Full house hears panel's criticisms of Common Core

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  • Oak Highland, UT
    July 11, 2012 10:35 p.m.

    One old man and Bob Dean, you can see a brief side-by-side comparison of some CA and CC standards if you Google "the common core math standards educationnext". (I don't think I can post the link). There are several states with superior math standards that we could have adopted that have been proven effective already. Bob Dean is right. CC adoption was all about power and money.

  • Mamma C HEBER CITY, UT
    July 11, 2012 3:20 p.m.

    A teacher in the audience told me that the reason so many teachers like Common Core is that they confuse genunine, good, new teaching methodologies like SIOP with Common Core because the USOE has presented them as one and the same. Teachers are enthusiastic about clear teaching methodologies that work. But they are not enthusiastic about non-amendable academic standards being pushed on us from the top down. They are not enthusiastic about high stakes testing that comes with Common Core. They aren't enthusiastic about spending money on new Common Core budgeting that would be spent on legitimate educational needs. They are not enthusiastic about the federal government overstepping Constitutional bounds. But most of them don't even know it's happening, because the USOE has blurred the lines between academic standards and teaching methodologies. Also, there are some grades in which standards truly are rising, and other grades in which standards truly are falling, under Common Core. (9th gr math, 6th gr math standards fall; 2nd grade math rises, for example.) Classic literature falls for all grades. The real issue for all of us ought to be: which is more important, keeping autonomy or raising SOME standards?

  • metisophia Ogden, UT
    July 11, 2012 11:31 a.m.

    "The CCSS are about money and a takeover of our education system by a very few unelected bureaucrats..... Plain and Simple."

    Not so much government bureaucrats, but try Pearson and several test creating companies as the source of any takeover. Or try ALEC, a consortium of businesses that, together with Republican legislators from every state, are trying to completely privatize education.

    High-stakes, end of level tests are killing the educational quality for our students. Get rid of them! Multiple choice questions can't possibly assess what our students need to know and do.

  • BobDean Camas, WA
    July 11, 2012 11:10 a.m.

    Old man -- in order to be effective standards must be written in a language that is clearly understood by most stakeholders.  This is what is stated on the CCSS website.  Stakeholders include students, parents, teachers, administrators and the general public.  If you think these standards can be understood by a majority of students, parents and non math people you are sadly out of touch.

    I have shown these standards to many highly educated legislators including our state superintendent of public instruction and they didn't have a clue what most of the standards meant.  That is one of the main reasons for huge amounts being spent on professional development... 

    If you want to see what clear and well written standards look like go to the Singapore Ministry do Education and read the Singapore math standards.

    As standards go, the CCSS are a total disaster.... There is not one shred of factual evidence that the CCSS will improve education in the US.... Google Tom Loveless.... The CCSS are about money and a takeover of our education system by a very few unelected bureaucrats..... Plain and Simple.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    July 11, 2012 10:37 a.m.

    Bob, I understand: "Interpret the product (a/b) × q as a parts of a partition of q into b equal parts; equivalently, as the result of a sequence of operations a × q ÷ b. For example, use a visual fraction model to show (2/3) × 4 = 8/3, and create a story context for this equation. Do the same with (2/3) × (4/5) = 8/15. (In general, (a/b) × (c/d) = ac/bd.)"

    So do other fifth grade teachers. They are teaching that now although the standards for teaching it are not spelled out in that particular manner. For teachers like me, whose math skills are not at the top of the heap, we can rely on our teachers' manuals for help.

    You are selling our fellow educators short.

  • Autumn Cook Lehi, UT
    July 11, 2012 10:26 a.m.

    Great story! I attended the forum last night, and it was incredibly educational to have the timeline of the development of the standards, the funding behind their development (Federal money and Gates money), the legal issues the standards raise, the Constitutional issues the standards raise, and brief evaluation of the standards themselves, all laid out in 90 minutes. I appreciate these educational experts taking the time and expense to travel to Utah and help us understand Common Core a lot better.

    I like some of the standards, and I dislike some of them (especially the reduction of classical literature, elimination of cursive writing, and mandate of investigations-style math.) But either way, I'll have no say in that under CC. I can't take my concerns to my child's teacher, or the local school board, or even the state school board. The distant expert decides for me what my child will be taught. As an engaged parent who has always stayed very involved in these things, it's an insult.

    I would like to see Utah abandon CC and reclaim its right to control - and protect its citizens' rights to direct - our own children's education.

  • BobDean Camas, WA
    July 11, 2012 10:19 a.m.

    Sure old man:  Bob Dean, High School Math Dept Chair, Math Advisor to the state Board of Education, Member of the State Math Standards writing Team; long time student of state and international math standards, expert in standards called to testify before the state house and senate education committees, presenter on math standards at the U of W, the state legislature, and the state association of school administrators......

    The question isn't can you understand the standards (I don't have any trouble). The question is can most elementary teachers and other stakeholders understand them?

    From the 5th grade Common Core Standards:

    Interpret the product (a/b) × q as a parts of a partition of q into b equal parts; equivalently, as the result of a sequence of operations a × q ÷ b. For example, use a visual fraction model to show (2/3) × 4 = 8/3, and create a story context for this equation. Do the same with (2/3) × (4/5) = 8/15. (In general, (a/b) × (c/d) = ac/bd.)

    Do you think most stakeholders can understand this standard?  Let the readers decide...

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    July 11, 2012 9:26 a.m.

    Bob Dean -- totally false. I'm a former elementary teacher and I had no trouble at all understanding Common Core. I'm confident others won't have a problem.

    May we ask exactly what your qualifications are that enable you to make such your comment?

  • BobDean Camas, WA
    July 11, 2012 9:01 a.m.

    Common Core does not require students to learn the same things at the same time. Standards do not dictate how or when they will be taught. Standards are destinations and there are many paths to get there. The idea that students would be able to move from state to state and find schools in the same place with the same lessons is totally false and is just one of many falsities that are being spread by proponents of the CCSS.

    The common core math standards are written in a mathematical form that can't be understood by the majority of stakeholders. This is especially true of our corp of elementary teachers. Standards that take professional development to understand are no standards at all.

    The CCSS are not higher than many previous state standards. Even if they were, the evidence shows that states with more rigorous standards perform no better than states with lower standards. If you can't meet the goal of losing 5 lbs would you increase your odds if you raised your goal to 25 lbs? Insanity! The same insanity that is behind the CCSS!

    Wake up people! This is about money and power not improved education.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    July 11, 2012 7:13 a.m.

    Was this really a fair and balanced panel? Or was it "fair and balanced" in the same sense as FoxNews?

  • Mom of Six Northern Utah, UT
    July 11, 2012 2:35 a.m.

    The "sky is falling" mentality is rediculous here. Parents & society only seem to care about testing and percentages. This is what Common Core addresses. Common Core allows all states to be learning the same things at the same time; thereby, eliminating 50 different standards and allowing students and families more commonality nationwide. As an educator, I have taught many grade levels. After reviewing common core, I actually see a more intense study of the standards rather than skimming the surface. Why not give it a try? The status quo has kept us behind for too many years.....also this is not a Obama led initiative. Common core has been worked on long before BO was the pres....

  • On the other hand Spanish Fork, UT
    July 11, 2012 12:37 a.m.

    Musical number? "Patriot time"? Sounds like a circus to me.