I received this email from math teacher and football coach Malin Williams who gave permission to post it with his name.
My name is Malin Williams. I teach math at Enterprise High School in the Washington County School District. This letter is being typed at home on my own computer and on my own time. I did not participate in the essay contest, but have some thoughts that may be useful. If so, use them. These thoughts are my own and in no way am I attempting to speak for any official entity, organization, or individual besides myself.
It is difficult to express myself concerning the common core. There is much “official support” for it. I fear that teachers who oppose the common core may somehow be punished, but my perception is that most teachers do not really want the common core. We want to be allowed to use our professional judgement and serve our students the best way we know how. We welcome professional development which we can use to increase our effectiveness. We chafe at being told “you must” by people who are not in our classrooms and communities.
I have spent a significant amount of time studying the pros and cons of the common core. Many of the math standards are very good. Some are not. (Does a kindergarten student really need to know what a hexagon is…Does he really need to be able to distinguish between whether a shape is two dimensional or three dimensional? Will this cause confusion and frustration unnecessarily?) I am very concerned about Utah losing our ability to control our own educational standards and programs. I am concerned about struggling students being forced from one failing experience to the next. I am equally concerned about our best students being slowed down. I would very much like my own children to be in a school that did not have to worry about federal controls, education standards with inflexible copyrights held by massive cooperatives, data mining, over-emphasizing of coercive testing and compliance, excessive corporate controls, etc.
We are moving ever farther from the small, locally controlled schools that produced our parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Family friendly schools and policies seem to be decreasing. The schools and social forces that produced the greatest nation in the world are disappearing. Will the new experiment work? The farther we get from what made us great, the farther we seem to fall. Hope and individual initiative seem to be decreasing. Can they be successfully replaced by rigid standards and increased bureaucracy? Must our sons and daughters be placed under more distant and more regimented controls? Is federal money so necessary and dear to us? Is parental input so unimportant?
My colleagues can be trusted. We want to feel trusted and empowered. We need to return local control and empowerment to Utah students, parents, and teachers by rejecting the common core. We can do better.
Head Football Coach
Level 4 Math Teacher
Enterprise High School
Nobody on this site is shocked by this. We’ve see this coming from 2,100 miles away. The Governor, State Board members, and USOE keep denying it because they were deceived and have become defensive over time. Now they are happy in their delusions of reality. The longer we stay on the Common Core agenda (standards, computer adaptive assessments, data collection, etc…), the more beholden Utah will be to comply with federal mandates and curriculum interference. We need Utah off this whole agenda and back on its own high quality state standards. The feds are tightening the noose.
From the CATO institute: http://www.cato.org/blog/budget-proposal-its-not-just-about-core-coercion-anymore
The big story in the proposal is – or, at least, should be – that the president almost certainly wants to make the Core permanent by attaching annual federal funding to its use, and to performance on related tests. Just as the administration called for in its 2010 NCLB reauthorization proposal, POTUS wants to employ more than a one-time program, or temporary waivers, to impose “college and career-ready standards,” which–thanks to RTTT and waivers–is essentially synonymous with Common Core. In fact, President Obama proposes changing Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act – of which NCLB is just the most recent reauthorization – to a program called “College- and Career-Ready Students,” with an annual appropriation of over $14 billion.
This was utterly predictable. Core opponents, who are so often smeared as conspiracy mongers, know full well both what the President has proposed in the past, and how government accumulates power over time. RTTT was the foot in the door, and once most states were using the same standards and tests, there was little question what Washington would eventually say: “Since everyone’s using the same tests and standards anyway, might as well make federal policy based on that.”
Under Common Core’s Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT), you will never know what indoctrination your children are being exposed to and neither will your children’s teachers. This video explains exactly why you MUST opt your child out of all computer adaptive tests or start homeschooling.
Hypothetically, what if you’re a teacher who holds a view that those above you don’t like? Maybe you’ve stirred the pot one too many times. What if someone has the power to dial up the difficulty on your students’ exam and make you look bad? What if you’re a student who answers a little too conservatively? Will you have something tied into your record that identifies you as a potential troublemaker in the future?
Superintendent Menlove has said in a House Education Committee meeting that all students may opt out of these tests. Go to this link, click HB 81′s audio under the player, and forward to the 29 minute mark and start listening.
In Utah, we have the SAGE assessments, administered by AIR. AIR does not specialize in academic testing. They are a behavioral testing company. If you are new to this issue, here are a few past articles to bring you up to speed.
Do you think we’re safe just because we live in “family friendly” Utah? Think again. Here’s a letter I got from a parent just a few days ago.
I am passing this on to you because I believe you can reach more people than I can. This morning my son was to take his 8th Grade writing assessment. Knowing that this would most likely be an assignment where he was asked to write about his opinion on something, I went down to the school and talked to the English teacher. She told me that in the past, the topics had been things like whether or not students should be allowed to wear hats at school or what their opinion was on school uniforms. Another asked an opinion about using paper or plastic shopping bags. However, she was not allowed to see the actual prompt before or after the assessment in past years or this year. She was nice, but unconcerned. After visiting a while, she was willing to let me be in the room and look over my son’s shoulder as the prompt appeared after log in. One look and I let her know that my son would not be participating in the assessment. She was polite and said that was fine. While not revealing the actual topic of the assessment, I will share that it very clearly asked for an opinion regarding the role of parents vs. the role of government and other organizations on a topic that I would say should most definitely fall under the parental realm. Heads up to parents of all 8th graders in the state of Utah!
(PhD in Instructional Psychology & Technology with emphasis in Educational Assessment)”
When I inquired further, this parent indicated this was a state-wide 8th grade writing assessment. It was the only question on this assessment. Her son informed her that another boy in his class didn’t participate for the same reason. He stepped out and called his mom to tell her what the prompt was and she told him not to participate.
I pressed this parent further to know the specific question and she responded:
“Should access to media be limited by parents, by the government, or by another organization?”
This is an opinion question given to 13-14 year olds. Most of them aren’t going to know of other organizations that they could write about as a viable option on a writing assignment, so the real choices for this writing assessment are parents or government putting restrictions on their media. This is Utah, and I’d like to believe that most children would write that it’s better for parents to put the restrictions on them, but there’s probably a lot of young teens who resent the restrictions parents put on them and probably a good number are going to write and speculate about how the government should be in charge of such matters. In reality, the only role the government has is ensuring the first amendment is protected.
I recommend you immediately opt your children out of all CAT’s using our opt-out form. Talk with your child about inappropriate questions that may minimize the role of parents. Look up your school district to see if it is opt-out friendly. So far only Nebo school district has displayed animosity toward families in rejecting the opt-out form. Alpine even went so far as to publish their own simple opt-out form for parents to use. A few charter schools have indicated they will also force children to take the test because the school is graded based on this test and charters live and die by enrollments. We need the state to change the way they grade schools so it does not include CAT’s. Look at our opt-0ut form though and you’ll realize you have a fundamental liberty interest in the education of your children so you hold the upper hand. Opt-out.
Last fall, the state allowed 15 parents to review 10,000 test questions. In one week. Hundreds of questions were flagged for concerns. The vast majority of those concerns were ignored. Parents really have no clue what their children are going to see on these tests. Only 15 people caught a very fast glimpse of them and none of them were trained psychologists looking for behavioral indicators.
I strongly encourage you to opt your child out of CAT’s. If you are in a school that requires them, expose your child to someone with a cold a few days prior to the tests. :)
Here is a chart and explanation by one of the 15 parent reviewers.
“All items flagged by the parent review panel, which were not removed will be presented to the parent review panel next summer for further review.”
Listed below is the numeric representation of the process:
|Flagged||Removed||Changed||Review after Field Test|
|English Language Arts||
Addendum by Alpine School District Board Member Wendy Hart
I believe that if you opt out, unless your school has a policy otherwise, it shouldn’t matter whether your kid is there or not on the day of the test.
The short answer is that ‘yes’, your student will be counted in the school and teacher grades as non-proficient. However, this is set by the State Board, and they have said if it affects the school and teacher grades because too many parents opt out, they would change it. It was news to me that it would be on the child’s permanent record, but I confirmed this evening that they are putting it in the computer system in ASD as such, again because of the State Board’s grading system. So, this is new (since my kids have no record of having tested the last two years and they were opted out, formally, both years). It goes to a bullying mentality from the State Board: parents have the right to opt out, but we’ll make it very, very difficult for them. (They can’t legally penalize the student for the parents’ choice, but they can make it seem very, very bad.)
If the parents and teachers were to push back, the State Board would change their policy. (They have already said they would, they just need more incentive from the people to do it prior to the tests.) It is unfair to punish the teachers for kids who don’t take the test. Please write to all the state board members and ask them to change their grading system. If enough people do this (and it might only take a hundred or so), and copy in the legislators, it will get changed. They are hoping to get enough parents to be scared that they won’t do it. After they have this system in place for a year or two, then they will change it to where the student’s grade is dependent on the test, as well.
I’m so sorry, and I completely understand that pressure. I am doing this with my kids because the whole thing enforces what the State Board wants at the expense of local schools and local parents. The only way to change it is for parents to reassert their natural rights. I wish teachers would push back, as well. It is most unfair to them. It wouldn’t take much for a large group of teachers and/or the UEA to stand for fairness in grading. There is no point to counting an opted out student as non-proficient other than to induce teachers to guilt parents into having their kids tested.
Let me know if I can help with anything.
Diana Suddreth, a curriculum director at Utah’s State Office of Education, sent out this email this morning in anticipation of HB 342 being presented. It went to “Curriculum Friends” all over the state. In it we clearly see the goals of the USOE. The person who sent it to me included this introductory line and copied several others in her department: “I think we all want this bill to go a different way than Diana and Syd do.”
———————- (bold and italics mine)
From: Suddreth, Diana <Diana.Suddreth@schools.utah.gov>
Date: Mon, Mar 3, 2014 at 9:06 AM Subject: HB342
Just a heads up that today in the House Education Standing Committee HB342 (Powers and Duties of the State Board of Education by Rep. Layton) will be heard.
This bill essentially gives more power to parents over curriculum standards, would prohibit us from adopting any national standards, and would require a revision of our current math and ELA standards.
Go to www.le.utah.gov to read the bill and find additional information should you want to take any action. Rep. Layton has promised a substitute that will be softer but as of yet, the original bill is still on the agenda.
Sydnee Dickson, Ed. D.
Director, Teaching and Learning
Utah State Office of Education
Please note Utah has a very broad public records law. Most written communication to or from our state employees regarding state business are public records availiable to the public and media upon request. Your email communication may be subject to public disclosure.
Well Ms. Dickson, I thought the USOE valued local control and parental input? I thought Common Core wasn’t a set of National standards? Freudian slip? True colors coming out? How dare you try to take power away from parents over what their children are exposed to and the quality of education they receive. The USOE sold us down the river in adopting Common Core for a shot at getting a federal bribe. The USOE is perhaps the most subversive agency in the state.
An open letter to Utah legislators,
HB 131- Utah’s Public Education Modernization Act seeks to put a mobile device into the hands of every K-12 student. Its price tag is conservatively estimated at $200,000 million. Realistic estimates put it significantly higher and point out that costs will be ongoing.
This bill injures parental rights, harms the parent/child relationship and endangers taxpayers in the following ways:
1. Injures parental rights by disrespecting the parent’s primary role as educator.
a. HB 131 imposes a one-size-fits-all, technology approach to learning that ignores the diverse approaches to learning that many Utah parent’s value. This injures the parent’s right to choose a different approach for their child.
b. Utah parents, who do not want their child to have access to devices during the entire school day and to be required to use those devices for nightly homework, are injured by this bill.
c. Utah parents who believe that historically proven approaches to classical educations are better than encouraging overuse of technology to “fundamentally change the teaching and learning experience” are also injured by this bill. (Quote from ProjectRed—the group pushing the bill.)
d. Computer adaptive curricula, while appealing, also have the disadvantage of being changed without parental knowledge. Additionally, student-identifiable data collection becomes almost impossible to police.
2. Harms the Parent/Child Relationship by subordinating the parent’s authority
a. Eliminates the parent’s right to control their child’s technology use
b. Elevates the school’s technology policies over the parent’s technology policies (if the child violates family policy, the parent cannot take the technology away when it is required for homework)
c. Causes contention in families by altering the school/parent relationship. The parent and child serve the school’s needs for control, rather than the school serving the parent and child’s needs for education.
d. Creates a power struggle between parents who disagree with technology overuse, schools who require it, and children who are tied to it
3. Makes Utah taxpayers beholden to private interests seeking to dismantle local control of resources
a. ProjectRED is the group behind HB 131 that is seeking to put a mobile device into every child’s hands. There are questions about ProjectRED’s sponsor Intel, Intel’s relationship with IM Flash and IM’s relationship to legislators supporting HB 131. These relationships should be made transparent to Utah taxpayers.
b. ProjectRED’s CEO Leslie Wilson said, “Regions and districts MUST consolidate…to recapture funds to reallocate to ed tech.” This edict benefits ProjectRED, and special interests who jump on the technology bandwagon, NOT Utah taxpayers.
c. Technology is ever-changing. Costs for broken, lost, stolen, or outdated devices cannot be foreseen. Will parents have to pay for broken, lost or stolen devices? Will taxpayers be on the hook for continued upgrades which will further enrich the private interests pushing these policies?
And, in case those reasons just don’t seem good enough to legislators, let’s identify one more problem with HB 131.
The goal to regionalize local school districts and reallocate state’s funds into technology is part of President Obama’s regional equity movement—the movement to reform education by redistributing wealth.
Here’s a partial history:
President Obama delivered his State of the Union address on January 12, 2013. He touted Phase I and announced Phase 2 of his Blueprint to fundamentally transform America’s education system.
He said, “Four years ago we started Race to the Top to develop smarter curricula and higher standards.” (Common Core Standards – Phase I)
Then, he said, “Tonight, I’m announcing a new challenge to REDESIGN America’s schools so they better equip graduates for a high-tech economy.” (Resource Redistribution – Phase 2)
Utah’s State Board jumped right onto Phase 1′s Common Core, and now Utah’s State Legislature is enacting Phase 2 under the guise of House Bill 131.
The day after the President’s speech, his Equity and Excellence Commission, housed in the US Department of Education, issued a report entitled, For Each and Every Child. It said, “We present a bold new vision of the Federal Role in education….The time has come for the Federal Government to REDESIGN AND REFORM THE FUNDING of our nation’s public schools.”
Many of the players behind this federal push are simply profiteers. Please do not fundamentally alter parental rights and put Utah taxpayers in jeopardy.
Pamela Smith has put together a fantastic video explaining exactly how your child’s personally identifiable information is at serious risk under Common Core.
Common Core Standards’ architect David Coleman, and his group Student Achievement partners, have created a text complexity metric designed to assess the progression of text complexity in student reading. The goal of this new metric is to elevate informational text above great and proven literary works. Hillsdale College History Professor, Dr. Terrence Moore detailed in his book, “Story-Killers: A Common Sense Case Against the Common Core” how the English language arts are being destroyed by this new metric which calls for “range” in texts. “Range”, as Dr. Moore identifies, is code for requiring modern day, unproven and politically biased authors to be read in accelerated rates as compared to great and proven literary authors. Dr. Moore points out that this flawed Common Core reading metric actually calls for the Grapes of Wrath to be read in SECOND GRADE!!!, while a George Clooney article would be considered a “complex text” to be read in 11th grade.
In Appendix A of the Common Core Standards we find that seven reading metric companies participated in a Student Achievement Partners’ study which helped them all align their metrics to the guidelines of the Common Core creators. Page 4 of Appendix A reads, “Each of the measures has realigned its ranges to match the Standards’ text complexity grade bands and has adjusted upward its trajectory of reading comprehension development through the grades to indicate that all students should be reading at the college and career readiness level by no later than the end of high school.”
Do English teachers need a metric aligned to Common Core (which apparently most reading metric tools now are) in order to understand at what levels their students are in reading? Utah’s HB 417 assumes that they do.
Utah’s HB 417 wants to spend $1 million Utah tax dollars to provide a new technology tool that will use the Common Core aligned Lexile reading metric for assessing English standards. The bill calls for the State Board, on or before July 1, 2014, to select one or more technology providers, through a request for proposals process, to provide licenses for a tool for students in grades 4-12.
HB 417 “enables student reading ability to be reported as a Lexile measure; uses Lexile measures to match reading materials and exercises to the comprehension level of readers.
Is it any coincidence that MetaMetrics, the company that created the Lexile Framework for Reading received a 3-year grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation?
Or, that Student Achievement Partners is mostly funded by Gates?
Is it any coincidence that Utah’s State School Board is being directed to use a Lexile provider for English Language Arts? What company will Utah choose?
It doesn’t really matter. They’re all the same. And, as more and more bills in Utah’s legislature are simply fulfilling the Obama administration’s goals for centralizing curriculum and data collection, we are losing all autonomy and agency in teaching and learning….
Additional points to consider regarding David Coleman and his role in centralizing data collection in America’s education system:
• He worked with McKinsey & Co.—the international, “big data” powerhouse—which plans to acquire and then merge SBAC and PARCC, the two federally funded testing groups for Common Core, in 2014. (Utah’s testing agent, American Institutes for Research is partnered with SBAC and plans to eventually use SBAC’s test items).
• His New York based data company, the Grow Network, was paid a $2.2 million contract to produce data studies for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC). The Grow Network’s objective was to “produce data to tell parents and teachers what test scores mean.” At that time, President Obama (then Senator Obama) was sitting on the CAC Board which paid for the contract and US Secretary of Education, Arne Ducan was Chicago’s State Superintendent.
• He was hired to be the architect of Common Core Standards
• His group, Student Achievement Partners managed to change all independent reading metrics to the requirements of the Common Core. One of those is Lexile—required in Utah’s House Bill 417. At this link, Lexile explains how they “integrated their measures into Obama’s Race to the Top Assessment Program application.”
• He was appointed to be the new head of the College Board. The College Board has shifted its mission—they are now desiging curriculum and curriculum frameworks and hiring Obama campaign data experts to decide who gets to attend college by accessing massive amounts of student data through curriculum platforms and tests. The GED, PSAT, AP Tests, SAT & ACT are all being aligned to Common Core.
• See “College Board’s Curricular Coup” – A Nine-Part Series on how David Coleman and the College Board are dismantling the idea of American exceptionalism in America’s curricula and tests.
Someone emailed me about this article which appeared on The Blaze yesterday.
U.S. Education Secretary: Common Core Isn’t Headed Toward National Curriculum Status
In it, Gov. Herbert is quoted as saying:
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, supports the concept but said his state is cautious about federal encroachment.
“Common Core was designed initially by the states,” Herbert told TheBlaze. “It’s really just a common goal. It predates my time. Governors were upset about the progress of education. We’re falling behind. So states simply said, ‘Why don’t we have a common goal on language arts and math, and whoever you are in this country, when it comes to getting a high school diploma, you have some kind of minimal proficiency?’ That aspect of it was good.”
“We certainly don’t want to have the government overreaching and dictating to the states, certainly not to Utah, about our methodology, how we’re going to do it, what our textbooks are, what our testing is going to be,” Herbert said.
“In fact in Utah, we’ve passed a law to say that can’t happen. We have a law that says if any of this federal overreach somehow gets into our system, we are mandated to get out of it. I think our education, our state school board, our education leaders, we’ve always controlled our own curriculum, we’ve always controlled our own textbooks and testing. We’ll continue to do that in Utah.”
Here are some specific issues with his statements:
1) Common Core was not initially designed by the states. The common national standards movement has been around for decades. David Coleman, architect of Common Core, has clearly stated that he went around convincing governor’s to sign on. This was done long before the states got involved.
2) Minimal proficiency is one thing, but due to the amount of testing and tying this to teacher performance, Common Core is maximum standards, not minimal. Teachers don’t have time to do anything else. I spoke with a teacher this weekend who supports Common Core, and said she no longer has time to teach her elementary students history or art or read to them because of all the stuff she has to cover. The amount of testing has doubled and there is no time to individualize education for her students. She said all the teachers in her school are frustrated by this, and she SUPPORTS Common Core.
3) The law: SB 287 is what the Governor is referring to. I’m well familiar with this law because I wrote the draft. I put specific triggers in the bill that if any of a number of things happened, this bill mandated that “Utah shall exit Common Core.” When it got introduced, the language had mysteriously been change from “shall exit” to “may exit,” supposedly by the governor’s office request. The teeth had been removed from the bill and now it is essentially inert. Instead of “This is Utah and if you do that we’re gone!,” it’s “Yeah, so what, we might exit if we really feel like it.” Here’s a link to the bill. Line 53 is the neutered line.
This letter was sent to Dr. Menlove on 2/17/2014. His reply is below along with my reply. Don’t ever let someone tell you that the Utah core differs from Common Core. Math and ELA standards are Common Core. Dr. Menlove acknowledges this below.
I received an interesting email today. Evidently someone was at the capitol last week and heard you state in a meeting several times that the Utah Core has nothing to do with the national Common Core. Is this correct? I am sure this person misheard what you said because I can’t imagine why on earth would you ever state something like that? I am well aware that Utah adopted Common Core and then renamed it Utah core to try and deflect criticism, but I don’t know how openly USOE officials are disavowing any relation to CCSS. The only difference in the standards that I am aware of is that after 8 months of pressing the USOE and state board to restore cursive writing into the standards, they were added as part of the 15% additional standards we are allowed to have. Can you please explain what else makes the Utah core different from the national Common Core or is the ESEA Flexibility Waiver that Utah filed with the Feds inaccurate in the statements the USOE represented to the Federal department? I tend to put a lot more weight in source documents than I do in verbal assurances and I just want to make sure we are on the same page. I will gladly post your response online so everyone is clear on how the USOE views Utah’s Common Core adoption.
CCSS=Common Core State Standards for any who might not know the acronym.
What I see in the ESEA Flexibility Waiver to get Utah out from No Child Left Behind are the following items (and after jotting these down I quit because there were so many references to CCSS and I’m short on time tonight):
Pg. 21, “The USBE adopted the CCSS in June 2010 along with a statewide implementation timeline. Letters were sent to school district superintendents and charter directors regarding the adoption and timeline; making it clear that all LEAs would be expected to adopt the standards within the given timeline.”
Pg. 22, “Implementation efforts after the USBE adoption in 2010 were focused on communication and gathering stakeholder input. A website (http://www.schools.utah.gov/core/) was assembled providing information for parents and educators to assist in understanding the new CCSS. The following activities were the focus of our first year efforts.
• Communicate reasons for adopting CCSS to stakeholders
• Gather stakeholder input about CCSS adoption and implementation plans
Pg. 23 “The English language arts crosswalks follow the pattern of showing where the new standard is found in the current core and then reverses this process; showing the current standard in the new core.” (Oak note: this seems to very clearly be stating that the Utah core was being replaced by the new CCSS)
Pg. 30, “An important development is the onslaught of requests from various states, including Race to the Top states, to help them craft professional development in their states to better implement the Common Core Standards.”
Pg. 34, “Promises to Keep includes the 4th Promise: Requiring effective assessment to inform high quality instruction and accountability. With that promise in mind, Utah’s current assessment system is being adjusted to support Utah teachers as they begin the instructional transition to the CCSS prior to the administration of a fully aligned assessment system. Pilot items will be included on the summative assessment aligned to the common core and the results made available to schools but not counted in scoring.”… “In addition, Utah’s online formative assessment system’s item bank has been aligned to the common core and new common core items are being written.”
Pg. 87 is from the August 10, 2010 State Board Meeting minutes and contains this paragraph.
Pg. 91 from the same board minutes:
Pg. 127, “B. The Board shall use the Effective Teaching Standards and Educational Leadership Standards to direct and ensure the implementation of the Utah Common Core Standards.”
So again, can you please once and for all verify for everyone that Utah is in fact using the Common Core State Standards developed through the non-governmental private organizations, NGA and CCSSO? Will you please make sure your people are well aware of this?
The Utah State Board of Education adopted the Common Core State Standards as Utah Core Standards in Math and English/Language Arts. I do not believe I have said anything contrary to this. If I have, I apologize.
Thanks for seeking this clarification.
As noted previously, I continue to be willing to meet with you at your convenience to hear your concerns.
Thank you for acknowledging this. Either you or some of the individuals in the USOE seem to be contradicting this, perhaps inadvertently, and declaring to legislators and the public that the Utah core is somehow different from the Common Core State Standards. I appreciate you acknowledging they are the same.
The Utah Core Standards and the Common Core State Standards are not the same. The Utah Core Standards are much broader and contain standards for subjects other than Math and English/Language Arts. Additionally, as you have noted, we have added cursive writing to the Utah Core Standards.
Right, the total Utah core includes subjects beyond Common Core because we haven’t adopted Common Core for those subjects, but for math and ELA which we have adopted, they are identical aside from us adding cursive to the standards.
One thing I think there is also some confusion on is that apparently, you or others have represented that we are not bound to the Common Core standards we’ve adopted. Clearly our ESEA waiver application to free us from NCLB states that we are. We agreed in the document that we “agree to accept all of the standards as they are written” and we will use it as our framework and only add up to 15% more. Do you disagree with what we sent the feds in this application?
I am not sure where you find these statement in our ESEA waiver application. I do not believe they are included in the sections of the waiver that you noted in your email. Can you point to me where they are found?
What I do find in the ESEA waiver on page 21 is a statement by Supt. Shumway and contained in a letter dated Mach 5, 2012 in which Supt Shumway stated, “On behalf of the Board, I assert its right to complete control of Utah’s learning standards in all areas of our public education curriculum.” Also on page 21 of the EASE waiver is reference to a letter dated March 16, 2012 from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan stating that “states, not the federal government, have the sole right to set learning standards.”
Sorry, I should have included a link for you. This is the ESEA waiver we filed, correct? The page numbers and statements below are all related to this document (clicking the link will load a pdf file).
As for Sup. Shumway’s letter, that holds no legal weight. Declaring a belief in the face of a contract is meaningless.
Arne Duncan’s statement is correct. We have every right as a state to set standards. However, we set them in concrete through the contracts we have entered into.
Awaiting reply 2/18/14
Problem 1: Don’t scroll down for the answer yet on how to solve this. Try to figure out the correct answer.
Problem 1 solution: Get one of the values to 10 and then add the remaining number to get the total. So for example, you would say, “I have 8 here and 6 here. To get the 8 to 10 I would add 2. That means I have to subtract 2 from the 6 so it’s 4. So I have 10 and 4 which add to 14.”
Very intuitive, no? Try another.
Problem 2: Don’t scroll down for the answer.
I told you not to scroll down for the answer. Welcome to constructivist math.
Memorizing basic facts is evil and too tedious for children. This will no doubt build a deeper understanding as children struggle to understand math.
Dr. Gary Thompson and Ed Flint should have no problem supporting themselves in the future.