever since I first started comparing what Gates' funded groups (Ed Week Magazine, the PTA, the CCSSO, the NGA ) say about Common Core, to what the Common Core actually is and does (especially to classic literature, to traditional math, and to our state educational freedoms) I recall The Emperor Who Wore No Clothes tale. The author of this article got this right. The Common Core emperor is bare naked, with a nonexistent robe made of the words, but not the substance, of "rigor" and "college readiness" and "local control." Laughable, yes, but very serious.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Feb. 19, 2013 7:15 a.m.

    Reading this op-ed, one wonders if the author has ever actually seen what is in common core, or if he's simply upset about the sponsors. That Gates Foundation money helped to sponsor its creation in no way makes it bad. They also buy a lot of mosquito nets to help fight malaria in rural Africa. To call this the biggest boondoggle in education is to willfully forget NCLB, which somehow thought all education was quantifiable into multiple choice exams.

    Mr. Norton's consistently popping up to oppose "socialist" issues is wearing thin--he sees the word "common" and interprets communism. The core is not at all designed to train all children for the same job, as he suggests. What it does recognize is that our children are unable to communicate properly, as writing has suffered under NCLB. It realizes that problem solving has given way to memorization and test prep. There's no sinister play here, that's why almost every state--red or blue--has adopted it.