New poll shows many Utahns oppose and misunderstand Common Core

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Aug. 27, 2014 2:54 p.m.

    I don't know how anyone can deny that this is simply a matter of "my team vs yours." Loudmouth conservative talking heads rant about CC being some kind of socialist conspiracy, so their zombified acolytes must nod vigorously in agreement. If the program were exactly the same but promoted by Rush, Ann Coulter, Hannity or Beck. You're supposed to rail against it, so you do. Don't pretend there's actual logic involved.

    My wife is conservative to the bone. She's also a high-school biology teacher. She's read up on common core and can't fathom why the people she's supposed to agree with politically have such a problem with it. This should not be a political issue, yet, like everything else, that's what it's become. Form an opinion of your own, people. Ignore the demagogues.

  • JuliannaG FPO, AP
    Aug. 27, 2014 12:54 a.m.

    It's pretty easy to create statistics that make it appear that Utahns don't understand what Common Core is, when you're using the DOE's talking points as the yardstick for accuracy (because we all know those in government are 100% honest and would never, EVER lie to the public or use their influence dishonestly).
    Please, ignore the thousands of teachers, pediatricians, and psychologists who have come out against these standards. Ignore that the associated testing grades teachers on how well a child compares to other children his age, not how much that child improved compared to the beginning of the year. Ignore that special needs students are assessed at the same level as everyone else their age. Ignore the abominably low importance given to vetting the assignments and methods used. If all they were was standards, no one would care. Like everything else the government offers, it's the pork riders people are concerned with.

  • Vladhagen Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 26, 2014 4:54 p.m.

    In seeing all of these opponents of Common Core suddenly decry the fact that they did not have input as to the education standards in Utah I really need to wonder. I somehow doubt that these same people were sitting on the curriculum committees back in the 90s and early 00s, then were all of the sudden ousted when CC came along. Let's face it, before CC came around many its opponents were passive and apathetic about what the curriculum was. And the survey shows that most people still are apathetic and oblivious.

    The opposition to CC is not due to it being worse than the previous standards or there being a lack of local input; rather, it is the misguided perception that somehow Obama hears daily briefs about CC.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 26, 2014 1:54 p.m.


    I recall. But I always thought it to be an odd statement from someone who headed the federal bureaucracy for 8 years.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Aug. 26, 2014 12:29 p.m.

    the big picture - parents want LESS federal government in their lives not more. Parents want control of what and how their children learn. Parents don't trust the federal government - perhaps Obamacare has set an ugly standard. Ya think?

    "The most frightening words in the world are ...I'm from the government and I'm here to help"
    President Ronald Reagan

  • Uncle_Fester Niskayuna, NY
    Aug. 26, 2014 11:43 a.m.

    Common Core is being resisted in NY as well for obvious reasons. It's funny how a few billion dollars in federal money as a carrot will get states to sign onto something that overall is a step backward. Math in particular under common core is just a mess. Any time the government sets standards in anything you can be sure it is to the lowest common denominator -which is certainly true with common core.

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 26, 2014 10:46 a.m.

    It is "national" guidelines and has the socialist word "common" in it. That is all the opponents in Utah need to know.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    Aug. 26, 2014 9:07 a.m.

    The degree of paranoia in some of these comments would be comical if it weren't so disturbing. I usually don't try and argue too strongly against those who oppose CC because it's certainly understandable to me that people don't trust the federal government...I don't trust them either. So it makes sense to me why some would oppose or instill fear in anything funded by them. That said, citizens need to educate themselves on how the CC came about, the reasons many experts and educators had for bringing it about and developing it. Research the actual standards and compare them to the UEN's last versions of the Utah core curriculum and you will see some differences but not at the extremes that the fear mongers want you to believe. We live in the Information Age, with all kinds of ways to research, compare, and analyze for yourselves. Don't make up your mind based on what Joe Talkradio is telling you...find out for yourselves.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Aug. 26, 2014 8:41 a.m.

    Concentrating on what most of us actuallyy agree on, that we want more not less local control of education, we cannot accept Common Core b'c it is federally funded and effectively further diminishes local control by controllinng purse strings. Opponents of common core do understand this. Does Gov. Herbert?? Apparently not.

    Secondly, as well as increasing the flow from local to federal control, it decreases the flow from parental control to the rule of "experts', hirelings not parents. These are OUR children and all these programs are paid by US, whereas administrations, legislators and teachers alike are net recipients, not providers, of tax money. We do know from numerous polls that this nation is sick and tired of being ignored in what WE want.
    Opponents of common core, DO understand this too.

    The people are wiser than you think, and if some do not fully understand common core it is b'c the professionals and media, generally speaking, divert and limit the discussion to their own chosen battlefields, decide the talking points and avoid key issues..

    However I must applaud the DesNews for its public forums where the people do finally get their say.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Aug. 26, 2014 8:09 a.m.

    Kings Court: One of my favorite anti-common core conspiracies was that school officials will draw blood samples from children taking the test in order to get a DNA sample for testing companies who will then sell it to the government.

    Aggie5 said: “Common core goes way beyond certain low standards for math and English. They brain scan your kids as well.”

    Your right, they are everywhere.

    ..and word why didn’t you just look online, Texas textbooks are available, even the ones where they are rewriting American History with a conservative twist, Not part of CC.

  • Oak Highland, UT
    Aug. 26, 2014 7:23 a.m.

    @Vladhagen: you completely misread the statement. Ben Wood asked me if I saw it as an advantage that so many people didn't understand the issue and I said yes, because they haven't made up their mind yet based on the false information the USOE keeps spouting. We have an opportunity to educate people right from the source documents and facts that have been revealed since Common Core was adopted. There's a lot more to it than the simple "state-led" nonsense the USOE continues to promote.

  • financenco Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 26, 2014 6:31 a.m.

    You do not want Common Core. They take out more of the history, then it has done before. They also polute it even more. And we lost history over the years to begin with. Their math is confusing at best, even most adults can't do it. If you can tell me what 15+5 is. You don't need Common Core. Because their version is not worth the confusing way they come up with the answer. Lets also not use their reading format, in which young kids are forced to read soft style porn, so they can accept alternative lifestyles. This is supported by Bill Gates, and others like him, becasue he needs to stifle future competition, and increase his work force. Common Core dumbs things down. Don't accept it to begin with. If you need a plan to defeat it, ask Oklahoma for help.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 26, 2014 6:16 a.m.

    LIVIS presents a perfect picture of the knowledge level of a Utah voter. It's all about ideology and nothing more.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 26, 2014 6:12 a.m.

    StringFellowHawk -- completely wrong.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 11:25 p.m.

    One of my favorite anti-common core conspiracies was that school officials will draw blood samples from children taking the test in order to get a DNA sample for testing companies who will then sell it to the government.

    Here is a personal favorite:

    I know one parent who opted out from the SAGE testing out of fear that the Federal government may get a hold of their kids' Social Security numbers. Go figure!

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 10:50 p.m.

    worf get the titles and buy your own books from the publisher. In our neighborhood high school many teachers can't check out textbooks to individual students because they don't have enough. Most teachers on their disclosures list the text used. I know you've said you were a teacher, I suppose you did the same. You should know better about this conspiracy stuff. Again, I don't think this is "secret" information, but do it on your own dime.

    I've heard some funny things by critics of the common core but them brain scanning your children takes the cake. I hope this was sarcasm, never can tell...

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 10:10 p.m.

    So long as our schools struggle to produce students who are numerate and literate, I think it is folly to introduce complexities into the basic arithmetical functions. It's fascinating in itself to me as an adult but it would be far better to teach one way to do perform these functions and add to this percentages, fractions, decimals, interest etc. If they introduced higher streams in math for students with higher comprehension and interest that would be great, but to complicate math, expect original thinking from many students in math, while concurrently promoting a lower standard is contradictory & unworkable.

    I have, otoh, been ever in favor of basic standards required to graduate from each year in all grades, but these should be for basic knowledge in Math & English with the addition of geography and history. I am extremely wary of anything funded by the federal government. No matter how well things might begin the feds will end up controlling things - badly, and the centralisation of the United States increases. Reject any federal connection, do things on a state level strictly, don't complicate that with which so many students already struggle.

  • Veracity Morgan, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 10:07 p.m.

    In our community there is a very small group who worry about Orwell's 1984...they have stirred up people about how bad the common core is and I am sure they know nothing about it at all...they are worried the government is tagging their child's name and are watching every move they make. They truly believe the common core came from Obama so it must be bad...he had nothing to do with it and it was established by educators at State levels in order to prepare our students better for college or life. It really gets me to see how many sheep will follow the wolf.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Aug. 25, 2014 9:39 p.m.

    SAT and ACT scores peaked in the mid 1960s before all of this Federal "help" showed up. Parents were involved in the schools and they didn't tolerate people messing with their kids education. Parents were focused on making sure that their children learned how to read, write and do math.

    To date no set of government mandated standards, state for federal, has improved education one iota. There are too many hidden agendas. Political parties want to mold future voters. Corporation want to profit from education as well.

    Microsoft corporation started the "Common Core Standards". The head of Microsoft Charities used to be the superintendent of schools in my town. I know him personally. I know that I cannot trust him. He has hidden agendas within hidden agendas.

    Give parents the tools to teach their children and get mom back in the schools and things will improve dramatically.

  • On the other hand Riverdale, MD
    Aug. 25, 2014 9:21 p.m.

    @ulvegaard, for the record, Common Core says nothing about morning work or recess. Rather than complain about a standard you know nothing about, why not go read it?

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    Aug. 25, 2014 9:00 p.m.

    I went to eight different schools asking to borrow some textbooks, so I could study what is being taught in our schools. I asked about their teaching strategies, and curriculum.

    I even offered a hundred dollar deposit, and was rejected by all eight schools, because I wasn't a parent of any of their students.

    I stated I was a tax payer, and had a right to know how my money was being spent, but it didn't matter.

    How is a citizen going to know about common core, or anything about education if you're shut out?

    What's the big secret? I would guess a high percentage of parents don't even know what their children are being taught.

  • Bob Pomeroy Bisbee, AZ
    Aug. 25, 2014 8:47 p.m.

    "That tells me that there is a very vocal group that may not be a majority, but they’re driving the conversation on this,"

    pretty much sums it up, and that group is guided by what are essentially 'outsiders' who get their beliefs from oil company propaganda developing a following they can depend on for support.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 8:19 p.m.

    In looking at the Utah Policy website, the ones driving the survey, no one has made a comment as of 8 p.m. There are more positive comments about CC than those against. Some of those against are from liberal states and are against CC. That alone could mean that CC is not what some portray in their advertising against CC. Some of the radio talk show hosts may be misdirected in their push against the Federal Government for pushing CC. The Utah State Board of Education has done a lot of work on CC and includes plenty of information on it's adopted requirements. However, the ones against CC only want to gain citizen's emotional instincts and don't want people to get the truth from the Utah Board. Line upon line correctness and approved by the Board is good. At the Utah GOP convention in 2012 the anti-common core people didn't want to listen to the school teachers that actually were using the CC in their classrooms. They wanted to push anti-Federalism such as the former AG was campaigning on.

  • Aggie5 Kuna, ID
    Aug. 25, 2014 8:12 p.m.

    Common core goes way beyond certain low standards for math and English.
    They brain scan your kids as well.
    Bill Gates loves common core. That means run really fast way from it.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 8:09 p.m.

    Oak Norton and his organization "Utahns Against the Common Core" are the source of the misinformation. He blames the school board, but he won't listen to the school board because what they say don't fit his preconceived notions. I recommend that readers google the article "How Facts Backfire." It explains the psychology of why people hang on to misinformation in spite of facts.

  • The Educator South Jordan , UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 7:58 p.m.

    4 out of every 10 Utahns belong to the Eagle Forum.

    No surprise here. Move along folks.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Aug. 25, 2014 7:51 p.m.

    Whether it be Common Core or some other set of standards, we need a guide post, a measuring stick to be able to compare if School District A is accomplishing as much as School District B even if they are in different states. Further, we need a minimum standard across the country. How can we be competitive internationally if not?

    If a particular state or school district has a better way to meet or exceed the standard - great! Bring it on. If there is something specific that is objectionable - then let's address it specifically, not in generalities and not via anecdotes due to the way one particular district implements the standards. The issue must deal withe standards themselves.

    I have little tolerance for conspiracy theories (in practice, they are simply too difficult to manage for even the most draconian of organizations). So, if there are issues, let's vet them in the full sunlight of reason.

  • Commenter88 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 25, 2014 7:46 p.m.

    Let's try to disabuse Utahns on this subject even-handedly:
    1. Common Core has nothing to do with the Obama administration. So let's get that out of the equation for both Obama-haters and Obama-lovers.
    2. Common Core, in practice, re-prioritizes standards. It will increase base standards overall, but will almost certainly do so to the exclusion of some previous, traditional curriculum: generally less canonical literature, art, and music for most public schools.
    3. Common core is a sort of de facto curriculum in the way it is implemented and the way it will evolve. This is because of testing and the secondary curriculum market which will cater to the tests. The tests define the curriculum simply by the sheer demands it places on classroom time.
    4. Arguing on whether it is federal or local or voluntary is pointless. What matters is how it will evolve over time, its effects on good teachers (it will probably help bad teachers), and what it will leave out to make room for the new.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 7:39 p.m.

    Also we need to revere teaching and education. We need to pay teachers more as they do in Finland. We need to get better educated, trained teachers into the field. We need to let our children have breaks and recess and end the standardized testing silliness.

    RedWings: I agree and disagree. I would say MOST teachers care and want to do right by their students. They do get ground down and often leave the profession. I wouldn't say they have lost compassion but they are just ground down and compassion or passion isn't enough.

    We need to take a major U-turn in education. As I have said OVER AND OVER on these posts, quit the stupid fight about Common Core. Again, the proponents and opponents of it make me both nauseous. We have classes with 45-50 students in them in many schools and we're griping about this.

    We need to wake up!

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 7:29 p.m.

    Most adult Utahns aren't smart enough to know that putting their children in class sizes of 40 or more students is a bad idea so why should I be surprised with this poll...

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 5:52 p.m.

    We need to pull up our socks and get informed before we make important decisions.

  • StringFellowHawk Blaine, Wa.
    Aug. 25, 2014 5:47 p.m.

    Let's see.........low standards? Well, this seems consistent with the term 'dumbing down' the school systems. It appears that is basically the problem, for it hurts ONLY, those who are actually smarter or are prepared to actually work toward making progress in school work, and in reality, want to make something of themselves, and realize that it is through that hard work, that they succeed. It is designed to help those who are not as talented or 'smarter' or prepared, to do what is necessary to get passing grades. While those who want to work, want to strive to do that which will propel them to greater heights in learning, are held in check simply because they are held back by those who cannot or will not, do those things needed to make them better students, and thus....better citizens in the future.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 5:15 p.m.

    The common core standards are actually a good starting point as some have suggested. As someone who works and does research in education I would also concur that they are actually too light in some areas, and could use a bit more muscle so to speak. I think the angst that many Utahns have regarding the CC is that it is being federally funded. This apprehension can be resolved somewhat by educating citizens to the fact that the CC does not dictate pedagogy or even curriculum. It only gives the standards by which curriculum should be framed so that students understand key concepts and content whether they reside in Utah or West Virginia. Does it make sense for a student in Utah be held to one set of standards while a student in West Virginia is held to another? Especially when their collegiate endeavors will have similar expectations based on common standards (accreditation)? The federal government is not dictating pedagogy. The states still decide curriculum under CC, NOT the federal government.

  • bill in af American Fork, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 4:55 p.m.

    The poll results do not surprise me. Many people without opinions are content to let things be if they see no major problems. Those who really understand CC are satisfied that it is a step the right direction to improve education toward more local control. It is certainly an improvement over NCLB which was a poorly thought out over-reaching federal government program which was the brain child of the Republican party. Where were the far right critics then? Those who oppose common core are purposely spreading false information to try to undermine the public education system at the expense of the children in the state. Oak, Gayle and others have been trying to do this for years.

  • LVIS Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 4:54 p.m.

    When I consider who supports common core, I know it must be a bad thing.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Aug. 25, 2014 4:41 p.m.

    Perhaps I haven't read the entire set-up and perhaps I don't understand it, but I see what heppens with my own kids (our school district proudly sponsors Common Core).

    My kindergartner (who, simply put, is hyper) doesn't get recess because he hasn't finished his morning work -- no recess results in him having too munch pent up energy later in the day and is constantly in 'time-out' as a result.

    First grader comes home from school with ever deepening stress lines because she struggles to complete her classroom work and so doesn't get recess. She struggles to comprehend the 'new math', and so keeps getting further and further behind.

    Overall, I see school drop out rates higher, language skills lower, and all from pressing kids earlier to be academic brains in order to compete with children across the world. I just want my children to have a childhood, learn to read, write, and do math.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 4:17 p.m.

    This is exactly what happens when gullible people obtain all their "information" from propaganda machines.

    It speaks volumes about Utah's citizenry.

    It's not flattering at all, is it?

    Aug. 25, 2014 4:04 p.m.

    State governors were solicited to adopt Common Core and they would get additional federal money to support education. How is the federal government not involved?

    The standards were put together by Bill Gates and his foundation. In the late 1800s, JP Morgan, Carnegie, and Rockefeller pushed the "public school" as a way to train employees for their factories. No one cared about the kids - they only cared about a steady stream of workers coming off the farms and into the factories. No different today with Gates and his agenda.

    Public schools are factories themselves. They churn out kids who can pass a standardized test and get the school funding for the next year. Our kids don't matter to professional educators - money does.

    There are some teachers who care, but they get ground down and lose that compassion.

    Thankfully we home school. My wife and I are far more qualified to educate our kids than a C student from some junior college....

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 4:00 p.m.

    When I consider who opposes common core, I know it must be a good thing.

  • mattrick78 Cedar City, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 3:51 p.m.

    I have used Common Core type methods in home school. Since it requires the teacher to know the methods inside and out, I can see how it can be confusing for kids when the teacher does not know what they are doing. I also think it works better with smaller classroom sizes. I also think that raising stands in education is a good thing, but I don't think it will solve some of the underlying factors as to why many American kids are behind the rest of the world.

  • liberty or ...? Ogden, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 3:43 p.m.

    And as ususal the harping on standards by the supporters and the half truth half conveniantly omitted reporting of the deseret news as they recite the talking points from the common core website. I have given 3 posts on the standards already showing the half truth half lie of their creation and validation (even including statements by current super intendants some of which support this measure) the standards are in some respect are not necessarily the issue here (although if you were complaining about teaching to the test under NCLB you just got the upgrade with a dose of steroids). It is the devil in the details tendrils attached and inseperably connected to it which none of the supporters including a member of the current state board of eductaion can adequately answer. These include the Data collection,relaxation of privacy laws, Funding,School ratings systems,and Curriculum (not standards) interwoven into this thing.

  • souptwins Lindon, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 3:34 p.m.

    "Seek first to understand then to be understood." Seems Norton prefers people not understand-- ever.

  • bradleyc Layton, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 3:13 p.m.

    Everyone with IOS, Android or Windows should go and download the "Common Core" app from your appropriate App store. It is a great source to read the standards and decide what you think. Until you know, you cannot judge. I love the common core. Oak Norton doesn't understand what the core is or where it came from.

  • Mandyz Syracuse, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 3:06 p.m.

    I do not agree with the common core standards for math. They have lowered the standard (calculus can only be reached if your child does the honor track for math beginning in seventh grade). Not only have they lowered the overall standard, they have taken a subject that is straightforward and turned it into a convoluted mess. Their objective is to teach students to use number manipulation, and to understand that in math there are multiple different ways to reach the same conclusion. However, you must learn the basics FIRST. They are taught at LEAST ten different 'methods' to use to add. And subtract. And multiply. And divide. They have them add to subtract and multiply to divide. Then the worst part is-if the kids do the problem correctly but use a method other than the one the teacher had in mind, it's wrong. I have three kids in elementary right now who are trying to learn math using these common core methods. Give them a math problem, don't tell them HOW to do it, and they just sit there. This is not INCREASING their number awareness, it's DECREASING it.

  • Ender Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 2:43 p.m.

    Since there is so much misunderstanding out there. I just want to encourage everyone to Google Utah Core Standards and visit the USOE's website on the matter. There are even links there to the standards themselves. Read them; they're great!

    They provide a nice set of objectives, while leaving the curriculum (how to actually teach) in the hands of local teachers, schools, and districts.

  • michaelitos Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 2:37 p.m.

    I agree with Kralon. As someone who has read the standards (fyi you can read them too, just Google Common Core Standards), they are a good starting point. However, they are the minimum. I would hope that our educators would use them to guide their curriculum development and evern surpass them!

    Common Core = Increased College/Career Readiness = Better for Utah Children

    It's a good starting place, but let's not stop there!

    Aug. 25, 2014 2:17 p.m.

    As someone who has actually read the common core standard, I find the biggest problem is that it is a very low standard. But, there is no requirement to not go beyond the common core standard, so that makes it viable.

    Schools should adopt the common core and then be allowed to go way beyond it!

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Aug. 25, 2014 2:09 p.m.

    So 4 in ten oppose a set of standards they know literally nothing about. What does this tell you about 4 in ten Utahns?
    As Oscar Wilde wrote, "Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone."

  • Vladhagen Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 2:05 p.m.

    This poll again shows that 80% of Utah is misinformed in regard to Common Core. I find it interesting that Mr. Norton sees that lack of familiarity with the standards plays in his advantage. The less people know, the more likely they are to lash out against what they do not understand. He has natural allies in the fight against Common Core: Misinformation, apathy, and impulsive decisions to decry the standards.