Cougsndawgs, the Common Core standards are not what are being used in other
countries. Definitely not China. Professor Christopher Tienken wrote an
excellent white paper about the "research" sources for the CCSS.
It's called "An Example of Data-less Decision Making" if you want
to search it out. Howard Beal, those of us protesting Common Core
are indeed protesting large class sizes and factors that research shows does
have an impact on learning. Many of us have specifically questioned the decision
to move to the Common Core without a cost analysis, and are upset that money
that could have been used at the district-level to reduce class sizes has been
allocated to purchase new books (just tossing the ones we just bought I guess)
or channeling the bulk of professional development money into standards training
for two subjects, the CC math and CC language arts. You're right that there
are more pressing problems. You're wrong that protesting Common Core has
nothing to do with it because CC is the main distraction of funds and resources
away from solving the problems you mention. On the subject of too great a focus
on testing we are 100% in agreement.
To understand the discontent and even alarm of many American parents with
government education, it is imperative for those critical of anti-Common Core to
read John Stormer's (late 1990's) "None Dare Call It
Education". Until you read this book, you will continue to believe and
support the education monopoly.
It's too bad that these people protesting the common core don't also
protest the large class sizes their students are dumped into in our public
schools? Or the fact that most of their teachers have less than five years
experience? That their elementary school might be lucky to have one male
teacher? This is the stuff that should be protested. Again, all
this debate about the common core is silly when our schools have larger, deeper
troubles.And enough of the high-stakes testing. Let the teachers
Common Core has been around for decades, under different names,pushed by the extreme left...er... commmunists/socialists...er... liberals...er... progressives... er... or
whatever they want to call themselves.Iy is simply a means to open
the door to total control of local education by the federal government.They control the teachers...they control the schools..and they control what the children are taught, and how they
taught..,and the parents have NO control.None of that is
good.The only thing everyone and everything will have in common is
who controls them.The problem in and of our schools is NOT
standards.It will solve anything, it will not fix anything.All the proponents can do is personally attack the those what are against
this decades old leftist education plan called Common Core, and talk about
their good intentions. While hiding their true intentions, which incidentally
is about control.
I agree with many of the concerns about implementing the Common Core in the
classroom, or the idea that it is more geared toward experiential teaching and
learning, which it is. I have read the Common Core and as part of my Masters of
Education degree I have researched and tested it, albeit in small samples and
case studies. Some of the concerns suggested by the comments here are certainly
valid, especially concerning implementation and appropriate curriculum. What I
become irritated with is the idea that the Common Core is about the government
trying to control the minds and learning of students. To any that have actually
worked with and studied the CCSS, you recognize that these standards are
research based and currently being used by our biggest competitors in global
economics, specifically China. Some of the suggested conspiracy theories are a
bit ludicrous if you've actually studied the foundations and inception of
common core. The reason for federal oversight and standards is so that
educational experience can be salient across communities throughout the US. I
liken it to university accreditation and the consistency of training across
cultures and individuals that such accreditation provides.
We have had standards for years, and the standards we just abandoned to adopt
the common core were better than the common core we adopted.My first
experience with the common core was when it was hastily forced upon us. I
teach, but don't know any teachers that had input into whether we would
adopt the common core or not. To me it seemed to come out of nowhere. We were
told by our district math specialist that it was here to stay and to go do our
PR work. When we examined the 8th grade standards, I found that my
7th grade class from the year before had already mastered them. So much for
more rigorous. Before common core it was fairly common for students to take AP
Calculus before their senior year. Now we have to bend or break rules to
accomplish that. There is even talk of eliminating AP Calculus because it is
not part of the common core. So much for more rigorous.What the
common core accomplishes is wresting control away from the locals and putting it
in the hands of those who are smarter or more powerful. Is that what we want?
Oldika,I actually agree with much of what you said about the
"fabricated crisis". Can our education system do better, absolutely.
Are the teachers and administrators trying to do a better job of educating our
children, again for the most part I would say a resounding YES. Without oversimplifying things, the folks on the far right are the ones
opposed to the common core and at the same time are the ones that are screaming
that our education system is broken. They are the ones that use test scores to
back up that argument. My point is that one thing that the common core does for
us is to give us a set of standards, for what a child should know at each grade
level. By doing that in theory we should be able to then design assessments
that if taken seriously by students can give us a good indicator of what
students know and what they don't know.We can't however
have local control over curriculum and then use non local assessments. We need
to start assessing what we teach and teaching what will be assessed, or as Wolf
often suggests, do away with the assessments.
"Those who think that common core is 'all that and a bag of
chips,' have not looked at the actual teaching material."What teaching materials do you mean? I am not aware of any "official"
common core materials. Text book publishers have been busy identifying how their
published materials match the common core (identifying each standard with what
is in the textbook). It's still up to the individual school boards,
districts, schools, and even teachers to select which materials they will use.
The language arts core is built to help students learn how to think
for themselves. As they form their ideas and opinions of the world, they learn
how to support those thoughts through the texts they read. It's no longer
acceptable to have them turn in simple reflection papers without any concrete
evidence to support their ideas; they have to prove themselves. I look forward
to seeing the more reasoned arguments this new generation of students will be
able to express as the progress in their educational endeavors.
Those who think that common core is "all that and a bag of chips", have
not looked at the actual teaching material. Many states have dropped out of
common core because, as the name "common core" suggests, it is mediocre
as a teaching method at best. Children at both ends of the learning curve
suffer. Bright students are held back and slower students are left in the dust.
It teaches to the average, common middle. If you really care about your
children's education, pull them out of the public schools. The emphasis is
not on learning any more in the public school, but schools are looked at as a
giant social engineering project. The teaching materials of CC show this time
and time again in all subjects. Look at them for yourself. The obtuse attitude
of the Utah school board is amazing to me. The $$$$$ connected to CC are more
important to them than the education of the children they purport to care about.
CC will "improve" education the exact same way the ACA
How many times do you go to a bad doctor, before you try someone else?It's not that complicated. There are other lower cost alternatives that
would be a great improvement.
Yesterday I wrote a comment about how the language arts core focuses on
text-based argumentative writing. That means that as a writer, I should back up
my argument with sound, clear evidence from the text I use. If I don't have
the evidence, I don't have a good argument. The beauty of this is that the
teacher still gets to choose the text. It doesn't matter whether it's
a fiction or an informational nonfiction source, what matters is the skill that
is being learned. "CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.1 Write arguments to
support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence."I
mentioned that after reading comments based on emotions that aren't backed
up with evidence, this appeared to be a skill we could all learn to use more
frequently. I guess the moderator thought that comment was too rude--the post
More parents are becoming alarmed about common core education. One father took
off work to come and protest. He told supt. Menlove that he is a dentist and
his wife has two degrees. They were frustrated with the method their elementary
child was learning math. It made no sense so they just taught him math the way
they learned it. A retired elementary teacher reported how the teachers
in her district were afraid to speak out but because there was 2 hours of math
scheduled in the mornings and with the new reading schedule it only left 15 min
a day for science, social studies, music and art. Supt. Menlove listened
to complaints that there was no cost analysis done for cc and taxpayers will
fund the additional 2.7 million each year for SAGE testing. Tax payers will
also be paying for the increased district personnel to implement cc, more
computers and maintenance for the CAD testing, new textbooks and increased
teacher training. It's a high price to pay for standards that have never
been piloted and were adopted by States before they were written.
Fred44, of the people I know that oppose common core, most think that the
"Nation at Risk" argument that has been regurgitated for decades about a
failing education system threatening our national economy is a manufactured
crisis to scare people into trading local control for more federal involvement.
This is typically the argument employed by common core proponents, not those who
oppose it. There are problems with our education system, but too little
standardization or not enough centralized control are not among them. UT did
have standards and tests and data before Common Core, we just didn't have
to march in lockstep with 46 other states rendering us less nimble to meet the
diverse requirements of our own demographics or goals. People upset about
Utah's test rankings need to take a closer look at how those scores are
manipulated or by demographic before arguing that magic standards and tests are
going to be a cure-all. We should also ask whether being good test takers
translates into economic success. When I think about what I want for my
children's education, beating some kid in Massachusetts on a standardized
test doesn't even cross my mind.
@JWB, grandmagreat, Syd- enough with the red herrings. No one opposing Common
Core is bashing teachers. In fact, many of them are teachers. Please, PLEASE quit arguing that these are “just” standards and
not curriculum. Standards determine WHAT students are taught. That's more
important than HOW they are taught. What Common Core expects students to learn
and what it doesn’t expect students to learn is where I have a problem.
Common Core delays Algebra I until 9th grade. It does not teach traditional
Geometry. It doesn’t go beyond Algebra II. It doesn’t provide
standards for higher math such as Calculus. In English, Common Core
places more emphasis on informational text rather than complex literature. It
requires a reading strategy known as “close reading” where students
are to focus on the text and the text alone without background information or
context. It replaces the study of literary devices with the study of academic
vocabulary. It requires argumentative writing rather than persuasive writing.
Ect., ect. Common Core maybe fine for workforce training, but for those who
want their children to have a truly rich educational experience, Common Core
As a University of Utah student, I did field experience in math classrooms that
were converting to textbooks based on Common Core Standards. Both the teacher
and students floundered, not only because the textbooks were new, but because
the books were based on experiential, outcome-based learning. Experiential
learning is used successfully in other countries when it is combined with clear,
direct instruction, but in these Common Core compatible textbooks, instruction
was vague, hard to find and sometimes missing. The teacher, who had been trained
in Common Core, told me "this was the beauty of it", that students would
only value what they struggled to learn. The teacher was an excellent instructor
in a traditional classroom, but in the Common Core classroom I saw a teacher who
was gradually detaching from teaching, and discouraged students who told me they
would wait to do their homework at home with a computer or with after-school
tutors. The after-school tutors used the old textbooks, because the Common Core
textbooks were so content deficient! What a waste of teacher-paid, classroom
time! Struggling students may give the illusion of receiving rigorous
instruction, but are they really learning, or just the geniuses?
Fred44--assessments, standards, test scores, expectations, common core,
mandatory, expectations, evaluations, lunch program, federal regulations,
state/federal objectives etc.Remember when education was about
teaching and learning? Children had time to play, explore, build curiosity, and
use their imagination to build things. The Wright Brothers, and Thomas
Edison.And parents were able to fix lunch, and put it in a lunchbox.
These are most likely Glenn Beck listeners. You can't reason with them.
Worf: Where are you getting you data from? Four out of five have lived in
poverty. What does that mean. I question their validity. These are the same
comments you keep reposting.
I understand why the people against the CCSS are so angry - Obama pulled a fast
one, offering lots of money to states who would adopt the CCSS in their grant
applications for federal money. 43 states signed on, in one fell swoop. It was probably the most brilliant political move in my lifetime - he
was able to get the vast majority of the nation to sign on to changing their
education standards via one initiative in a matter of a few months. AMAZING!!
And I am not an Obama fan - but you must admire his prowess. It was simply
breathtaking.So Obama haters are really mad, and that is what this
is really all about. They are angry that he was able to do this, and they will
try to overturn it as long as they have breath, just because it is about another
Obama win. It really has not much to do with the actual standards - if you read
them, as I have, you would see that clearly they cannot be opposed to them.
They are higher than Utah's previous standards and will likely raise
student performance.It's all just a political game.
Most of the people who are against the common core are also the ones saying that
our education system is failing and our kids can't compete. So what
happens, a set of standards is put in place, and assessments are written based
on these standards (what a novel concept, match the test to the standards). If
we put the right standards in place and then assess correctly, we can find out
what kids know and what the don't know based on a set of standards. We can
then adjust teaching to match the needs of the students. What a socialist,
marxist and totally insane concept.ORWe can continue as
we are doing now where we don't have a set of standards that are common to
all students, so no two groups of students are taught the same thing, we give
assessments that don't match what we are teaching, those assessments give
us no useable data and then we complain about the poor job our schools are
doing, because our test scores are so bad, even though the tests don't
really measure what is being taught. Doesn't seem like rocket
science to me.
@Syd--keeping things the same? You missed the point. "Common Core is
keeping things the same".It's just different words to
advertise what's been tried over and over. May have started with
cooperative learning, than renamed every year or two. Changing names with added
well meaning goals, has tricked people into supporting public schools. Look at
our society, and it's plain that our education system has failed. Proof is
in the pudding.Most teachers with a history of teaching, will tell
you, every year or two, a new teaching method with added expectations pops up,
and does little to nothing to improve education.Words can be tricky,
but observing results is much more accurate.
People, study the issue. There is so much more to Common Core than talking
points. There is more than low, minimal standards. It is a complete power grab
by corporate monopolists and the federal Dept. of Ed. And yes, it dumbs down
high school graduates while it calls itself "rigorous."
I wonder what it would take for a journalist to do similar homework as a
15-year-old student presenting to the Arkansas legislature about Common Core.
(Search YouTube for Common Core Hearings Q&A pt1 by Nancy Miller)Mostly facts about funding and timelines and not talking points. People need
to make their own decisions about whether they like this education reform
package (not just standards, teacher pay tied to test scores part of stimulus
deal too) but it is very difficult to do without knowing where it came from and
what the full impact/cost will be. 100 people might not seem like a lot unless
you realize that most of the time, very few if anyone from the public attends
these kinds of meetings. Moms do indeed have enough to do, including overseeing
the education of their children, without having to worry that our Governor and
State School Board will sell out our children's schools to the highest
bidder in defiance of the constitutional protections against such. Utah deserves
the highest academic standards, we don't have to undermine our laws and
local input to have them.
Sometimes I wonder if Mr. Woods is an editorial writer or a reporter. I see this
is filed under News, rather than opinion though. How many were at the meeting?
Were they mostly parents? How were they received by the board? Instead we get a
statement from a trade group that hands out grants from Exxon Mobil, one of the
major promoters of the CCSS. There are real issues of process and local control
that need to be discussed, but the "news" always focuses on the more
sensational parts of the topic. We have pundits for that, thank you.
@Worf, what point are you trying to make? If teaching the way we have for 40
years has not worked then why are you suggesting we keep things the same?
I would truly love to hear a single researched argument against the common core.
Why would anyone be against raising the bar in education? If you have attended
school in a state other than Utah you probably have noticed that Utah is really
behind. I lived in Arizona until fourth grade and then spent two years repeating
everything since Arizona is more rigorous. After I got married we moved to
Nevada and recently moved back only to have our daughter experience the same
thing. She basically repeated everything she learned in first grade in Nevada as
part of the second grade curriculum here. Its pathetic and embarassing. We
criticize teachers for being against reform and for fighting change, but when
something comes along that will push our kids to excel we fight against it? Why?
I was there at that rally. The fact about Common Core is that it is a federally
imposed regulation system that Utah has adopted because if it didn't, it
would not receive $400,000,000 for it's education budget. Unfortunately,
people do not realize exactly what these regulations that have been put into
place are, and exactly how they are dangerous. Even worse is the fact that the
Utah State Board of Education is not giving people a chance to speak. When the
entire Board was assembled in the room, they only gave two minutes to three
people to speak. (six minutes total). Then of course the Superintendent did give
a lot of time to listen to everyone only after all the other board members had
left the room. Not to mention the answers he gave were dodging the questions
that were asked. John Adams once said, "Facts are stubborn things." Well
that is exactly what I think. To any readers of this story who think that Common
Core is a good thing, please go out and research this for yourself and find the
facts. Look at the documents themselves. They will give you t he facts. It is
Common Core is NOT just about standards.If you believe it is only
about standards you just have no idea what common core is.Amd that
is the big problem, the devil is in the details,It is about the
federal increasing its control over local schools, and dictating what and how
children are taught including sex education in kindergarten to social
protesting in second grade, it ignores the tried and method building basic
foundations and replaces it with inferior methods, it collects vast amount of
personal data not only of the children but of the parents as well, as a result
it creates a vast federal bureaucracy.There is nothing good about
it,If you believe it is only about standards you just have no idea
what common core is.We already have standards from standard
achievement tests to no child left behind.
Please stop putting these people on the front page. They are completely
misinformed about how standards function in a classroom (they are not
curriculum) and apparently won't listen to reason.
currently it is my great Grandchildren that are attending school in Utah
Schools. i suggest tht the parents that are against the State Board of
Education, spend some time on their knees and do what is best for their
children, not for the poiitical action they want. I can't imagine anyone
wanting to have their kids be home taught. Don't Mothers have plenty todo
without teaching their kids what they need to learn to live in this fast paced
world. I have seen many changes in my lifetime, but still think children need
to be taught the basics to read, write, do math, and learn to spell. You never
know when they might have an experience and no computer available to help them.
The world is full of people wanting to make truble, I would plead with the
people of Utah to be supportive of teachers, and not constantly causing
This sounds similar to the way the group of anti-Common Core got into the GOP
convention and ramrodded some of the propositions with Rob Bishop leading the
bandwagon with Sherilyn Eagar. They don't listen to the views and
don't care about what the teachers at the convention said. They use
emotional pleas and not sound reasoning. Plenty of legislators such
as Rob Bishop want votes so they are persuaded by the few loud people that
appear to have gone to the USOE and use some of the time of the Superintendent
by force.100 people are not very many with some of those being home
schooling parents and children. That means maybe 20 parents or 40 parents were
there and the rest children. So much bitterness in Utah about
public schools. These teachers and administrators as a majority are not only
upstanding individuals but outstanding. They have high moral character and
values. The legislature has demonized these outstanding people for years. Move
to another State and there is a difference. We spend a lot of our budget on
education with a high number of children. The various groups keep on coming up
with data that is not valid.
Teaching strategies over the passed forty years-equals:* half our
population fed by the government* high unemployment, and a debt equal to
$550,000 for every second in a yrear. * 4 of 5 having lived in poverty* education funds exceeding all countries combined.* a third of our
college graduates from other countries* having many of our engineers,
chemists, skilled medical workers, etc, from other countries.Now the
feds tells us how good common core is suppose to be? Same old dance, and song.
“But Menlove said the board was not attempting to ‘sell’
Common Core to voters and taxpayers, but simply had a responsibility to ensure
that accurate information was being relayed to the public.”The
State Board isn’t trying to sell Common Core? Really? Not according to
the Communication Plan they approved in June:“Seek out opinion
leaders within key groups (LEAs, schools, PTAs, business partners including
Prosperity 2020, social media and bloggers, legislators, party leaders,
delegates, Governor’s Office personnel, local media, personalities, etc.)
and ask for their assistance/endorsements through media outlets or personal
contacts.”“Initiate an advertising campaign in media to
include newspapers, radio, etc.”“Send out regular Tweets
(daily) and Facebook updates (every 7-10 days) highlighting aspects of
Utah’s Core Standards.”“Seek the assistance and
advice of legislators and business leaders on the issue and encourage them to
both publicly and privately endorse the standards if they support them."What an incredibly inappropriate use of our education resources!
The phrase cuckoo for cocoa puffs comes to mind. They are basically
saying, "We are against raising the standards of what we want our students
to learn". That is all the Common Core is but because it uses the word
common a bunch of people have misinterpreted what it is. I've never seen a
bigger mountain being made out of what isn't even a mole hill. They are
STANDARDS! It doesn't say how to teach them. It is just the minimum that
we want a graduate of high school to do. Simple.Stop giving this
group press and stop catering to them. Let them all home school. They would
be better off and so would we.
If people really understood the purpose of the core standards, I don't
think there would be as much opposition. Core standards are not about teaching
a liberal or conservative agenda. The core standards, in elementary school
mathematics for example, provide that students master the same mathematical
concepts no matter which school they are in. It better prepares them for life,
and should they transfer to another school, it provides continuity so that they
have a minimum level of competency expected for their grade level. It
doesn't tell the teacher everything they can teach, nor does it tell the
student everything they can learn. It provides a set of minimum acceptable
standards. It's about competing in the workplace or college upon
The only real objection that can be raised over "Common Core" pertains
to Utah's primacy in setting its curriculum standards. Does the USOE set
the standard or do they simply adopt a national standard. As a parent, I
certainly would not want Utah to adopt a standard that was less rigorous than
Common Core in English or Mathematics. On the other hand, if the Social Studies
or Civics curriculum were to indicate a bias, there might be cause for an
objection. As it currently stands, however, there is no Common Core in Social
Studies, History or Civics. Note however, that any curriculum, no matter how
balanced, that teaches counter to an individual's bias will produce
objection, while a biased curriculum that is aligned with the individual's
bias will be welcomed.
If UEA is for it; I am against it!
The whole idea that standards are a good thing in education really needs some
careful examination. Given the wide diversity in needs, talents, interests and
abilities among students, wouldn't it behoove us to build an education
infrastructure that allows parents and teachers to collaborate in the process of
uncovering students natural talents. Students that struggle in a highly
structured educational environment all have something at which they can excel.
If we help them identify that area of talent and help develop that into
expertise and a passion, that one area then becomes a catalyst that will drive
their participation in and engagement in all the other aspects of education that
will support and feed their passion in an ancillary way. A student with a
passion for music may never be motivated by studying math for math's sake,
but will eat it up once she realizes how an understanding of math and physics
enhances her ability to understand and create good music.Approached
thus, learning as a delight, not a task. The rewards for all are overwhelming.
To learn more, search for Educating for Human Greatness.
I am dumbfounded as well. This isn't about pushing socialist agendas or
creating Marxist ideology in the classroom. The common core are standards the
government has researched extensively to better prepare students to compete in
an increasingly global society and economy. As was mentioned, the states are
still given the power to establish curriculum to support the common core
objectives. There's nothing leftist, or liberal about it, and I'm
speaking as a conservative republican educator.