Utah, national school superintendents optimistic about Common Core

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  • LoveBoxesCkTops Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 6, 2014 11:32 p.m.

    The Common Core education agenda is so much worse than even NCLB. Common Core places a student in a seat in order to feed data to crony capitalists who profit from public education via high stakes testing and other less worthy, unproven ideas like 1 to 1 computers.
    With 1 to 1 computers in place, your child can feed coins into the pockets of huge education companies all day long. And, when the 1 to 1 computers fail to get acceptable results, there will be a high stakes test for that.

  • JJSullivan Sandy UT ,
    July 21, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    The Huffington Post exposed the obscene money trail leading from the Gates Foundation to the state superintendents organization-the Council of Chief State School Officer (CCSSO). Ben Woods would do his readers a great service by giving his readers the whole story.

    The Huffington headline was "A Brief Audit of Bill Gates' Common Core Spending" and reads:
    Prior to June 2009, the Gates Foundation gave $47.1 million to CCSSO (from 2002 to 2007), with the largest amount focused on data "access" and "data driven decisions":

    March 2007 Purpose: to support Phase II of the National Education Data Partnership seeking to promote transparency and accessibility of education data and improve public education through data-driven decision making Amount: $21,642,317.

    Following CCSS completion in June 2009, Gates funded CCSSO an additional $31.9 million, with the largest grants earmarked for CSSS implementation and assessment, and data acquisition and control.

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    July 16, 2014 7:32 a.m.

    @ Steve Cottrell

    Fine - it's the minimum standard. But there is so much to cover and the testing and threats of merit pay for teachers are riding so heavily on the scores that teachers don't feel they can sacrifice the time for other, more engaging things which would actually maximize their education! Bringing all the kids up to the new "minimum" standard so they can appear to be "good" teachers and keep their jobs makes them less effective teachers. They are reduced to being merely test-prep tutors, which is demoralizing for people who got in to teaching to inspire kids to become and achieve their dreams.

  • Light and Liberty St. George/Washington, UT
    July 14, 2014 8:46 p.m.

    Steve, if what you say is true, what would be the reason to endorse it? No on has answered the following question: What is it about Washington that makes it more capable of developing any curriculum that is superior to a state generated one, or even better, a local generated one? Any unbiased observer the world over vindicates the claim that what Washington proposes and runs, it fails at miserably.

  • Steve Cottrell Centerville, UT
    July 14, 2014 3:56 p.m.

    Makes one wonder if those who oppose Common Core know how much this non-federal program resembles the Utah state core which was in place in 1986. Any core curriculum, including Common Core, is not intended to be a limiting document, but a minimal expectations document. Core curriculum standards describe what a student should know and be able to do (as a minimum). Teaching strategies, textbooks, classroom styles, are not part of any core curriculum standards.

  • AndrewJackson New Harmony, UT
    July 14, 2014 1:35 p.m.

    The Founders of Our Nation set up a system of separate States so that each could pursue different solutions based on the desires and experience of their people. In doing this they realized that some States would find betters ways of doing things and that this best practice could be shared by others States wanting to follow their success. This concept applies to every facet of a State's operation, from road building to budgeting and even education. Sadly we are losing that critical capability of sharing best practices.

    All common core does, is to dictate a mediocre level of performance across all education levels. Even if a State did find a better way of teaching or educating, the levels of Federal red tape and politics would not allow a better way to ever see the light of day in common core.

    Why do we always feel that a central control works better that local or competitive processes? Is it because the postal system, rail system, VA or other Federal programs are so good?

    I will admit that we have a lot of parents and voters that could benefit from an education with more critical thinking in it.

  • Lilalips Attleboro, MA
    July 14, 2014 12:24 p.m.

    Homeschool, homeschool, homeschool….

  • justinbl Portland, OR
    July 14, 2014 11:27 a.m.

    This is why math no longer makes sense. It doesn't make any sense to so many kids that they just give up on it and graduate without even understanding how to do fractions. One of the first things people should learn in math is their times tables. Deeper understanding of math comes with time, and comes as the brain develops enough to even understand it.

    July 14, 2014 11:09 a.m.

    Parents have been and always will be the best person to teach their own children.

    When my son was in 3rd grade, he was placed on an IEP, sent to "resource" each day during math, and treated as a second-class child. The next year we started to home school.

    Now, at 15 years old, he is doing Trigonometry, plays in a volunteer orchestra, and has shown a great talent for art! If he were subject to the public school system for that same time, he would be far behind...

    CC is a national approach at implementing certain cirriculum and shaping the future of our society by indoctrinating children. Teachers have been fired for refusing to teach from it....

  • Chuck E. Racer Lehi, UT
    July 13, 2014 10:29 p.m.

    To "stavan madrigal"

    Of course they say it is state led. How else could they sell it? But it was developed by two private groups, NGA and CCSSO. Governors and State Superintendents subscribe and pay money to be part of these associations. That is the ONLY "state-led" part of it. These private groups own the copyright. It can not be changed by anyone but them. DOE latched onto it with funding from the federal government and other enticements that virtually force states to adopt, despite their saying they are free to adopt or not. If not so, why is DOE threatening states who are opting out?

    CC is a de facto national curriculum with the heavy hand of the government behind it. If they are successful in getting it to stick with the math and language arts portion, they will impose all the rest, like social studies and science and sex ed., which would be much more controversial. At that point there would be no pulling out, and Utah would not be listened to. Whatever they decided in the future, as politically correct, would be forced on Utah teachers to teach, even if the whole state opposed it.

  • Light and Liberty St. George/Washington, UT
    July 13, 2014 7:18 p.m.

    Let us deal with the number one lie about School. Since when was it decided that the only way to succeed professionally was by going to college? For all these unemployed college graduates--perhaps a trade might be useful right now, something that isn't even remotely part of common core! Yet I know numerous people without a college degree that are very successful. How about their tax dollars in preparing them for their successful career? All these Common Core advocates are deluded into thinking that they are going to prepare everyone to become a doctor, lawyer, accountant, or engineer, when most will not even come close to being one of those! How about looking at the big picture and preparing kids to become lifelong learners who can make their own choice for their future!

  • stevan madrigal murray, UT
    July 13, 2014 6:47 p.m.

    Re: chuck E. Racer
    From www.corestandards.org - "The Common Core is a state‐led effort that is not part of No Child Left Behind or any other federal initiative. The federal government played no role in the development of the Common Core. State adoption of the standards is in no way mandatory."

    Who is being naive, or more importantly, rational?

  • Beverly Jean Fairfax, VA
    July 13, 2014 3:47 p.m.

    Who created Common Core and why? Bill Gates, for one, who said that one of the benefits of common standards would be to open the classroom up to digital learning, making it easy for software developers, Microsoft and others, to develop new products for the country’s 15,000 school districts. So the motivation appears to be $$$$$$, at least for the software developers and other corporate interests who profit from standardized tests. When the standardized testing shows schools “failing,” it allows for profit businesses to swoop in using tax dollars to syphon off public dollars into private pockets by setting up charter schools. Utah would do well to understand the bitter fruits Common Core has produced in other states before leaping into this bate and switch scheme to enrich corporate shysters.

  • Chuck E. Racer Lehi, UT
    July 13, 2014 3:17 p.m.

    To Bill McGee:

    You said, "It (CC) does not include Investigations or fuzzy math, which was a pre-CC disaster." I'm glad you realize it was a disaster. What is being pushed by CC is 100% constructivist philosophy, which is exactly the same philosophy that Investigations was built upon. It keeps claiming to be "higher level thinking" not "rote memorization," which is exactly what they said about Investigations. It is same thing. It is the same philosophy that the "New Math" of the 60's was based on, and it still doesn't work, despite the claims of its promoters. They keep repackaging the same failed stuff, and it keeps giving the same results, but NOW they are going to push it with the heavy hand of the national government!

    Like many educators you adopt and support this program, not because it is in any way better, but because those whom you consider to be enemies to education oppose it. You do this without investigating objectively both sides and making your own opinion based on history.

  • Chuck E. Racer Lehi, UT
    July 13, 2014 3:02 p.m.

    To "bill in af"
    You say, "...but also involves language arts, social studies, and science. There are many inaccurate statements being made about CC being a "national" program out to indoctrinate our children. "

    If, as it is with CC, one small group based in Washington D.C. sets the "standard," involving those three subjects with the local community having no ability to modify them, tell me how long will it take for it to become the national politically-correct version, especially in social studies?! With the way Obama and the DOE are using money to set up the testing and arm-twist the states into adopting CC without discussion, how easy would it be for him or a Hitler-type to use it for their political ends?! Especially now that the evaluation of teachers is going to be done based on those test results?

    You are incredibly naive to think this will not be used that way, if allowed to be fully implemented. Perhaps you studied "social studies" instead of history and geography when you were in school!

  • faithinus South Weber, UT
    July 13, 2014 1:19 p.m.

    Common Core is the worst system of education we have seen in this country and in Utah. Gov. Herbert brought into Utah without one single vote by the public or parents. It is a federal government TAKEOVER of your child's education which was previously under the watch of the state and the parents. It totally ruined mathematics and literature. Experts in math hate common core math! Literature courses have dropped many of the great pieces of literature and substituted reading government pamphlets. It came with a HUGE DATA collection program aimed at the students from kindergarten through 12th grade and it includes hundreds of data collection points on the student AND his family to be used by any body that gets their hands on it. This government data collection system violates your RIGHT OF PRIVACY and the public is unaware that it is going on. Most communist countries have COMMON CORE and they have it for a reason, to control the students and their families. Wake up Utah parents you shouldn't let the government take over your child's education!!

  • Steven S Jarvis Orem, UT
    July 13, 2014 12:49 p.m.

    I appreciate an honest and forthright article on Common Core such as this one. Too often people form an opinion on common core instead of looking at the facts first, and then are unwilling to listen to anyone that has a different opinion. CC is a set of academic standards. The schools themselves decide how to meet those standards. The article itself identifies both of these issues.

    CC has quite a bit higher standards than what Utah previously had. Although the standards are challenging, they aren't impossible for younger children with proper instruction to teach. It will be much harder on the older kids though. The achievement gap between where we expected High School kids at before and now must be very difficult for students to narrow.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    July 13, 2014 12:02 p.m.

    I'm not excited about any kind of curriculum unless our schools can get 40 students out of the classrooms...

  • Pooh Bear Saint Louis, MO
    July 13, 2014 11:46 a.m.

    A cursory look says this looks like, smells like, and acts like the old socialistic outcomes based education of some 20 years ago, simply repackaged. Heaven help us - literally!

  • Winglish Lehi, UT
    July 13, 2014 11:00 a.m.

    Chuck E. Raser hit the nail on the head. For years, Alpine School District parents (and many teachers) hated the investigations math. Now every public math teacher in the state is forced to use the investigations approach, even though there are numerous other approaches that often work better. The whole languauge approach to teaching reading has been shown for years to be less effective than direct instruction and phonics with higher end students. The districts will purchase only whole language instruction materials from here on out. Your kids who are already good readers will be getting the shaft.
    I question the wisdom of the Common Core adoption more and more each day. I was an advocate in the beginning. Now that I've had to use the core in my classroom for a few years, I realize that the multifaceted approach I was using before the CC adoption was far more effective because I targeted different learners in different ways. Now, if I want my students to succeed on the test to which my paycheck is tied, I am forced to use the "common" approach in instruction. The tests are centered around investigations math and whole language reading.

  • sg newhall, CA
    July 13, 2014 10:52 a.m.

    Let's be honest. The teacher's union is as corrupt as any other union. This whole idea of a common core reeks of socialism/communism. When a government presses for such a program, it is in essence taking control of the minds of our children via indoctrination. Common Core will never work. It is the government's way of dummying down education to placate the millions of illegal children that have been pressed into our education system who refuse to learn English and now must be taught in Spanish. These school superintendents have only themselves in mind, to maintain the status quo. When a union, such as the teachers' union refuses to approve an across the board raise for all teachers regardless of tenure, then you come to realize that this union is not working in the best interests of teachers or students. It is solely to preserve the status quo. Let's face it, our public school system is broken and run by one of the most corrupt unions with impunity.

  • Fitz Murray, UT
    July 13, 2014 10:29 a.m.

    When Common Core came out, I thought it was a good idea. Last year I had the opportunity to help by grandson with his 5th grade math. After this one time session and asking my daughter if the all his math homework was like that, I totally changed my opinion. At least with the 5th grade math, Common Core is garbage and should be terminated.

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    July 13, 2014 10:20 a.m.

    What if the students after 12 years of education had been prepared with specialty skills of their choice in order to enter the job market upon graduation instead of just being prepared to go to college?

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    July 13, 2014 10:15 a.m.

    So after 12 years of education, students are prepared for college.

    Prepared to go into debt for college education.

    Prepared to pay for their own indoctrination to erroneous political, economic and social philosophies taught by egregious professors with an agenda that is dictated to them by elite tax exempt foundations who fund the universities.

  • Bill McGee Alpine, UT
    July 13, 2014 10:12 a.m.

    Common Core is a huge improvement. It does not include Investigations or fuzzy math, which was a pre-CC disaster. I am astounded by the amount of bad information being perpetuated by the folks opposed to this, like Glenn Beck. How did this become a Tea Party hot topic? And why, as usual, are people who follow the Becks of the world so willing to believe whatever they are told? CC is the first real opportunity we have had to get back into the running against countries that are completely overtaking us in the critical area of STEM education.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    July 13, 2014 10:10 a.m.

    NCLB had the same cheerleaders who "knew" what a wonderful mandate they had received and continued to support it, while getting paid large salaries, until the powers that be changed it. Most administrators quit thinking the day they sign their contracts. After that very few, if any, will question anything that comes above them. As a public school teacher for over 20 years, I "puzzled and puzzled till my puzzler was sore" trying to navigate through the mirage of "education" until I realized that many educators had been indoctrinated as well, including myself, to toe the line. There is a vast difference between education and school and until we move away from school, the results will be worse, not better. Until enough citizens believe in themselves enough to say to any national curriculum, "My name is [place your name]and I am different than the kid or parent in [place the city]and want someone to teach me what I need..." it will fail! Any citizen that doesn't support the Constitution are just followers. We need thinkers and we need leaders. The federal government should not be in Education.

  • JBQ Saint Louis, MO
    July 13, 2014 9:56 a.m.

    According to the U.S. Constitution, "Education is a state function". "Common Core" is a dangerous intrusion into the right of each state to set their own standards. This core is a creation of the U.S. Department of Education.

  • bill in af American Fork, UT
    July 13, 2014 9:50 a.m.

    As an educator for 38 years, I have seen a number of programs and standards come and go. My first reaction to CC was "Here we go again". As I have studied the CC and have been trained in ways to implement it, I have hope that this is a step in the right direction to prepare our children better for our future. The CC not only involves Math (which may still have some adjustments to do) but also involves language arts, social studies, and science. There are many inaccurate statements being made about CC being a "national" program out to indoctrinate our children. This is absolutely false. These are deceptive claims by the far right who have not really studied the CC,nor do they respect those of us in education who have been trained to do what is best for our children. Most teachers I know live by the same standards that many parents teach in their homes. Educators will not be controlled to teach from a particular text or teach anything contrary to our local standards.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    July 13, 2014 9:27 a.m.

    And the Eagle Forum crazies who already push to privatize public education come out in 321...

    I don't think I've ever met an anti-common core person who actually knew what it was. Most think Obama created it or that it's a new curriculum to teach communism. All don't know what it's for, what it does, or who created it.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    July 13, 2014 9:10 a.m.

    Highlander56, there are a few countries that have abolished public education or have very little public education. Not surprisingly, they are all in Africa and are the poorest countries in the world. The strongest education systems in the world are very public and highly centralized. I'm not saying that is the solution for America when the problem with the American education system is American culture itself. That means nothing that we do here will fix our education problems until we fix our culture and attitudes. Ironically, many anti-public education people like to compare American education data with those of the top performing countries who have very strong and centralized public school systems, then complain why we can't be like them, and then come up with an all private solution like those found in the worst educational models in the world. It just leaves one scratching one's head.

  • BleedsBlue Salt Lake City, UT
    July 13, 2014 8:49 a.m.

    Finally, a reasonable analysis of the Utah Core!

  • LittleStream Carson City, NV
    July 13, 2014 8:41 a.m.

    Are the "new" benchmarks lower than the previous ones? Is yes, you are still going in the wrong direction and "dummying down" the children. Teachers expectations are much more important than benchmarks. If you expect nothing of the kids they will give you nothing. And then you are going to have to get their parents to understand that getting the homework done is a joint effort between the child and the parent.

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    July 13, 2014 8:25 a.m.

    @ TilleySue

    Agreed. In fact, the best teachers remain in the classrooms, it's the poor ones who get bumped up to administration in the districts because they are more productive behind a desk than with students. These policy makers are so far removed from the road, they don't remember what it was like to be the rubber!

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    July 13, 2014 8:21 a.m.

    I would like to see how kids in a common core program stack up against kids who use traditional teaching methods done right. Three of my kids went to Challenger and we're reading fluently before 1st grade. When they went back to public school they were at least a year ahead of their class. A couple others when to schools that used whole language and this goofy new math. They struggled until we had them work with Challenge r's phonics and Saxon math. Now they are honors student.

    Common Core is not about standards, it is about content - and it is content. It is no wonder that we have a lower literacy rate today than we did at the time of the American revolution.

  • hockeymom Highland, UT
    July 13, 2014 8:20 a.m.

    The problem remains that in the US we try to push our kids to a standard that other countries have already achieved, by using methods that are the opposite of what those countries are using. If we want to compete globally, we need to be humble enough to learn from other countries. The academic push in the US begins way before preschool, and studies are showing that kids who are the victims of pushy programming are burning out by 5th or 6th grade! Most other advanced countries are not teaching reading and math until about 2nd grade, while they focus on social skills & routine in KG & first, and believe children are best at home with mom until 5 years old! In contrast, the term "developmentally appropriate" in the US is now only used to describe what kids can handle under stress, not what is actually best for them in the optimum learning environment. Where is the fun and freedom for kids to learn and explore their own interests if teachers and forced down a rigid curriculum path that has no room or time for creativity or deviation? "Teach the test", becomes the hallmark of our kid's education. Sad.

  • JoeB1Kenobe alpine, UT
    July 13, 2014 7:30 a.m.

    Asking the government superintendents if 'Common Core' is a good idea is like asking a barber if you need a haircut...

  • Paul B. South Jordan, UT
    July 13, 2014 7:24 a.m.

    My investigation and study of Common Core indicates that most opponents of the program actually know very little about it - and a "little knowledge is a dangerous thing". Educators who are polled in professional surveys, such as a Gallup Poll, have an opportunity to express themselves objectively and anonymously, without any pressure from peers, outside critics or administration. These educators (whom I trust more than the "armchair educators" who make most of the noise in the media) are overwhelmingly supportive of Common Core. The conspiracy theorists will likely continue to tell us the sky is falling, but the professionals who truly understand Common Core recognize that this is a genuine effort to upgrade American education. We should support them - and the program.

  • trueblue75 USA, NC
    July 13, 2014 5:19 a.m.

    The statement 'prepares all to go to college' is a part of the problem with Common Core...NOT all students are college bound and who says they need to be... there are many other areas of skill and motivation and training that is not college bound. These superintendents are getting paid way way way too much money....and Common Core and other federal programs help sustain that income....hummm?

    July 13, 2014 4:05 a.m.

    This yet again proves to me that we need to abolish public education as it now exists, including federal control and teachers unions !!!

  • AT Elk River, MN
    July 13, 2014 2:59 a.m.

    I'm so excited for common core to be implemented. We pulled our kids from public schools a couple of years ago. Already, they're outpacing the public school kids. As this common core stuff gets implemented, the gap will become even wider. Teachers, in this mess, have even less room to be creative and help the children excel - they're going to get frustrated and as they get beat down, that frustration will lead to more and more apathy. This will lead to kids not having a love for learning. So, the reason why I'm excited for this... My kids will excel and love learning. The dupes stuck in public schools are going to detest learning and come to think that doing well on an exam = success. When they get out of school, and start performing, my kids will be leading and the public school kids, well, they'll be looking for someone to follow. Woo hoo!

  • No One Of Consequence West Jordan, UT
    July 13, 2014 1:13 a.m.

    I'm sure some people were optimistic about bubonic plague too.

  • Brian Wasilla, AK
    July 13, 2014 12:14 a.m.

    Why when I "Like" an article does the count remain the same?

  • TilleySue South Weber, UT
    July 12, 2014 11:34 p.m.

    Those superintentents would lose their jobs if they said otherwise.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    July 12, 2014 10:18 p.m.

    Superintendents are more businessmen rather then educators.

  • Chuck E. Racer Lehi, UT
    July 12, 2014 5:38 p.m.

    The "standards" didn't improve anything over what we already had. They do force the failed "Whole Language" and Whole Math/Investigations Math" on every teacher by pretending to be "deeper level thinking," which is exactly what has been pushed for the past 20 years with those failed programs. It doesn't help students understand better.

    But it's not really about the standards at all! It's about who sets the standards - some small group of "experts," almost none of whom are or were practicing teachers, OR parents and teachers of the local community. With Common Core we have NO say over what is to be taught our children. We can't change anything in them. With the testing will come the control of teachers to teach what the national government wants taught. (Wait 'till we get a Hitler in charge with CC in place!) And then there is the data mining that CC allows the government to do with "what's best for the children" as the excuse to basically spy on parents and families.