Comments

If you have had an experience with some aspect of Common Core illustrating a loss of local control, please share it here.

 

181 Responses to Comments

  • Barbara says:

    We used to have really neat field trips which give students a great experience they may not otherwise get. These included Antelope Island, Bees baseball game, symphony, museums, etc. Now we only get one field trip per year. Most field trips are good experiences and not that hard to tie to the core. However we are treated as if it would never occur to us to do this. We have to write about it and document how it is tied to the core using criteria from our community counsel.
    As a teacher I feel so overwhelmed with having to document so much data that may or may not be accurate. The attitude is not about doing the right thing but rather doing what we are being mandated to do. When our principal was asked why we have so many data meetings she answered, “the purpose of data is so that we have something to show the parents when we go to community council meetings.”

    • John Meisner says:

      Enough! You must stop this madness. You are harming students in Utah by spreading your misinformation. You are harming teachers by creating a distraction and undermining their valiant efforts to improve education. The Core does not create robots or indoctrinate students in any federal agenda. It does not prevent teachers from meeting the individual needs of students. It does not prevent differentiation of instruction or anything of the like. The Standards do not require any particular curriculum; districts, schools and teachers make those decisions. Please for the good of teachers and students, stop this nonsense.

  • Rich says:

    I do NOT want ANY child to be “common”; I believe they are FAR better than that. To even think that ANY member of government let alone a parent would want their child to be “common” is ridiculous. I have two grandsons who are in Kindergarten and ALREADY read above the Third grade level but they cannot be advanced because it is against policy. This is utterly stupid and damaging to BOTH them and our society! No wonder so many kids cannot read or write well by the time they graduate from High School and, educators, stop making excuses! The teacher should be teaching and allowing kids to rise up! And stop holding them back.

    Kill this entire Common Core bunk NOW!!!

    • Ms. Mac says:

      Trying to make everyone equal goes against God’s design of us- each one being unique. For students who are ahead of the academic achievement timeline or want to be, you can ask for credit for independent work. Ask the teacher if he or she will give credit for extra book reports or projects. Then ask the school administration to offer credit for additional studies. Finally demand that the local school board develop a policy that grants credit on permanent record for independent studies. Start a Beyonder’s Program in your school. It is simple, cost-efficient and highly motivating for students and parents who still look at education and rich learning as an opportunity that will provide a more successful future. Remember we have been created with the potential to do so much more.

      If your school says no. Provide rewards and choices at home for additional learning and self-direction with responsibility. Make your child, your grandchild capable of standing strong against the wave of mediocrity.
      I am here if you want further information.
      Ms. Mac
      Jeanine McGregor
      Educational Researcher
      Certified Teacher Pre-K Through 12
      msmac@wcc.net

        • Bruce Taylor says:

          Hi Mr. Norton:

          I wanted to share with you two thoughts about Common Core. CCSS is not a platform for ideology or specific content. It is a set of expectations that require kids to develop certain habits of mind that will enable them to grow up in an increasingly complex, conceptual, and globalized world. Each school district is free to use whatever content they want as content is simply a point of departure, not the end goal of learning as Common Core is a shift away from simple access, delivery, and retention of content – a mind set that has led to content overload evidenced by high school textbooks that are over 1000 pages long.

          However, I think there is an aspect to Common Core that is of concern and that is the CCSS aligned assessment tools being developed, particularly the PARCC. Since Pearson Publishing’s representatives appear to be deeply embedded with the PARCC development team and examples cited in PARCC’s references to the ELA oriented sample questions are copyrighted by that same company, could it be that Pearson is hoping to take advantage of this somewhat conflict of interest affiliation to distribute its curriculum to all PARCC participating states thereby creating a de facto “national curriculum” and give Pearson an unfair advantage in the market place?

          Is it even ethical that Pearson’s representatives are in bed with those developing a set of assessments that will determine whether principals keep their jobs and also have a significant effect on teacher evaluations? Seems that this association between the PARCC and Pearson is antithetical to free market norms and gives ammunition to critics of Common Core that CCSS is in reality a backdoor attempt at creating that very national curriculum disguised as Pearson’s materials.

          • Oak Norton says:

            Bruce, you must be new to the site. We have blogged a few times about Pearson’s connections to CCSS and the Gates Foundation. Pearson was one of the early partners with Gates and Achieve and PARCC and they stand to make billions off Common Core’s *package* (it really is far more than standards). The CC standards themselves may not be a platform for ideology, but that’s exactly how they are being used, even by the Utah state office of education. Constructivist math is the direction they want to take Utah and that’s a destructive methodology for teaching math. Check out these articles for indoctrinating questions in Utah:
            http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/usoe-common-core-death-of-math/
            http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/more-math-propaganda/

          • Aaron W. says:

            Wow! This statement just gave me the chills “It is a set of expectations that require kids to develop certain habits of mind that will enable them to grow up in an increasingly complex, conceptual, and globalized world.”

            So someone the parents never even meet has the ability to shape the habits of their childs mind. That thought should absolutely terrify any freedom loving citizen of this country. That alone is one of the worst things I could imagine being instituted in the education system. That concept alone executed on a national scale can be used to shape the way entire generations think. I have heard Common Core called evil before, I wasn’t sure why until now.

          • Oak Norton says:

            Try these quotes Aaron.
            “…a student attains ‘higher order thinking’ when he no longer believes in right or wrong. A large part of what we call good teaching is a teacher´s ability to obtain affective objectives by challenging the student’s fixed beliefs. …a large part of what we call teaching is that the teacher should be able to use education to reorganize a child’s thoughts, attitudes, and feelings.”
            -Benjamin Bloom, psychologist and educational theorist, “Major Categories in the Taxonomy of Educational Objectives,” pg. 185
            John Dewey wrote, “children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming, where everyone is interdependent.” (Human Events, 10/18/96)
            He also wrote, “you can’t make socialists out of individualists.” (Gordon, What’s Happened To Our Schools? P. 16)
            And finally from Dr. Chester M. Pierce, Harvard professor of education and psychiatry said this in this address to the Childhood International Education seminar in 1973.
            “Every child in America entering school at the age of five is insane because he comes to school with certain allegiances to our founding fathers, toward our elected officials, toward his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural being, and toward the sovereignty of this nation as a separate entity. It’s up to you as teachers to make all these sick children well – by creating the international child of the future.”

          • Rhonda says:

            Good question! I believe it is possible for Pearson to be in bed with those developing a set of assessments. You need to research PPP (Private Public Partnerships). These are companies that are being selected by the government to partner with them in all areas of society. This is a part of Agenda 21. Another entire subject but all tied together.

      • anonymous says:

        Try to remember that not every kid in your classroom is going to be a Christian. Unless you teach at a private religious school, God has nothing to do with this.

      • Lynda Ashcraft says:

        It is interesting to plug all the synonyms for “common” into “Common Core” using the many varied definitions for the word. It is all – in one word – pathetic.

    • Brn2tch says:

      As educators it is important that we consider the whole child. While your grandsons maybe academically ready for 3rd grade there is indeed a dramatic difference in the maturity of a 5 year old and a 9 year old. It is likely that they are not being moved up because they aren’t developmentally ready to function in a 3rd grade classroom.

      • Anonymous says:

        My son thoroughly enjoyed going to a third grade class for reading when he was in the first grade. He then went to fourth grade for reading when he was in the second grade and proceeded to the fifth grade reading class when he was in the third grade. Many problems arose when we moved to a district that would not allow him to advance or skip a grade. Maturity is not always an issue!

        • aniee says:

          Maturity is an issue. You just don’t see it yet. What you gonna do with a fifteen yr. old that wants to hang out with his classmates that are 17 and they are not accepting of him? Growing up too fast is not a good thing. Don’t worry, your child will grow up so why rush that process. If you have resources to enhance your child’s experiences then do so by exposing them to Culture; The Arts, Music, things they won’t necessarily get in school. Take them to a program outside of school where they can perform. Their reading can be even more proficient at home by challenging them with more advanced books and having them read to you. Make them available. If your child has the love of reading instilled then he will find books his friends forever. You are limited in what you will get for your child in a public school. But unless your child has a genius mentality, they really do belong with kids in their own age group. If your kid is a good reader and has that edge then most likely he will do well in school and be tops in classes. Don’t push too hard, kids can have burnouts.

          • Rod Hjelm says:

            What do advanced academic skills have to do with anything else. Kids will struggle with any social setting they’re placed in. don’t dictate what is good for the child. let children and parents make these decisions. Agree on the burnout avoidance.

      • Heidi says:

        According to public school system, yes. But children of all ages can effectively learn together, and it’s a more natural and realistic situation to be in. My kindergarten daughter did the online preschool, UPSTART, offered by Waterford Institute, plus she observed her older sisters being educated at home. Before she even entered kindergarten, she was tested to read on a 3rd grade level. It would’ve been a disservice to her to send her to public school kindergarten, where there is no upward mobility and only mediocrity. The best the school could do is have her be a helper to her classmates. So we homeschool her. I do think that children who are advanced academically can do well if the principal has a presence of mind to allow them to advance grades. But of course it can depend on the maturity levels of the children in the older grades–if they can accept these younger children and not feel threatened by them.

        • Heidi says:

          I’ve made many comments on this wonderful site. Our family has been doing online charter school, and more recently homeschool. But we’re taking a 180 degree turn and are thinking of sending our kids to local neighborhood elementary next year. The school is very low ranked among Utah elementary schools. Crazy time to do it too, with the looming CC. My kids are only thinking of the glamorous side of it– the fun during the last week of school, playing with crowds of kids, and the little rewards school gives out for good marks or behavior. I thought I’d let them try it out again so they won’t grow up with any regrets. If they don’t want to do homeschool, we won’t be able to, because they need to want to do it for homeschool to be successful. But it will be very sad to not spend very much time with them and to see them doing assignments below their level. They ate above level in some things, but am not sure about the rest. I’m afraid of the teachers being critical of them as they will find some skills lacking that are not required for life, but are required to have to be successful in public school model. I think that more parents will be pulling their kids out of conventional public schools and will be enrolling in online charter schools (that are supposed to also follow CC, but they will have more leeway, focusing more on test prep within CC standards, while the curriculum is privatized for the most part. And also we’ll be seeing more independent homeschoolers.

    • Anonymous says:

      With overcrowded classrooms, large chunks of time spent testing, wide gaps in student abilities, and a host of discipline issues, it is quite a challenge for above grade level students to advance.

    • Kamry Hall says:

      The COMMON CORE is not about making all students common….it’s about setting the same minimum standards for all American students. Do you really want to know if how your local schools and students are doing? THen compare them to others that are teaching/learning the same educational curriculum.

      Your stipulations are inaccurate and cause unjustified emotional uprisings in readers.

      • It’s not just minimum standards. It’s control of testing, of teachers, of our future. Did you know there is NO amendment process for the standards? Did you know the testing groups have already written “model curriculum” and that Bill Gates is creating curriculum to align to the tests and standards? Did you know the federal government put a 15% cap on the standards and that nothing beyond that will ever be tested in the national tests? We already have tests that compare kids state to state; we didn’t need Common Core for that. What we’re doing is giving away local control of education. With standards that are copyrighted by unelected organizations that are located in D.C., with no amendment process, where is our local control? It is gone. We must get rid of common core. The emotional uprisings are absolutely justified. They are based on the attack on our rights.

      • Dad says:

        Kamry, the “minimum standards” thing is a myth. Common Core standards are actually *maximum* standards (Common Core +15%). Ask anyone at the USOE, or do your own research, and you will find that Utah cannot add to the standards by more than 15%. Is that what we want?

        Plus, consider the fact that the new Common Core “accelerated” math track is the same as last year’s “average student” math track. That means we’re actually sliding backward (again) in math, this time with a commitment NOT to improve the standards more than 15%. Peachy.

        Teachers know my student better than the feds do. Stop Common Core in Utah.

    • L says:

      socialists and marxists who are behind CC cant stand a winner. They want only one thing CONTROL. Look at the USSR and you will find it rampant in their “committees” I agree with Rich. Kids should be ability grouped in math and reading at their own level regardless of ages. This would fix boredom and frustration. What a concept. Socialism has had control over ed since 1965. What has it gotten us? Lower and lower. Let the people who get it rise up. The CC people who are in favor on this site have forgotten the Calculus Theory. You are all adults so you should all be able to enrol in Calculus 3 and do just fine simply because of your age. Right? Exactly why the CC should be put where it belongs in the garbage. Kids do learn differently. I teach every day and no matter how hard I try some kids will not learn the same speed or amount demanded. I do not want to give up on any student however the reality is people are different, other wise we would have no NFL or symphonies or scientific break throughs.

  • Desirae Northbrook (name changed to protect the innocent) says:

    I am most concerned about what is going on with the common core that is being forced upon us by my school district and the state of Utah. At a faculty meeting at our school, we were told that we were going to have a meeting with the parents to present the new common core. We were told that “this is coming, no matter what, so don’t express any concerns, and that we needed to just be positive no matter what our feelings.” What we were being told was to shut up. I chose not to attend the parent meeting rather than lie. I have huge concerns. Another concern: one of the things that I have liked about the educational system is that even if the students didn’t do well all through school, they still had options as they continued on the educational process to do better, and even go to college if they wanted to. As our principal explained how children were going to have their education channeled, I became more convinced that children could possibly be pushed into certain classes and training along the way much like they do in other parts of the world and not be allowed to continue to work towards a college degree if they so choose later on. I don’t even know if this could happen or not, and I have been educated about this more than most of our patrons; but I really think we need more time to look at this huge change in public education. If it is good, it will still be good in a few years after we have had a chance to really study it. I dislike any attempt at nationalizing (federalizing) our public education system. Let’s slow things down and really take a good look at what all of this means.

  • Jill Christensen says:

    I am a veteran public school educator with 27 years of secondary classroom experience teaching science. I have an additional five years of experience as an instructional coach, which puts me into classrooms in my district to work with teachers in their first three years of teaching, and with teachers at any stage of their career who are struggling. I also do professional development training with new teachers, specifically for the purpose of assisting them in writing quality lesson plans that are tied directly and explicitly to the approved core curriculum (either the Utah Core or the Common Core) for their subject area. As a result, I have become very familiar with the Utah Core Curriculum K-12, and with the Math Common Core curriculum. Additionally, I am an adjunct instructor at the college level, working with pre-service teachers, with whom I also focus on standards-based lesson planning.

    I certainly understand concerns about the process by which the Common Core standards were developed and I do not have experience or expertise with the institutions, agencies, or groups which wrote the Common Core which would make me in way authoritative on that process. My experience, and I want to be clear about this, is that I have been actively involved with the classroom teachers in my district who have been implementing the Common Core in Mathematics this year.

    I am worried about the nature of public concern with the standards. As I read the article above, it seemed to me that there was a desire to imply that there is a conspiracy of some sort. The process may be flawed, but I don’t think it was a conspiracy. Furthermore, I see the implication that the Common Core Standards are somehow less rigorous than the Utah Core Curriculum. It has been my experience that, with the Mathematics Common Core, this is simply not the case.

    Much of my work for the past year has been with teachers who are beginning to implement the Common Core in Math. The process has been a bit of a struggle for some of them, because the Common Core standards are significantly more rigorous and introduce mathematical concepts at much earlier grades than the Utah Core Curriculum. The Common Core standards are high. Teaching them requires from some teachers a level of understanding of math concepts that is more broad and deep than they’ve been expected to have before now. We wouldn’t be seeing that kind of struggle if the Math Common Core was easier or less rigorous than the Utah Core.

    The Utah Core focused on calculation. If you could memorize a formula and a bunch of vocabulary, you could understand a math problem that was handed to you and use a method or formula you had memorized to calculate an answer. But you might not understand why that method worked, or when it might not work, or what other methods work as well. You probably wouldn’t be able to set up a problem for yourself in a real world situation. You might not be able to explain it to someone else. And most importantly, you might very well not be able to answer this question: “When am I ever gonna use this?”

    The Common Core requires that you “get it” at a much deeper level. The Common Core requires that students be able to understand WHY the method works, and WHAT OTHER ways the method could be expressed, and HOW ELSE you can arrive at a solution through logical reasoning, and how can you PROVE that your solution makes sense in a real world application. And most of all, students who master the Common Core will be able to tell you exactly where and when they will this use this.

    My background, my college degrees, and my teaching experience, were in science. I can tell you with complete confidence that I believe students who are now learning the curriculum required by the Common Core in Math will be better prepared to understand the application of math in the sciences. The way students are learning math is changing significantly and for the better. To me, it is not a problem that elementary teachers and secondary teachers are going to have to understand math themselves better than they ever have. Good. We all need to understand math better!

    This first year is a struggle for both kids and teachers. The group of kids in upper elementary moving into junior high are the group most significantly affected with the difference between the Utah Core and the Common Core. The teachers are worried because they see “holes” between what the Utah Core assumes fifth and sixth graders will have mastered and what the Common Core expects that they will have mastered as incoming sixth and seventh graders. Some districts are doing a better job than others at providing supportive “bridge” curriculum to those groups of students.

    But given a couple of years, the kids will have filled in the holes with help from their parents and teachers and they will better off and will understand higher level math at an earlier age. Nobody is conspiring against your children. Nobody wants your children to understand less math or understand it less well.
    *****
    SITE ADMIN COMMENT: This site isn’t primarily about the quality of the standards but about the process through which we have adopted them, and the contractual obligations we have toward them. If CC was really good, we could have adopted it without signing ourselves into a host of agreements we are now obligated to.

    • Jill Christensen says:

      Thanks for clarifying. I didn’t notice the statement at the top asking people with positive experiences not to bother posting until after I had already posted. I know people have issues with the way the Common Core was implemented. But I have difficulty understanding why people who were concerned about that process (legitimately) would turn around and use the same process – and tell people with dissenting voices to not bother commenting. I didn’t really know about the process at the federal level until I read the links here. I might have been willing to add my voice to yours in concern, but I’m not so sure I want to participate in using the same process in reverse.

    • Brn2tch says:

      Thanks your Jill for you well thought out response. I am so happy someone said this. I thought is was going to have to be me!!!

    • Laureen says:

      What you said does not “add up” to me. My son is in 10th grade and is finishing his SECOND year of honors common core math. The process is NOT getting better. By the time it does he will have graduated and lost four years of decent math instruction. I absolutely resent making him the guinea pig for the new program. I don’t even care if the program will be really fantastic when it is fully implemented. It should have never been started before textbooks were made. For two years now he has had no textbook. The program materials consist of worksheets of problems with no instructional materials and no chapter instruction. Whatever he learns is from the teacher’s instruction and the notes he takes in class. If he misses something in class, there is no way to figure it out. There is no way parents can help by reviewing the textbook. There are no answers at the back of the book to check yourself to see if you are doing the problems correctly. From what I have seen, the teachers do not even know what they are doing. So, they are no help either. I have complained and been told, “there are a lot of materials to help your son on the web.” Really? If you could learn upper level math by yourself on the web then why would you even need a class to teach you. If the rest of the common core program is as bad as the high school math program, then we our kids are in a lot of trouble.

      • Ally says:

        I agree with you Laureen. If it was so wonderful then they would be willing to have it tested long term and get issues figured out before they push every kid in public school into it. If it is so amazing then why don’t we start it with the kindergarteners and so its and the kids potential can be realized fully.

        My husband can’t figure out questions for our 3rd grader in math for anything sometimes and my husband owns and runs a very large and successful business which requires many mathematical solutions and systems for all sorts of issues involving money and numbers, measurements etc. (I’m just the looks and the mouth in this operation). We don’t know what to ask or why or how. The methods of ‘thinking things through better’ are a load of crap. Teach the why behind a formula, but the absolutes in math never change, why are kids learning otherwise? Ridiculous.

        Forgive me if I don’t trust the FEDS ever, or specifically in this case, surely I’m not the only one who believes they don’t deserve it. I don’t believe this is about making the kids realize their potential at all. This system is about making the kids equal. When all kids are required to be on the same playing field, it goes down, and it will nationally, go down. If Utah is behind then Utah, needs to adjust what our kids learn.
        THE FEDS DO NOT BELONG NEAR OUR CHILDREN UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

  • Dennis Lisonbee says:

    Is there wisdom in adopting such a sweeping and revolutionary educational curriculum and pedagogy without any independent scientific studies that test each component of the plan? Is is wise for our legislature, executive branch and school board to buy into anything that is untested? We require high scientific testing standards for drugs before they are released. It would seem reasonable for our governor, legislature and school board to require the same high testing standards for curriculum and pedagogy that will instill morals and knowledge into the minds of our youth.
    The solution? Don’t rush into such a high cost program that has not been tested. Let other states implement the program. Hire an independent testing firm to study the states who implement the program. Five years after the full program is implemented in theses states, analyize the results and the costs. If it is a stellar success and we have the funding, let’s adopt it. But from the point of view of this teacher, rushing into an untested educational program lacks could very will lead to disastrous and very expensive results. Let’s do what we advise our children to do when they want to rush intro something dangerous, “Johnny, slow down, take a breath and give some real thought to what you are about to do.”

  • David Else says:

    School is either fun and a student truly learns how to learn or it is a prison and they do not complete High school. Raising standards for teachers is good, but oops, then we would have to pay them more. So who gets the money. The organization that is implementing Common Core. The standards should be made available at a cost and those teachers who truly choose to be successful should be able to choose and succeed. As it is all the money is going to somebody and some organization and the teachers are still getting blamed with no opportunity to truly advance, only ADOPT BY FORCE and PAY THE PRICE. Now school has become a prison for the teachers.

  • Dear Governor.

    As a Utah citizen concerned about “Godless” government involvement in the sacred education of our children I will remind you of your constitutional mandate to protect our state against federal tyranny, in this case, by stopping common core in it’s tracks. Now.

    I will remind you of what men far smarter than yourself have instructed you regarding this matter specifically.

    “There is absolutely nothing in the Constitution which authorizes the federal government to enter into the field of education. Furthermore, the Tenth Amendment says: “The powers not delegated to the United States Government are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Nothing could be more clear. It is unconstitutional for the federal government to exercise any powers over education.” Ezra T Benson.

    “The Declaration of Independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”But the godless government schools preach doctrines in contradiction with those expressed in the Declaration. Thus they are illegal, unconstitutional institutions. Taxpayers should not be forced to pay for atheist government schools that violate the principles of the nation’s founding.

    Americans deserve schools that respect the individual student as a child of God, made in His image, capable of using the brains God gave to all of His children to lead productive, creative lives, in pursuit of their own happiness. Without the love and protection of God, children can easily get lost in the bewildering maze of the nihilistic moral chaos which plagues the godless schools. American children deserve better.” Sam Blumenfeld.

    “The public schools, maintained as they are by public taxation, are by law forbidden teaching religion in those schools. The result is an exclusively secular education, an education Godless in its character; and such an education is most imperfect.” George F Richards.

    Conduct yourself in these matters accordingly and begin now in constructing the barrier necessary to PROTECT our families from the evils of tyrannical federal forces set to overtake us.

    If you fail to act decisively now you will suffer the fate promised to those of authority who fail to act or who act in defiance of Gods council, upon your realization of improper action, “their hearts will fail them”.

    The responsibility of your position requires that you correct the decades of accepting federal funds, securing our enslavement to it, resulting destruction of the family. There is much work to do if you turn around now. If you do not, the burden of reconciliation will surpass what is left of your strength in that day which will surely come.

    Gary Sorrells
    Lindon, Utah 84042
    801-358-3716

    • Lynnette Smith says:

      Gary- I just read your post and I applaud you for the words you spoke. I love the words of President Benson. He said he believes our country and it’s values will be saved. He said” It won’t be saved in Washington, but by concerned citizens like you and I.

  • Susie says:

    Gary Sorrells,
    Thank you for writing such an exquisite letter to the governor. I hope he ponders it and takes it seriously. I, too, believe that all of us will be held accountable for our actions in this life, but especially those who hold power over others’ lives to make decisions which affect so many of us, especially our innocent children.

  • S Peterson says:

    I teach 1/2 day Kindergarten in Davis School District. We implemented the writing core last year. This year we are going to implement the math core. Last year, I had to spend 1 1/2 hour,each day, teaching language arts. The students had a 15 min. recess and 25 minutes of either PE, computer, music, or library once a week. I then had 20 minutes each day to teach everything else:,math; science, health, social studies, art. With Kindergarten only being half-day in Utah, it’s impossible to teach all of the subjects. I don’t like all of the pressure teaching the core brings to me and to the students. Five-year olds need to be allowed to be five.

    • Oak Norton says:

      Amen. We should not have state sponsored pre-school or full-day kindergarten. Children that young need to be children and have parental bonding, not peer & teacher bonding.

  • Kim says:

    I just want to say I disagree with most of the things said.

    As a teacher who has been teaching common core: we aren’t being told exactly how to teach, the standards aren’t much different (more complex but still developmentally appropriate), and if you are creative you can teach all the language arts skills while teaching science/social studies/health/etc. It is not a huge trial on us. I’ve loved teaching it, and I realize each year I’ll get better at integrating subjects to make the most of my time.

    As a parent: I am grateful that my son will be held to a standard every year that will progressively increase and prepare him for a career and success. The word “common” does not refer to our students, but to the fact that many states have standards in common.

    As a citizen: what is wrong with the federal government being interested and caring about the education of it’s citizens as long as the states are still in control of creating/accepting/adapting/assessing and improving the standards (which they are. Nobody forced Utah to accept the CC. Fed’s don’t control the CC).

    Thank you.

    • Oak Norton says:

      Hi Kim,

      Thanks for commenting. Do you believe in the rule of law? Do you believe the Constitution is the supreme law of the land as it states? If so, the federal government has no say in education because it’s a created entity of the states. The federal government is barred from being “interested” in education. It’s a violation of law and state sovereignty. If you don’t think the feds forced states onto Common Core, you’re right. They dangled Race to the Top funds in front of them if they adopted Common Core. The feds are ultimately controlling the core. I invite you to review this site’s post on Arne Duncan’s Comments, and the article entitled “The Common Core Lie”. You can find them if you hover over blog and click the All Site Posts link. I also encourage you to read the other teacher comments and the blatant dumbing down that is happening with the USOE preaching constructivism to teachers in their trainings. Our children are going to be well behind high achieving countries.

      • A Parent says:

        The only thing dragging our students down in this state is Luddite parents like you and your tin foil hat brigade running around scaring everyone. Please stop this!! Common Core will raise the bar here in Utah not your fear mongering and backward notions!

        • Oak Norton says:

          Dear A Parent, can you show us the report comparing our old standards to the Common Core standards that they will actually raise the bar? Did you know that in math, most kids will be set back a year from where our 2007 math standards had them, and Dr. James Milgram said Common Core math standards leave us 2 years behind the Asian nations by 7th grade. In ELA, Dr. Sandra Stotsky who implemented the best ELA standards in the nation in Massachusetts said Common Core will not prepare students for college. Please look for facts instead of name calling.

        • Amy says:

          A Parent – from my experience, Common Core was dragging my children down. I had to literally carry my child to school every day last year because he hated it so much. I left him in tears every day. I pulled all of my children out of school this year. We had a rough go at first because I had to detox from the conveyor belt.
          For the first few months I couldn’t even pull out a math worksheet without him going into a panic attack. He would see the worksheet and run to a corner to cry and say he was to stupid to do a worksheet. This is from a child that use to love and excel in Math.
          My daughter would set for over an hour at night doing math and cry the whole time saying she was just to stupid and couldn’t do the math. As parents we could not help her, there were no instructions or book. I could teach her how you and I learned how to multiply multiple digits, but she would get the answer wrong. Common Core cares more about the steps than the answer. How is making our children feel like failures going to help them excel? My children are both very bright and are now excelling in Saxon Math.
          The thing dragging down Utah Students is parents that refuse to get involved and continue to stick their heads in the sand.

        • Tricia Roundy / Also A Parent says:

          I would like to share my personal experience regarding Common Core with you. I have a son that is a high school senior this year, and a son who is a sophomore. My older son, who hasn’t been subject to “Common Core” Math standards has had the OPPORTUNITY to excel in Math, and has been ‘allowed’ to take AP and Concurrent Enrollment Math, Science, and Engineering Classes in high school. My senior has been offered Scholarships from 3 Universities in Utah alone, and he’s not even a ‘straight A’ student.
          Now, let’s switch to my son who is a sophomore. In 8th Grade he, and all of his classmates, were put into Math 8 under the Common Core standards. If I were to be so insensitive as to compare my two sons’ intellect, I would say that my younger son is even more intelligent than my older son. Math, numbers, and spatial relationships just come naturally to him. However….. being placed in a ‘common’ math class with no directive other than to “learn math” has been detrimental to his education. In 9th Grade, he was bringing home the same math homework as my 2nd Grader!! Now in 10th Grade, he has no opportunity to choose a specific discipline of Math. Every-one learns every-thing. At Parent-Teacher conferences, it was disheartening that his Math teacher told me not to worry about his low test score because half of her students scored 30% or below on their most recent test!! What!?? She is probably too overwhelmed (with the excess of ‘data’ she is now required to log) to even care. My sophomore is now failing Math, and has given up the desire to put forth his best effort in this ‘learn-at-your-own-pace-and -we’ll-pick-a-favorite’ environment. It is going to be an uphill battle to even get this son to graduate under the CCSS expectations and habits of mind.
          Talking about college at this point would be a joke!

  • Kim says:

    Thank you for so politely addressing my argument. I think we are interpreting the constitution differently. I feel that the federal government has a right to use it’s funds in anyway that serves it’s people as long as the choices not granted to them are in the hands of the states, which they are. Race to the Top funds are based on many many different points, not just adopting Common Core. The federal government is not in control there. You said “our children are going to be well behind high achieving countries.” Let’s face it…our children ARE far behind. The point of the Common Core is to close this gap. It is not written in stone and will evolve as people push it to be better. If you feel like it isn’t improved enough, try supporting it and pushing for improvement instead of tearing it down. I agree that as is, the Common Core is not enough, but I have studied and found that the standards are clearer and better than they were previously at my grade level. I will admit I have not done a side-by-side comparison of each set of standards (I am a mother and teacher after-all. Time is limited). If you feel that the “USOE (is) preaching constructivism” and I feel that the arguments you mentioned are doing their own form of preaching, it’s not likely we’ll see eye to eye, so I think I’ll let this go and continue on my way happily teaching the standards asked of me by my state.

    • Oak Norton says:

      Kim, the Constitution is the supreme law of the land (Article 6). If we don’t honor the original intent of the Constitution we are a lawless nation. The Constitution specifically says in the 10th amendment that anything not specifically mentioned as a federal issue, is specifically reserved to the states. Education is not mentioned and is specifically reserved to the states.

      It seems you are uninformed about my own actions the last several years. I have always been working toward better education for our children. Can you imagine being told by your child’s teacher that the school doesn’t teach the times tables or long division any more? Then when you ask how the kids will learn those skills being told, “well, the smart kids will just pick it up as they go.” I invite you to read this post which shows the USOE doesn’t care one whit about the quality of standards in Utah, they only care about getting more money from the feds.
      http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/a-recent-history-of-utahs-math-standards/

      As for the standards, Fordham Foundation has already said that Utah’s 2007 standards which we were using before adopting Common Core, were clearer and had a better path than the new Common Core standards. Further, there were several states with clearly superior standards to Common Core. Why didn’t we just adopt the best if we were really concerned with quality standards? Common Core will not close any gaps. It leaves us 2 years behind high-achieving countries.
      http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/milgram-on-cc-vs-in-math-standards/

      As for constructivism, it’s totally destructive of education. Wouldn’t you speak out if children were being harmed? I encourage you to look at Project Follow Through. The largest education study ever completed in this country and it proved constructivism a total failure.
      http://www.oaknorton.com/imathresults34.cfm

  • Krystelle says:

    From Alliance for Childhood

    http://www.allianceforchildhood.org/standards

    Common Core Standards
    Why we object to the K–3 Core Standards

    The core standards address the fact that students are graduating from high school ill prepared for college or careers. Even in the best universities a shockingly large number of students need remedial help with basic language arts and math skills. We support the idea of a national effort to address this problem, but to let that concern shape kindergarten and early elementary education is short-sighted.

    Young children are entering their school years, not exiting them. They need support and encouragement to become strong, motivated learners for their whole lives—in school and beyond. That strength begins with active hands-on learning. Current state standards have already led to long hours of didactic instruction, scripted teaching, a narrowing of the curriculum, and overuse of standardized tests with young children. The new standards will almost certainly intensify those inappropriate practices. (See Crisis in the Kindergarten for data on current practices in public kindergarten education.)

    The new standards call for kindergarten children to master over 90 skills related to literacy and mathmatics. Is this necessary for children to succeed in school? Experts know of no research showing that children who read at age five do better in the long run than children who learn at six or seven. The proposed standards will almost certainly add to the stress already afflicting many children in kindergarten and the early grades—stress associated by clinicians with growing problems of aggressive behavior in young children and with burnout by third or fourth grade.

    An added burden for children and teachers is the extensive testing required to assess mastery of these skills. Alliance research indicates that kindergartens already devote 20 to 30 minutes per day for testing or test preparation. A Milwaukee teacher reported having to give over 150 tests to her kindergarten children last year.

    Effective learning in the early years requires a very different starting point than the one presumed in the core standards. The federal Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services are working together to develop a fresh look at how children learn best from birth through age eight. New research points to the indivisibility of physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development. The core standards are based on a narrow and flawed focus on subject matter in isolation, overemphasizing cognitive skills at the expense of all others.

    The writers of these new standards did get one thing right in relation to young children. They use the word ‘play’—something that most other standards writers have scrupulously avoided. In the section called “What is not covered by the Standards,” the document says, “[T]he use of play with young children is not specified by the Standards, but it is welcome as a valuable activity in its own right and as a way to help students meet the expectations in this document.”

    The core standards do not provide for ongoing research or review of the outcomes of their adoption. The entire K–12 standards initiative is flawed by this omission, which is especially egregious in relation to the youngest students. It is urgent that the federal goverment require research of the long-term effects of the standards and related testing on children in K-3.

    What you can do: The standards were finalized in June. Each state will need to decide if it will adopt them. Tell your own governor, chief state school officer, and state early childhood specialists about the need to promote play and play-based learning in Kindergarten and the need to protect young children from testing. Click on the links in this section to find the addresses of your state officials. Let your voice be heard.

    For more information: Read our press release, our statement on the standards, signed by hundreds of leading educators and health professionals, and signers’ comments. Also see public comments by Alliance Senior Researcher Ed Miller presented at an April 23 meeting on early learning at the U.S. Department of Education. You can read commentaries by early childhood educators, Eric Gidseg and Carla Horwitz, on the likely effects of the core kindergarten standards.

  • California has agreed to adopt the Common Core beginning with the 2014-2015 school year; however, the California Department of Education will not adopt text books for English Language Arts until 2018.
    Furthermore, the state has not provided any money for teacher training. The school districts are on their own.

    As a teacher of 16 years, I am more than baffled by the state’s decision-making process. What possible reason could they have?

    Sending teachers into the classroom without proper curriculum is like sending a soldier into a
    machine-gun battle with a pocket knife.

    It was once stated that if California were a country it would be the 6th richest in the world. So how did it become one of the most bankrupt states in America? Obviously, it’s because of the geniuses who run this great state.

    Terry McCullough

  • William says:

    I am a 6th grader at the ELP program at Hawthorne Elem. in SLC and I disagree with Common Core. Even though on the common core site in the myth section there is a message that says Common Core will not hurt higher performing students (me) it does. I feel like I’m learning the same stuff I learned in 4th grade right now. I’m learning ratios. I’m supposed to be learning calculus, advanced algebra, ect. Let me correct my self – I’m not learning ratios, I’m reviewing for the third time this year. Common Core is in my opinion a terrible idea even though it is intended to have good roots. Apparently being smart is not a good thing and instead we should all be run of the mill robots. Say goodbye to the USA having new Nobel prize wineers in a few decades. However I feel bad for my teacher because she knows that everyone in my class is supposed to be learning 7th grade -at minimum- but instead because of Common Core we are learning stuff we’ve learned already. She’s an amazing teacher, too. I don’t care if it will stop the educational gap… because I don’t see whats so bad about having good performing students. I think the Common Core initiative should be thrown down a hole and everybody should go at their own pace. I went to a math competition already this year and out of almost 300 students I got 18th place. I’m also going to a district Math Counts competition in a few days, so I’m obviously not happy with learning ratios and basic volume and other garbage again. It might be just me, but i feel like CC applies to science… We’ve done little science this year and instead when I was in 3rd grade and there was no CC, I was learning advanced biology and physics with two professors, and a bit of computer science with a 3rd professor (they were all parents of kids in my class) and that was fun and challenging. But science isn’t fun and challenging for me anymore. Maybe the people who made CC should have considered the intelligent kind before they thought of proposing their idea, because obviously they aren’t. I want to be challenged in school. I don’t want the easy way out, at all, because its like I go back and do the same thing. I even have a really fun school and my teachers are amazing. It’s not their faults. Last note: does CC underfund field trips? In past years I went on about 15 each year… I’ve been on 2 this year. My point is, I want to be challenged in school and I think every trace of CC should be put in an incinerator to burn in a fiery death… no doubt about this.

  • Danette says:

    Unfortunately, liberal progressive indoctrination is in over 2,000 schools nationwide now — even before Common Core kicks in. Common Core will take it to a whole new level and likely more than double the number of schools that will indoctrinate our children. Please let me know if you want info on which schools are already indoctrinating. I have a list – by state – on my site, but I’m not here to plug my site. Just offer help – offer more info. I’m praying all of us who are concerned can create a movement – starting locally, just as you are doing. Suggestions how to do that can be found on my site as well. We can have as much influence (or more) than the tea party if we can join together. I will share your info and spread the word about your site. God Bless!

    • Danette says:

      I did a little searching did find that progressive indoctrination started in some Utah schools as far back as 1999, if not earlier. Your trouble started with the Utah Principals Academy. More than one council member from Utah ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) has served as president of the Utah Principals Academy. In 1999, 43 principals with the Utah Principals Academy began training with a radical organization that is now at the center of the largest progressive indoctrination network in the country. I am looking for the names of specific schools indoctrinating in Utah now to add to my site and I can provide that to you if you’re interested. I believe we need to focus on the source of the indoctrination. Not just the curriculum itself, but the people and organizations behind it.

  • Stephen Graff says:

    These standards were created in isolation from the real world of schools, students, and teachers and they operate in isolation from one another. They read like prescriptions for scripted teacher presentations and scripted student responses as if the only thing that matters in an educational environment is assessment, assessment, assessment (of students and teachers, often at the same time). There have been a multitude of criticisms of the standards, and it’s just possible that at some point in the future, public education will settle into a way of presenting them to students so that real learning takes place. Even supporters of CC will admit that a period of “adjustment” is inevitable, but this period entails that: students and teachers will experience stress and anxiety; that all students will be “assessed” based on the standards irregardless of their potential abilities; that administrators will push for implementation and make demands on outcomes (test scores); and that good teachers and students, good classrooms and classes, good lessons and projects will be pushed aside so that CC lessons can be taught–and in this “testing” period, perhaps not taught well–to the exclusion of all of the old ways of constructing experiences for students in a classroom. What this means for public education is unknowable at this point. But already, the stress signs are showing in classrooms all over the nation. I’m a public school teacher with 27 years in the classroom and I see this as a turning point for public schools where acceptance is uncertain and resistance is building. But the major concern is how resources will be allotted, what will be cut, and how will our students–our children–come out at the end of the process. Will they continue to see benefit in the education that is supposed to be serving their needs? Or are we, in the end, shortchanging our students by inundating them with the types of “lessons” that school districts believe the CC requires?

  • Danette says:

    You are right – Goodlad and Theodore Sizer touted each other and collaborated on education reform. Several progressive reforms have been tried — some stuck, some didn’t. The one that has spead like a disease is Ted Sizer’s Coalition of Essential Schools, mostly because it is flexible and schools can choose incorporate Goodlad methods, Paideia, Montessori, etc. As long as they adhere to a particular “democratic” pedagogy (basically, as long as they are progressive/humanist/anti-God/anti-American). I am posting a link to my list for you on your contact page now. Please consider sharing after reviewing. I just want parents who have kids in these schools to know so they can act now. Common Core is just another step to pull even more schools in. They already have control of approx 3,000 schools now. Thanks and good luck to all of you in Utah!!

  • Danette says:

    One more thing, my list is still being updated. I have several hundred more schools to add and more research to do. But I will remind anyone interested once it is completely updated. 4 years of research to add –takes some time.

  • Paul M. says:

    I need help! I just started learning about Common Core this week. Tonite I attended my sons elementary school Common Core Math Book selection meeting. I was one of three parents to turn out. Three!! The principal who I do respect and up until now have had no complaints with this fine lady, proceeded to cheer for Common Core with all the pat arguments….”We are going to raise our standards! Wont it be great to have this money for education here in Utah”, etc.

    Meanwhile one of the parents and myself kept trying to ask questions about the changes and expressed our concern and were just treated to more “rah rah Common Core” and circular logic. I gave the other two parents this websites address. One was appreciative and the other rolled his eyes at me and acted like “oh boy another conspiracy nut!”

    How can I help other parents in my neighborhood get informed and get them fired up and involved? I see Common Core as a seriously bad thing for my son and the other students at his school in Saratoga.

    Help!

    • Oak Norton says:

      Paul, talk with your friends and neighbors. Get them informed and have them sign the petition. See our flier page and pass some out to your neighborhood. Also call your school board member. If you don’t know who it is, contact the school district.

    • Renee says:

      Paul,
      We would also be happy to come and do a presentation to your friends and your neighbors. If you’d like to host a cottage meeting, please let us know.

  • Ralph Roshto says:

    I do not have any children. My only child, Rebecca Raye, was murdered by a drug dealer. Nevertheless, I am concerned enough about the future of our country, which by definition is OUR CHILDREN, that I had to get involved in this fight.
    I live in Louisiana, and we, too, are in the fight against Common Core. I want the people of Utah to know that We stand with You!
    I will send you our successes, and will attempt to copy your methods that succeed!
    Keep the Faith!

    • Renee says:

      That is very touching and inspiring Ralph. Thank you for your kind words and thank you for being willing to stand and join this important fight.

  • Mark says:

    Common Core is set to usurp its way into science as well, yet most of the great no-to-Common Core websites such as yours pretty much have not said a word about it. It is early with regard to the new science standards, so don’t take this as a complaint, but I hope someone within your organization has taken a look at this and is planning on doing expose’s on it soon.

    These people pushing Common Core are lying about _everything_.

    Thank you for what you are doing here to advance the cause of liberty and protect posterity.

      • Mark says:

        Norton,

        Thanks! May I make a contribution toward a next possible entry?

        http://newhavenscience.org/NGSSSuppJanDraft.pdf

        As part of the Next Generation Science Standards, these people would like to infuse “racism” into the “scientific teaching”. The above document states:

        “the definition of science in terms of Western science while ignoring historical contributions from other cultures presented a limited or distorted view of science. Furthermore, such view was disrespectful of other cultures and could be regarded as racism. NGSS, by emphasizing engineering, recognizes contributions of other cultures historically. This redefines the epistemology of science or what counts as science, which, in turn, defines or determines school science curriculum.”

        Not only the “racist” view, but their use of the word “redefine” makes it plain that they know full well that they have full control over the curriculum while they are doing everything they possibly can to tell people that they only want to determine what is on the tests.

        Hope this helps!

        • Mark says:

          It also states this:

          “Through social activism, students develop critical consciousness of social inequities, especially as such iniquities exist in their communities.”

          So the new science teaches kids the value of wealth redistribution and the necessity of becoming an alinsky organizer. Gone are the days when science was about gravity, chemical compositions, grams and pounds and measurements, skeletons, hearts, livers, life in the sea, birds, animals, and more.

  • anonymous says:

    Before you go blaming Obama, remember that Bush signed NCLB in 2001, effectively shifting the power from the states to the government. So don’t blame Obama. He had nothing to do with this. Republicans are trying to privatize public education beyond vouchers. Who’s going to be able to afford it then?

    There are deep flaws in our educational system, but the data doesn’t paint a realistic picture. The U.S. tests every student, whereas other countries (Japan for instance), only tests their top students. Why? Because once they reach high school age, many have the choice of going to a trade school. I wish researchers would finally clue in on this. Everyone else knows it.

    Either way, if you’re an educator, get used to the idea of not having control. If you don’t like it, it might be time to consider a career change, because you won’t have power over the curriculum any time soon.

    • Oak Norton says:

      Anonymous, Bush is certainly to blame for NCLB. Common Core is on Obama’s watch and if you do your homework on this site, you’ll find loads of statements from Sec. Duncan that they are excited to make Common Core part of a global education system. How successful have republicans been with vouchers? Not at all, and we still can’t afford the education system because it just keeps growing. It’s the definition of insanity to keep increasing spending and expecting a different result.

      On international tests, you are mistaken. The TIMSS exam is a cross section of the entire population in countries that take the tests, such as Japan, Singapore, and the U.S.

      If you’re an educator, don’t you want to have a measure of control over what and how you teach? You can’t be a teacher and saying this. If you are, it’s certainly time for a career change.

  • Heidi says:

    A veteran teacher of 38 years, I feel so grateful and happy that there are people out there taking action on the most critical issue facing our education system and our kids that has ever come about. GO! GO!

    • Oak Norton says:

      Thank you Heidi. So many teachers don’t understand what’s coming. They thought NCLB was bad and don’t realize CC is NCLB on steroids.

  • SL County Teacher says:

    Anyone know if there will be meetings in SLC School District and Canyons SD? I did not see them on the state list.
    Any news on a state rally?

    Thank you for any info!

  • Anonymous says:

    As a parent of elementary school children, I have to say that the common core has been very good for my kids. It challenges them to think beyond the typical boxes of algebra, trigonometry, geometry etc. In today’s interdisciplinary world it has become essential that children be taught the type of curriculum that the common core standards offers.
    Qualified educators from different states got together to come up with this curriculum that in their opinion is good for the students. Qualified educators from our state’s Department of Education approved it’s use in our state.
    Let’s leave it at that and not bring politics into our already underfunded education system. If anyone still has any doubts, they should talk to college professors of incoming freshman classes at Utah universities and they will mention how under-prepared most students are with our state’s old curriculum. They will also tell you that almost all research projects and technology jobs require interdisciplinary background which is what the common core strives to achieve.

    • Morgan says:

      CC standards may work well for your kids, but what if they don’t work for mine? What if my child learns a different way? Where, as a parent, can I go to lobby for standards that are better for my child?

      • Anonymous says:

        You are right but that could be a problem with any curriculum. In my experience, teachers in Utah have been wonderful working with kids that learn in different ways. The districts continue to provide choice with charter schools and open classrooms for students to pursue their individual learning interests and parents to be involved in their child’s learning.

        CC standards are an attempt at designing a curriculum that will better prepare as many students as possible for college and the jobs that await them after college. Educators from more than 40 states recognized a problem and went through a long and deliberate process to arrive at the standards. They are by no means perfect and they do have checks in place to improve, going forward.

        Pages 1-4 of the following document list the process that educators and legislators in Utah went through before approving common core standards.
        http://www.schools.utah.gov/core/Utah-Core-Standards/CommonCoreResourceGuide.aspx

        • Anonymous says:

          Morgan,
          For more relevant information addressing your specific concern about individualized learning, please refer to page 13 and 14 of the same document I mentioned above. I checked with the teachers and they did say that they have flexibility in adjusting instruction for students and that nothing is set in stone.
          Each of those answers in the FAQ questions can be confirmed for accuracy by talking to the principal or teachers of your local school. Here is a link to that again.
          http://www.schools.utah.gov/core/Utah-Core-Standards/CommonCoreResourceGuide.aspx

          • Tricia says:

            Thanks, anonymous, for linking to the Common Core Resource Guide. After reading through some of it, it only further solidified my stance against common core.

            I found page 24 and 25 particularly horrifying. Talking about the English Language Standards it states, “The effect of implementing standards cannot be researched before they have been implemented. They must be implemented first before we can conduct research on their effectiveness.”

            WHAT??? So all kids in the state get to be guinea pigs for the program? Couldn’t we try a small pilot program first? Those who support common core can sign up their children to be the test subjects (but I really wouldn’t recommend it). If the program proves to be successful, then I’d be willing to sign up my children (well, it will be my grandchildren by then, but whatever.)

            And then there’s this:

            “We, along with other major experts in the reading and literacy field, argue that all students need to be reading more and more informational texts than they currently do. Classroom-based observation research has revealed over the past decade that children read almost no informational texts at all.”

            Who are these experts? And why do kids need to read more info text? Where is the proof that this will help them? They read plenty of info texts in math, science, and history. They don’t need to read them in English, as well.

            It goes on, “more than 85% of adult reading time is spent reading informational texts. Only 15% of adult reading is literary texts.”

            This is proof that MORE ADULTS should be reading MORE LITERARY TEXTS than that STUDENTS should read LESS. And if adults aren’t reading literature, they sure better read it in school or they will never be exposed to it.

            But wait. There’s more:

            “Our schools have given precious little attention to the reading and learning from informational text. That is precisely the point of the CCS Standards’ increased attention on informational text. Consider for a moment the demands an auto mechanic now has in using diagnostic computer technology to work on your car engine. The manual to be read by today’s auto mechanic is nearly four inches thick of informational text!”

            Then let kids read informational text in auto mechanic school. Not English.

            Reading info text will only bore them and make them hate reading, not give them a love for great literature.

            Literature enriches our lives. It makes us better people. Helps us to think and examine and be aware.

            Informational text teaches how to work on a car engine. Not an unimportant skill, but quite limited in its scope and power.

            Which do you want for your kids?

          • Anonymous says:

            Tricia, I agree that it would be a shame to not expose kids to English literature. Life would be very boring indeed without literature to enrich our lives.

            But I don’t think CC is going to eliminate literature, it is just going to replace some of the literature with learning to read informational text needed in today’s work environment. They will learn to read it in English and then use it in their Math, Science and History. They used an example of a car mechanic but that same thing could apply to a pilot, astronaut, doctor, nurse, medical assistant or an engineer.

            Thanks for the excerpts. The guide itself does not provide all the information on CC. It mainly provides information on the process that Utah went through before signing on and responses to common questions and specific ones brought up by Dr. Stotsky.

            It was helpful for me to read the Resource guide put out by the Utah State Office Of Education along with the Common Curriculum itself which provides more context and is available here:
            http://www.corestandards.org/the-standards

            Here is an excerpt from the CC language arts description.

            “As a natural outgrowth of meeting the charge to define college and career readiness, the Standards also lay out a vision of what it means to be a literate person in the twenty-first century. Indeed, the skills and understandings students are expected to demonstrate have wide applicability outside the classroom or workplace. Students who meet the Standards readily undertake the close, attentive reading that is at the heart of understanding and enjoying complex works of literature. They habitually perform the critical reading necessary to pick carefully through the staggering amount of information available today in print and digitally. They actively seek the wide, deep, and thoughtful engagement with high-quality literary and informational texts that builds knowledge, enlarges experience, and broadens worldviews. They reflexively demonstrate the cogent reasoning and use of evidence that is essential to both private deliberation and responsible citizenship in a democratic republic. In short, students who meet the Standards develop the skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening that are the foundation for any creative and purposeful expression in language.”

        • M Wiley says:

          Surprise, surprise. As of May 7th, this link does not work. What are they hiding and why are they hiding it from us?

    • Alyson says:

      Qualified educators from different states did not “get together” to come up with this curriculum. That’s just re-writing history. The list of the people on the committee that created the standards is well documented, they were hand-picked, and the lead writers were neither educators nor content experts. Some are incredulous that in preparing “college readiness” standards, no college level content experts were included either. Only 1 in 60 on the committee was a teacher. In fact, there was quite a bit of outrage over that, and the fact that the meetings would be closed, at the time… http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2009/07/national_standards_process_ign.html Indeed there are qualified educators in Utah that approve this scope and sequence, and there are those who do not. That’s just a reality in education. There is no consensus on what theories work best which is why we usually rely on pilot studies before rolling something out to the whole state, or the whole country. The fact that a handful of people in the state got to decide whose opinions would carry the most weight (with a lot of financial incentives) without the input of the parents, teachers, or other taxpayers IS POLITICS at its worst. If we had left politics out of this, we’d be piloting a shift to integrated math or considering whether a greater emphasis on informational text improves reading comprehension or college preparedness, especially when there is academic evidence that it will not… or at least be discussing standards in meetings that are open to the public according to law. All disagreements about the standards themselves aside, there are serious issues with the process legally that, left unchallenged, will erode the principles of government that were designed to preserve individual liberty. No standards, no matter how great, are good enough to justify that. http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2012/03/03/report-common-core-poses-legal-questions

      • Anonymous says:

        Alyson,
        You are right, they were handpicked. But that was done with the approval of elected governors and the process was supervised by elected state legislators along the way. The “National Governors Association” and the “Council of Chief State School Officers” were mainly responsible for this initiative. It was encouraged at times by the Federal Government but with no specific input on the material. At other times the US department of Education falsely appeared to take credit for the output from the committee. Governors from 45 states were involved in this which speaks to the bipartisan push to solve a problem.

        • Alyson says:

          Please share which state legislators supervised the process. I don’t believe that is an accurate statement, but if it is, the people of Utah deserve to know for accountability purposes. The NGA and CCSSO are private trade organizations who receive their funding from the federal government and private companies. They are not elected representative bodies and their meetings are not open to the public. This extragovernmental collusion is not compatible with our state or federal constitutions (not an enumerated power) and is even worse in my mind than a blatant federal takeover of education because it uses and directs tax payer money and systems without direct representation or transparency. http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2013/04/24/state-led-common-core-pushed-federally-funded-nonprofit

          • Alyson says:

            One more thing. The Governors did not come up with this idea. This document was given to all of the Governors at the time of a summit in Chicago in April 2009: http://www.dataqualitycampaign.org/files/GatesBroadARRAFinal.pdf It was prepared with the participation of a number of education reformers (see Participants) and outlines how the recently passed stimulus money ($100 Billion for education reform) should be spent. The list of participants in meetings they say were held in early April 2009 (after stimulus and just before NGA/CCSSO summit) includes Sir Michael Barber (before Pearson), Michelle Rhee, David Coleman, Chester Finn (Fordham), several reps from Gates etc. The timing of this meeting and the MOU to participate in the CCSS Initiative really makes the Governors look like a bunch of stooges for these conspiring reformers. This document describes the Common Core standards (yet to be written) with the same praise that our school board parrots today… “internationally benchmarked, and rigorous.” It includes a section on data and how states should meet national data standards. It also outlines and ties together the other reforms we are seeing of state managed early childhood ed, closing schools and bringing in private partners to establish charters (across the US), teacher accountability by tests, longer school days… and end with a complete breakdown of how the money from the Stimulus will be spent.
            Ask yourself why private interests are meeting to create this outline which the Department of Ed, Governors and Superintendents just happened to follow with such exactness. If we are okay with government like this in the US, it doesn’t matter what standards we adopt for our students, because they will never know the America that our founders intended.

        • Alyson says:

          According to the Utah Constitution, the only people who approve and set standards that the Governor has the authority to help pick are the ones that go on the ballot for State School Board elections. Furthermore, State School Board members are elected to represent the people of the state and any work they do on standards setting has to be done in view of the public. Their elected commission does not give them Power of Attorney to act in behalf of the citizens of Utah in turning over this process to an outside, unaccountable authority.

        • It is deceptive to say that states (via Governors) chose Common Core. Governors have authority within our state. They are not elected to represent us on the national stage; our D.C. Congressmen and Senators do that. Besides that, the NGA is a “nonprofit” trade group, not an elected, constitutionally recognized organization. Legislators did not even know the Common Core agenda was going on. Teachers didn’t. Taxpayers didn’t. Common Core slid past the state watchdogs because of school board dollar signs outweighing the vetting process; the proper channels were circumvented; this is truly education without representation.

    • Tricia says:

      As a parent of college age students, I can attest that you can not tell the damage a math program has done until your children get to advanced math classes. My two oldest went through the horrid Investigations Math program. We didn’t realize how bad Investigations was until they got to junior high algebra and began struggling. It was then that we realized they had never learned how to properly multiply or divide. They didn’t have the basic foundations to do algebra.

      Those students who were subjected to Investigations Math are now in college and most likely the under-prepared students you are referring to.

      Investigations had been thrown out by the time my third son was in elementary school, and he breezed through algebra, pre-calc, and took AP calc his senior year of high school and was able to advance right to the only math required for his associates degree in college.

      And just so you know, it was these same “qualified educators” who approved Investigations Math.

      Also, I’m not trying to be argumentative. I’m just hoping to save your kids (and all our kids) from the suffering that can be imposed when we trust that those in charge are always looking out for the best interests of our children. That’s our job.

  • Alyson says:

    I think the adoption process as documented in the recorded minutes of the State School Board meetings is a more accurate version of what was really going on at the time.

  • Tiffany says:

    Anonymous,
    I didn’t elect a bunch of governors. The NGA is a tax-expempt.. not-for-profit which in no way reflects representative government from Utah or any other state. Not all of the states who signed on to CC even have governors who belong to the NGA. It costs states $16,000 per year in dues and each meeting has an additional tab attached. Idaho adopted the CC, but their Gov. is not a member of NGA.

  • Brooke says:

    I can’t seem to find any information about teachers being allowed to use the “review” tests for the CRT for end of the year grades…It doesn’t seem fair to me if she can count the review tests as their grades. Does anyone know where I can look for information on this please? Thanks

    • Lori says:

      Come on Anonymous,
      Be brave enough to at least sign your first name. If you feel so strongly about this issue, stand up for it. Of course the official website is pro Common Core and full of half truths and downright falsehoods. Do your own homework, read up on the issues. The people fighting this are very forthright and have all of the data to back up what they say. You can’t say the same for the “OFFICIAL COMMON CORE WEBSITE”. Try to get answers from the USOE and you can forget it too.

      If this is such a great, wonderful amazing thing, then why was it bought into in virtual secrecy and never once presented to the parents in any way, shape or form. It is criminal. Plain and simple.

      • Anonymous says:

        There was no secrecy about it. They had the usual round of public meetings and hearings as a government agency does. As is common with most parents, all of us were busy with other activities and it did not register to go to these just as we did not go to the previous round of curriculum update meetings.
        I am not saying the official website or USOE should have the final say. All I am saying is that if we are willing to be so swayed by the sometimes inflammatory remarks and “research” by action groups and blog posts, the least we should do to get a balanced view before making up our own mind is to look at the other side’s official view.
        Signing my name has nothing to do with bravery. I am just a concerned parent and would like the focus to be just on the message.

        • Oak Norton says:

          So when the official Common Core website declares the standards were “internationally benchmarked” and then it’s discovered that’s a lie, what then anonymous?

          • Anonymous says:

            I don’t think they meant to lie. With a work of this magnitude, everything is not going to be perfect. The benchmarking is a step in the right direction. Before this, I don’t think Utah even thought of the international benchmarks. Of course, there might be some experts who disagree but that doesn’t mean the whole thing should be abandoned. Looking at the official document below from the core standards website, it looks like it was not a flip decision or a trivial process in their decision making.
            http://www.corestandards.org/assets/0812BENCHMARKING.pdf
            I am willing to accept it for what it is now. A step in the right direction with room to improve.

          • Oak Norton says:

            Actually anonymous, Utah does know what international benchmarking is. I was one of the people involved in the 2007 math standards process and we got the legislature to direct the USOE to create world class math standards on par with Singapore and Japan. The USOE ignored that recommendation of course, because they never wanted to change the D-rated standards, so they resisted all change. You can read all about it on these links.
            http://www.oaknorton.com/mathupdates/20070811.cfm
            http://www.oaknorton.com/mathupdates/20070926.cfm
            When Common Core came around, Utah jumped on those standards because there was the notion of getting free federal money. The USOE proved they aren’t interested in standards, they proved they have a gambling addiction.

          • Anonymous says:

            Oak, while there are many good things about the Singapore and Japan Math standards and methods, as someone who has some first hand experience of being through those types of standards and the US educational stabdards, I have to say that the Japanese and Singapore methods do come up short on some important fronts. They are not as amenable to individual learning needs and they overemphasize test performance. But that is a whole different discussion altogether.
            The current CC standards recognize our lagging performance at the international level and while not perfect, attempt to move our students towards better international standards. They are doing that while attempting to preserve the creative nature of our educational system which is what makes us the world leaders in science and technology. We have some of the most creative minds in this country because of our educational system. The CC standards will hopefully generate more of those by making more students college ready so they can hit the ground running.
            We can tie ourselves up in picking apart the process and doubting the perceived financial / idealogical profiteers for a very long time.
            Or, we can take CC for what it is, a long overdue attempt at righting the wrong of having too many underprepared kids getting to college. It is not perfect. The teachers say it is not perfect but they all like the flexibility they have been given to work with the district and states to improve it as they go along.

          • Oak Norton says:

            You can’t have it both ways Anonymous. You can’t say the CC standards were internationally benchmarked and then when I bring up Japan and Singapore as examples of countries who have high standards say they aren’t that great. Separate standards from pedagogy and curriculum. Common Core made no attempt to benchmark with international standards. That’s obvious to anyone who looks into the standards. You say you think we’ve got creativity and hope that CC expands on that. How? By standardizing ALL American children onto the same standards and essentially the same curriculum? Nice.

          • Anonymous says:

            No, I am not trying to have it both ways. Just goes to show that an argument can be more nuanced than “Right vs. Wrong” and that there is no simple answer when it comes to Education. If there was a model to follow, I would personally follow Finland’s.

            Regarding creativity…the standards are just that, Standards. The specific curriculum and methods of teaching are left up to the teachers, principals and school districts. CC standards set some goals and creativity is free to co-exist while students work towards standards that are more clearly defined than in the past.

  • Heather says:

    I have 6 boys, consisting of 3 high-achievers, a couple that are right in the middle, and 1 that has struggled this year, thanks to Common Core. Obviously, even kids from the same family are not “one size fits all.”

    My 6th grader is really struggling with the Common Core math. In the past, there have been 2 or 3 different levels of math, now all kids are taught exactly the same curriculum. I am terrified that if he can’t handle or keep up with the math in 6th grade (despite me sitting with him for an hour each day helping him with his math homework) then what is going to happen to him in high school? Each year the math curriculum will continue to build on what’s been taught previously. If he doesn’t understand it now with a one-on-one personal math tutor, how on earth will he succeed in high school? I was hoping to get him in a “Basic Math 7″ class at middle school next year, but have just learned that it has been done away with, there is only the one level being offered, with an honors option. I am so afraid we are setting him up to fail academically without a slower, lower level option offered. This has affected his entire attitude towards school and homework, he is lacking now lacking confidence in his ability to succeed.

    And what about my high-achievers? They will be held back from advancing at a much quicker pace than the rest of their peers.

  • Corinne Aagard says:

    Anonymous,
    I read the story on KSL and the author needs to look into to how our state school board is elected. They are not elected by the people. The people who are placed on the ballot for us to vote for are actually chosen by our governor not by the people of our state. Therefore they have no accountability to us! They are a power unto themselves and treat anyone who believes different from them as if they are a bunch of idiots. They behave like kings and queens and anyone who dares question them are wasting their time. The time we as tax payers pay for. We are their bosses and it is time things change in how they are elected. We need to remind our school board who we are. We are the parents and the people for whom they work! How about you do some research yourself into how they are elected. Also I choose not to believe what they have written about cc blindly, just because they put it out as truth does not make it so. They will not share with you the facts that have been uncovered by these so called action groups because it does not support there position. How about you spend some time researching the truth rather than just automatically trusting what they say. And about these action groups, blogs and news reports was it not a news report you just used to support your thoughts and your idea of what is true about CC? In the words action groups I think the word action is very important because it means they take action not just rely on what someone says to be truth,They have spent countless hours researching this issue and speaking out against it because they have found out the truth! This is about so much more than most Utahans understand and if the federal government is not removed from our education in Utah it will eventually cost Americans their freedom. Our founders never intended the Federal government to be in education for a reason. You can call those who appose common core what ever you want, but I promise you they have truly done their research, how much have you researched the origins of CC? Do you know who the big players really are? Do you know it is more about money and power than anything else? You can call me a conspiracy theorist if you and others want to I guarantee our founders were called that also, and had they not stood their ground we would not have our beautiful and free country. So I will wear it as a badge of honor. I will always question our elected officials because this is how we keep them in check as our founders intended. I am tired of hearing from those who do not have time be be involved call us the crazy ones, when you care enough to be involved to find out the truth and protect our freedoms then maybe I will care what you think. It will be those who stand against the lies and corruption that you will thank someday just as we thank our founders today. In God we trust not government.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes. But the governor is elected by us and he represents our interests. So democracy is still at work. Politicizing the appointment of board members any more runs the risk of letting politics and religious beliefs enter public education. The board has done reasonably good job so far in spite of our legislature setting aside so little money per student. Please talk to them if you get a chance and you will see that they have the best interests of our children at heart. They are not the heartless, brainwashing people as the action groups and blog post opinions make them out to be. Please talk to your local school teachers and they will tell you that while they disagree somewhat with the board, they generally support them. Confusing religion with education and letting religion solely drive education will take us back to the dark ages.

      • Oak Norton says:

        Anonymous, if that’s the case, then change things so there isn’t even an election so we have someone clear to blame. The elections are a farce right now because they eliminate anyone against Common Core who runs. The committee then forwards 3 names to the governor and he picks 2 to run. It’s taxation without representation. We should either eliminate the board elections or make them partisan to ensure the people get a say in who is going to allocate their money.

  • Parent of two teens says:

    I feel there are two totally different issues here. The first is the constitutionality of the federal government leading the CC charge. I have not completely researched this issue but I will say that I believe the federal government is way too big for it’s britches. In my opinion, there are VERY few things the federal government should be involved in. Second, is the common core better or worse for our students/children? My children have been taught the common core in Math for three years. I agree the first year the teachers were floundering because there were no books and really very few resources. I felt like that was almost a wasted year for both my children in math. Now my daughter is in the third year of common core and is learning more advanced math than the geometry class she would have been in. I’m not convinced that the common core teaching is any better or worse than what we have had.

  • Corinne Aagard says:

    Anonymous,
    Not all of us voted for him because it seems he as well as many previous governors have forgotten what state sovereignty is.They continue to sell our freedom to the federal government ,our money is sent to the federal government and then returned to us with strings attached, strings that tie our hands as a state and a free people. We are so dependent on federal dollars our governor and state school board took the bate that was dangled in front of them before even seeing any curriculum. This is what happens when we as a people and state start depending on government and they know it, and use it against us. Our state has sold our children to the highest bidder. I am sorry but as for me and my children our freedom is not for sale. As for the election of the state school board those who want to run fill out a questionnaire and I have recently found out one of the questions on it is,( Do you support common core?) I wonder why? I do not think it is right that our governor is the one who chooses who goes on the ballot, it is not a true election by the people. We should be able to question and vet these people after all they are over the education of our most precious stewardship and the future leaders of our country. I wonder if that is why they are so determined to control it. What is this about politicizing it, politics should be involved so the people are involved, so the people can decide. We believe in government for the people, of the people and by the people. What do these people have to hide? why shouldn’t they come before the people? As far as religion in school our founders intended God to be in our school as we are a nation under God . The progressives or liberals have lied for so long about what separation of church and state means people have forgotten its true meaning, it really means our government shall not impose one religion on all Americans.You do not want religion in our schools yet our teachers are forced to teach environmentalism, socialism, and political ideologies this does not belong in our schools! It belongs there even less than God yet we are forced to accept it is ok to teach to all children! Progressives seem to confuse education with teaching a political agenda. Many of us do not believe in man made global warming yet our children are forced to learn about it ,I have been told it is taught as a theory, ok so if we can teach that theory how about we give the other theory that God is in control of the elements and it is arrogant of us to assume otherwise! Every decision I make in my life is guided by my belief in God who I know to be good and merciful, heaven forbid we all live our lives this way.I never said religion should be the sole driver of education,I am not sure where that came from. The dark ages happened because men forgot who God is and wickedness was so rampant he took his church from the earth. Then the governments imposed one religion and the people were not allowed to believe as they chose. As I see it we are headed in this direction. As far as talking to the state school board I am sure they are very pleasant when you agree with them, but when you do not it is a whole different story, much the same as the very tolerant and kind progressives. I have also spoken with teachers who do not feel they have any say with the state school board and would like the federal government out of education. As for the money not going to the teachers I wonder if getting rid of the feds involvement would help and the six figure incomes of superintendents and other hire ups. I learned at a very young age that is is about the head count hence the money per child in attendance. I suffered severe migraines and missed a lot of school and I was told by my principle even if I had to be in the nurses room laying down I was expected to be there. Now tell me how would I be learning anything in the sick room? Was this about my education or the money? Also he told me that there was a class mate dying of cancer and she was expected to be in school to. I lost all respect for that man that day. I know it is about the money for many of these people and I know common core is about money and power and changing our country into something it was never meant to be and I will do all I can to protect our children and our freedom.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have to respectfully disagree regarding God in Schools. It is the churches and parents responsibility to teach about God at home and it is up to the schools to teach Science in class. They both have separate but very significant role to play in a child’s life.

  • Corinne Aagard says:

    Anonymous,
    Man made global warming and all this environmental stuff is not scientific fact. If you say the teaching of our belief in God should only come from the home and churches. Why is it ok to teach about social justice, environmentalism,political ideologies ect. in our schools these are personal opinion or beliefs. If people believe in this stuff teach it to your children at home do not force it on all of our children. Go to places with people who believe all this stuff and learn about it to your hearts content it does not belong in public schools! Reading, writing, arithmetic,history ect. are all they should be teaching and not laced with a bunch of leftist ideologies. They also should be teaching the truth about our country and its founding, our children should leave school with a love of this country and the truth about how our political system works. Our children should know we live in a constitutional republic. They would be learning these things if we had local control, no federal government involved.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ms. Aagard
      The schools do teach about our country and it’s founding. As with any scientific fact, there are some that disagree. The schools teach what the majority of the scientific community agrees on. The majority of the scientists in the field of global warming agree on it.

      Could you please share what you feel are social justice and ideological aspects that schools are teaching currently, and what is offensive about them ?

  • Amy L. says:

    Before anyone misunderstands my position I do want to state that I do want my kids in school and I want them to graduate and be successful. that being said, I am a mother of 3, which 2 of them are still in school. For the past year we have been facing the courts because of truancy. It started because my children struggle with seasonal depression and had some absences and tardies. Instead of working with my kids they get teachers, school administration, state agencies, court representatives, etc… to publically humiliate them on a constant basis, telling them what they are doing wrong, never what they are doing right. My children face ridicule from missing school, not only from the teachers and staff but because the teachers say all of these remarks in front of other students, it gets doubled. I don’t want my kids to have a significant amount of absences or tardies but I can see why they don’t want to go to school anymore. So what are the courts and schools doing now to help? Well, we have court-ordered therapy, pill management, mandatory bedtime, mandatory weekly family workshop, besides all of the other hoops we have to jump through to make sure none of us get thrown in jail. On more than one occasion my freedom has been threatened if I did not do all that was ordered of me. I HAVE to work full time and I am also in jeopardy of losing my job and the people who are implementing this on my family seem to have no sympathy. I also was trying to re-activate my kids in church by having family home evening with the missionaries, but they (the courts, etc…) wouldn’t hear of it. My kids do have a few things that make it difficult to be in a classroom and all the people involved know this. In my opinion, they will have more success if they work with my children and have compassion on their situation. The answer to helping our family is NOT found in a textbook, it is in the kindness fairness that used to exist in the schools not too long ago. All they had to do is talk to my kids like they were human and show that they cared. Would anyone who had to face this want to go to school? It isn’t just the students who bully students, it is also those who are supposed to be in charge. My intention is not to condemn but to inform. I’m posting this in hopes that someone who can make a change, will. Please, don’t just read…LISTEN! Thank you

  • Ann says:

    I’m just wondering if other parents are being asked to fundraise to provide mini I-pads for classrooms??? This is absolutely absurd to me when my child is currently in a 34 person classroom!!! Are the I-pads just another way that ensures parents won’t be able to review textbooks, materials, etc. being used by teachers? Please let me know if anyone has had any experience with schools wanting to use mini I-pads. Thank you!

    • Ann says:

      I just realized that I forgot to say that the principal wants EACH STUDENT to have a mini I-pad for use in the school. Sorry, if it made it sound like it was only just for the teacher. Thanks!

  • Cloverne Allred says:

    I find it interesting that we don’t look at what the educational standards were in the years when the US was leading the world in math, science, etc. Why don’t we consider much of the program that has a proven track record?
    I am against constantly throwing more money at education just to prove that we care about our children and we get no improvement for our dollars.
    We also need to look at merit pay for teachers. We have examples of teachers who don’t know their subjects. It appears to me that common core is great for the lazy teacher. The reports from parents that homework is not corrected and returned for the student to see what they are missing. Students often have no idea what their grade is based on. When you have been involved in a school for a few years it generally becomes quite clear who the effective teachers are.
    Home schooling looks more and more attractive.

  • Corinne Aagard says:

    Rand,
    This sort of thing has been happening since I was in school. I began suffering from severe migraines when I was very young. It caused me to miss a lot of school. Since the public schools get paid by how many students show up in class they are very aggressive in going after these students and families. They tried holding me back but had no cause because my grades were to high. I was eventually sent to truancy court
    when I was in high school, even though my parents always new why I was not in school,since I was home sick. I will never forget going to court they made me feel like a criminal. I had never just sluffed or been in any trouble at school I was just very sick. In court we supplied the judge a letter from my Dr. and he did not even read it he glanced at it as if it meant nothing and ignored it. Then the attorneys representing the school proceeded to speak about me as if I was some kind of criminal. The judge told my mother if I missed a certain amount more of days they would remove me from my home. I came from a very good and stable home. Yet just because I missed to much school they were going to take me from my parents. Previous to all of this happening they kicked me off drill team even though I held the grade point average it required to stay on the team. My parents battle with the school was long and caused them much stress. After they threatened to take me from my parents my father had had enough and he wrote them a letter and pulled me out of school(this was in my junior year) he could no longer watch them destroy his daughters self esteem over something I could not control. My father passed away in November and I still have his letter. I took the GED and passed the first time with out even studying the huge book they gave me, so I now I was learning when I was in class, but this is not what they cared about. It was and still is the money and control. I will never forget the principle telling me that a class mate who was dying of cancer was expected to be there and so was I even if I had to lay in the sick room. Tell me how much would I be learning in the sick room? This has been going on for a long long time we have just been lead to believe they have a right legally to do this to us and not enough of us have stood to challenge this. I pray CC is the final straw that will cause us to stand against this abuse of power. I have three children all of whom have been home schooled and in private on line school. We must remove our children out of this corrupt system. We must get the federal government out of our schools.

  • Ann Marie Carter says:

    As a parent, I have been extremely disturbed by the difference in education that my older children have gotten compared to the younger children. My oldest daughter was able to take classes like sewing, cooking and choir in jr. high and went on several field trips every year in elementary school. Then when she was in 4th grade they introduced “investigative math”. Which is crap! There is no right answer and the teachers didn’t care IF she got the correct answer, just that she tried to answer it. Then my oldest son started school. When we moved to a different school (who wasn’t using investigative math) when he was in 5th grade, he tested 1st grade level for math and 2nd grade level in reading. We worked with the school for a year and a half to get him caught up. He will be graduating 2014 and most of his education has been done at home because of the crap he gets taught in school. Most of the teacher in high school are the ones who grew up with ACTUAL math and when they still did field trips. My son went on ONE field trip, that was in Kindergarten and they went to Cold Stone Ice Cream (no education value there). My youngest daughter just finished 7th grade and was not allowed to take sewing or cooking or choir, because those classes are no longer offered. She can take choir in 8th grade, and only if she makes it through auditions. My youngest son will be starting 1st grade and because of the current principal at the elementary school he goes to I am currently trying to get him into another school. Both my younger two children did not get to go on any field trips! When I talk to my children about what they learned in school I am appalled at the lack of education that they are currently receiving! If I didn’t have to work, I would be home schooling my children!

    • Oak Norton says:

      Thanks for drawing my attention to this article. If you haven’t done any homework on Common Core, here’s a couple things you may want to note about the authors.

      Chester Finn is president of the Fordham Foundation.

      Quoted in the Puget Sound Business Journal:
      “‘It is not unfair to say that the Gates Foundation’s agenda has become the country’s
      agenda in education,’ said Michael Petrilli, vice president for national programs and
      policy at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute in Washington, D.C. The Fordham institute
      itself has received nearly $3 million in Gates Foundation grants.”

      So the Gates Foundation gives $3 million to Fordham and Finn gives CC standards high marks. Petrilli admits that Gates is running America’s education agenda. The AGENDA behind Common Core is the problem. It’s massive data tracking, loss of privacy, loss of local control, extreme testing and the standards are admittedly not the best in the country as determined by the Fordham Foundation itself who couldn’t not admit that. The only professional mathematician on the validation committee and the top experienced standards writer on the ELA validation committee refused to sign off on the standards. They’re weak standards, but that’s not half the issue.

  • Tracy L (Van Meter) Rickard says:

    I really need to know what you all have heard about Harmony data tracking and My big Campus. This has recently been implemented at the school I work at. Any information would be helpful.

    Thank you sooooooooo much!

  • Educator says:

    Wow! My head is spinning. I just got back home from the State Office of Education. I sat in on some of the public comment, walked around outside for the protest and then participated in the impromptu discussion with Superintendent Menlove. I have so many thoughts running through my mind.
    First, my observations regarding the discussion with Superintendent Menlove. Even though it is part of his job, I respect the fact that he offered to sit down and have a discussion with a crowd of passionate parents and educators. I felt however, that there was a great deal of dodging of the issues and contradictions in his responses. For example, how can he be concerned, as he stated and I assume as were the people in the meeting, about big government and its intrusion in our lives and then still support Common Core and its goal of centralizing education in our country? Based on his answers to most of the questions I ask, why does the State of Utah even have a State Office of Education, State Superintendent or State School Board? The federal government already seems to be in control of education in Utah. Common Core is just solidifying this assessment.
    It seems that at the end of the meeting Superintendent Menlove changed his approach and got somewhat combative. The comments he made about name calling were far from the truth. Yes, there were some very passionate people and discussion and yes some interruption, but I heard no name calling. These people were trying to convey their fears and make corrections in misinformation that continues to flow from the state office. We have been ignored for far too long. In fact, the one person who was the most insulting and inappropriate was the Language Arts Teacher who spoke in favor of Common Core. He accused everyone of being Gayle Ruzicka cronies. What an insult to people who have spent countless hours studying, reading, attending meetings and even experiencing Common Core as parents and educators.
    Finally, as people at the meeting were bringing up very valid concerns, I kept thinking that we are losing sight of the big picture. Common Core is one more step down the road towards socialism. Common Core opens us up to central control and takes away freedom. It takes away freedom for parents to be in charge of their kids, freedom for teachers to be innovative and creative, and freedom for students to determine where they go in life.
    We have got a battle on our hands and the State School Board is doubling down on their efforts with their new PR campaign which is being discussed at todays meeting. I believe we need to double down on our efforts as well. It is so obvious after sitting in the meetings today that someone has got to stand up and say no! As it is, we are gradually putting into place a system that will lead to no good not only now, but even more in the future. We have all of these promises that our fears will not come to fruition but what happens when five or ten years down the road someone else is in control and we have all forgotten?

  • Shana says:

    I wonder how many parents out there are now turning to home school, and have come to a peace that their children will have to create their own businesses in the future.

    • Oak Norton says:

      You might be right that it’s an article about how parents and educators FEEL about Common Core based on the propaganda they’ve received from the State Office and educrats. The problem is, most parents and educators don’t have the FACTS about Common Core’s agenda and what it means for them. Here’s a recent survey that is a lot closer to the truth.
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/21/education-poll-common-core_n_3787426.html
      2/3rds of parents haven’t even heard about Common Core.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with you. People might be making up their mind based on other people’s feelings or propaganda as you mention it. It would be very interesting to see the results of a survey conducted of those who signed the “Utahnsagainstcommoncore” petition to see how many of them spent 30 minutes or more, reading the original content at the Common Core’s official website, http://www.corestandards.org/ before they signed the petition.

        • Oak Norton says:

          It would be more interesting to know how many people in the state office read the contracts that obligated us to Common Core; how many PTA people read anti-CC material before becoming evangelists for Bill Gates thanks to his PTA donations; how many teachers have studied what’s coming and want to stop CC’s teacher and school grading, etc… The public follow what authority figures tell them, which is why that DNews survey isn’t surprising when the education establishment is pushing CC so hard due to their extreme investment in this untested, unproven standards, assessments, data tracking, and curricular agenda.

  • Just as Pres. Obama said “you can keep your own insurance” was a lie, it is a lie that the States retain control of their own educational system! Our local educational system will be under the control of our Fed. Gov., just as our medical is now under the control of the Fed. Gov. They have no intention of helping our children get the best education available. Their intention is to nationalize everything. If you are too intimidated to speak up against Common Core, you are relinquishing your responsibility to your children. I know that’s harsh, but as a young mother, I was intimidated. Fortunately, Common Core wasn’t around when my kids were young, but there were problems then, too. If only I had spoken up and held firm, my kids wouldn’t have had the struggles they did. Please, PLEASE sign the petition to stop Common Core. Your kids need you to be involved and outspoken.

    • Joan Landes says:

      The parallels between Obamacare and common core (ObamaCORE) are remarkable. The results will be the same — a disastrous dependence on the Government. For specific details of how this will play out now and in the future, see Common Core articles on my blog (psych out the opposition.wordpress.com) I gotta say, to Oak and the rest of you– this site is really amazing and inspiring. Thanks for your dedication to freedom, faith and families.

  • Mike Griffiths says:

    I have been on the board of several charter schools and also work in the university system and have experience of education in several countries. Most countries have something like the core curriculum. I am not so worried about the objectives in the CC unless they are deliberately designed for some social agenda. However what worries me is the curriculum materials that are created. As long as any school or district can use whatever materials and books it wants then it might turn out ok. Also if a school can allow students to move up to the next level or be advanced in other ways, then maybe it will be ok. However, if the system excludes student flexibility for being advanced, or if the materials and books are fixed (with all their propaganda) then I am very worried. When I don’t like the system, then I just homeschool instead. When I homeschool I use the state objectives as a guide, but assess and teach the way I choose. My kids are all advanced and start university early as I do not let the public education system get in the way. However at the times that I see that the public system is useful, then I am happy for my children to be part of it.

    • Oak Norton says:

      Mike, you should be worried. The more you investigate, the more you will learn this is a play for control over the system. Also, I have a co-worker whose daughter needed held back in math. The parents and teacher and principal all agreed that would be best for her to repeat the year she struggled through, but they said due to Common Core they HAD to advance her. It’s not in her best interest but they couldn’t not advance her. That’s wrong. Watch for a new post containing the audio from Glenn Beck’s show this morning. It was a great segment and plays Bill Gates’ in his own voice telling the world what Common Core is all about.

      • Mike Griffiths says:

        Most systems in the world do this. A student always moves on to the next year no matter what. Staying behind is as far as I know fairly unique to the USA. However, the system I went through in the UK did have different math groups in each year, there were 3 groups in my school so that each student could be in a class that was taught to their level. I would think that something like that could be applied here. Anyway, I don’t have a huge problem with having nationwide objectives in principle, but I am concerned about the way it is implemented in a system where the federal government was not meant to be involved in this area. I came to America and quickly appreciated the idea that states have independence and communities have independence which leads to competition and creative innovation. This is not something that exists in any other country that I have visited.

        • Oak Norton says:

          Good observation. If you look at our home page at the top, you’ll find this quote: “It is one of the happy incidents of the federal system, that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” -Justice Louis D. Brandeis

          I encourage you to listen to the Glenn Beck audio on our latest post. It’s about 16 minutes and he gets into the back-story a little bit on who and why this is being pushed on us.

          • Mike Griffiths says:

            I listened to Glenn Beck. He has some good points but also takes comments out of their intended context and creates an emotional conspiracy argument. This type of argument is too easy to put into the crazy column. The intentions of Bill Gates and suchlike are to bring the educational system in the USA in line with the competitive needs of a global market. There is not much wrong with their general ideals. The big issue is the loss of local control and local community and parental voice.

  • Mike Griffiths says:

    Sorry, but as far as I can tell the Gates agreement with Unesco is nothing to do with what is happening in the US. The UN (UNESCO) is trying to help the developing world through education and opportunities to increase the use and knowledge of technology. Nothing bad about that. I am involved in educational NGOs in Africa and have seen the good work done by UNESCO and their partners.

    I should repeat, I am not too keen on the common core, and I don’t like the way that MATH in particular is being set up, and I don’t like federal involvement.

    But let’s not kid ourselves, K-12 education here needs to be fixed. Students are not challenged enough and they are not prepared for college and they are falling behind competing nations in MATH and other subjects. Districts will not fix these issues due to the socialistic mentality of educational establishments and unions. So, business leaders and other groups have attempted to do something about it. Obviously the federal government believe in the need to change, and are using whatever methods they are allowed to use to bring it to pass.

    So I think we need to drop the conspiracy talk.

    Having a national set of standards is not a bad thing, as long as states and districts can react to them however they see fit and as long as funding is not attached to how well students perform on tests associated with national standards. I think you need to be focused on this battle, not on a conspiracy battle.

    • Oak Norton says:

      Mike, I don’t believe we are focused on conspiracy. Gates’ involvement in education predates that 2004 agreement to create a global education system, but the only way to create a global system is to standardize all education. He’s spent $5 billion on education globally, and $200 million on Common Core (that can be tracked).
      I’m 100% with you on math education. The problem is constructivism and the indoctrination in education schools that it’s the best way to teach. There are no studies that support that notion. Standards shouldn’t be a mandate that “these 30 age-grouped kids should all do these things this year”. Standards should be a path and children who can move faster, should be able to. Children who need to move slower should be able to.
      Common Core’s emphasis on process standards, as interpreted by departments of education like in Utah, is pushing constructivism into the classrooms and it negatively affects children and their parents ability to help children with homework. Federal involvement is clearly connected to Common Core. It sounds to me like you should be opposed to Common Core. There is no conspiracy theory here. Just facts that point to troubling overreach, dumbing down of curriculum, data tracking, violations of privacy, the attempt to standardize everything for corporate benefit, etc…

      • Mike Griffiths says:

        I am definitely with you on the constructivism issue. This is a fashion and unfortunately educational policy is based on fashions as pretty much nothing can actually be proven one way or another in educational theory. My PhD is Instructional Psychology and Technology and I realized quite quickly that research can be used to show anything you want in education. I have also done doctoral level research on the brain and learning, and although the brain does function in terms of connections, the idea that you should therefore form an educational theory based on allowing children to make connections on their own rather than learn how to perform something that is useful is really ridiculous. This alone is worth fighting against.

        I still don’t think that the Gates thing is such a big deal, from his point of view it is not business intervention, it is philanthropy. So the fact that he has given $200 million to promote common core is not bothersome to me. I don’t see Microsoft trying to take over education in the USA, rather they are using their money to help implement what they consider to be a an educational approach that is superior to the one in place in terms of preparing children for the real world.

        Whether it is a better approach is obviously a big debate, but I am just saying that his agenda is nothing more. Otherwise any wealthy person who invests in any educational program or effort must be evil. I am more worried about the curriculum companies than Microsoft.

        I have been developing cost effective educational solutions for the developing world for some time, and I am battling against the greed and market cornering of the big curriculum suppliers on regular basis.

        Am I against Common Core? As a one size fits all solution for a country like the United states, yes I am against it. I am not against the people who are involved because I think they have mostly honorable intentions.

        I am not bothered by data gathering or any issues like that. I am also not bothered by the shift away from classic literature (because I think that schools and teachers can overcome that anyway).

        I am bothered by having too many tests, though I do think some standardized testing is useful.

        I am bothered by anyone trying to impose one educational strategy such as constructivism on an entire system.

        I am bothered by federal involvement, and I really would like to see communities retain control over educational philosophy and implementation.

        For those pragmatic reasons I oppose the common core.

        • Oak Norton says:

          As long as you’re against Common Core, you can choose whatever reason you want. :) I would caution you against a blanket statement that those involved have mostly honorable intentions. There are those who do this solely to control.
          Since you’re against constructivism, you may enjoy a comic strip I did with an artist a few years ago when we were fighting fuzzy math. Check out http://www.weaponsofmathdestruction.com.

  • Tabitha Korol says:

    I was able to obtain four textbooks (3 Human Geography, 1 History), reviewed them thoroughly and found glaring misstatements, lies, propaganda. I have documented them and researched the truth and produced four separate reports, yours for the asking. I am now reviewing novels and “literature” that are assigned students K-12, and they are severely damaging, as they do not match the age or maturity level. Many contain explicit sexual content, rape, incest, prostitution, poverty, loneliness, fear, and degradation, and I have evidence from a clinical social worker who is seeing more student patients than ever for nervousness, angst, hating school, vomiting, some are self-mutilating. I’d like to help you with removing the entire CC system; I have contacted your Utah governor, among others, to no avail. They are in denial and obviously enjoying the funding bribes. I am working with other mothers and grandmothers. Please contact me; perhaps we can work together. Thank you.

  • Bob Webster says:

    There is no Constitutional authority given to the federal govt. over education; it is a State and local issue totally. All education authority and funding being exercised by the feds is USURPATION; it is SOCIALISM at its UGLIEST.
    All that States need to do is 1- refuse federal funds; 2 – ignore federal education controls. That’s the Constitutional path to liberty as the Founders intended.
    Bob Webster, Pleasant Grove, UT. Vets Day 2013

  • Rex says:

    Common Core is the US part of the implementation of the UN-sponsored World Core Curriculum See the following: http://robertmuller.org/rm/R1/World_Core_Curriculum.html and
    http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/does-u-n-s-education-mandate-push-common-core-in-usa/

    Of course, we need to go beyond this and acknowledge that the socialist paradigm of “free” public education has failed and go to a completely private education system. In order to do so, however, the state constitution would need to be ameneded because it currently guarantees a free public education. We must end the government monopoly on education. Private education is expensive because the government monopoly stifles competition; and even if parents opt for private schools, they must still pay school taxes on top of private school tuition, which is a disincentive for private schools. Just think of all the money the state could save if not for public education: no more school buildings to build and maintain, no more expensive bus fleets, no more expensive sports programs, etc. Just think of the taxes that people would not have to pay, which constantly increase. Public education is a failed system and needs to be replaced.

    “Free education for all children in government schools.” – Tenth Plank of the Communist Manifesto

    “I am opposed to free education as much as I am opposed to taking property from one man and giving it to another who knows not how to take care of it… Would I encourage free schools by taxation? No! (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses Vol. 18, p. 357)

    “A general State education is a mere contrivance for moulding people to be exactly like one another: and as the mould in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government, whether this be a monarch, a priesthood, an aristocracy, or the majority of the existing generation, in proportion as it is efficient and successful, it establishes a despotism over the mind, leading by natural tendency to one over the body. — John Stuart Mill, On Liberty [1859]

    “The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States, whatever the pretensions of politicians, pedagogues, and other such mountebanks, and that is its aim everywhere else…Their purpose, in brief, is to make docile and patriotic citizens, to pile up majorities, and to make John Doe and Richard Doe as nearly alike, in their everyday reactions and ways of thinking, as possible.” H. L. Mencken

  • Mike Duncan says:

    Having just recently become aware of UACC via the SL Tribune, and noting who pays for this website, I figured it a collective bunch of hate-the-UN-feds-godless-liberals-just-because who haven’t read a book since they fell asleep after too many it-shall-come-to-pass-es in the Book of Mormon, couldn’t complete an essay question if it requires more than two sentences, haven’t done any critical thinking since they had to choose which ward to attend and think the cosine of x has something to do with the depravity of gay sex.

    I just said that to get your attention. And I was wrong.

    Yes, among the 130 some-odd opinions, 85 if you omit Oak Norton and Anonymous, there are the expected nutcases. But there were a number of interesting experiences and thoughtful, nuanced opinions. While I think CC is a worthwhile experiment to do something about America’s poorly performing schools despite assertions from parents that their kids, like the kids at Lake Wobegon, are all above average, I grant you there are some negative aspects.

    One is, like NCLB, that it is still another standard against which kids must be taught and tested, skimping on much else like music, art and field trips, that make school worthwhile. Further, assessing performance of school and teachers is, as with NCLB, tricky, since so much depends on demographics and the student’s home environment over which teachers have little control.

    Another is that certainly CC must allow some flexibility to allow better-performing students to move ahead.

    While I read in the NY Times archive that NY, a liberal state, is having its own struggles, as is Utah, I think CC’s birth pains re curriculum will fade.

    Nobody ever said CC was a panacea. Like recreational marijuana in Colorado, it’ll have its problems. But on the balance, over time its positive aspects will outweigh the negative. If not, it’s still worth a try. Something has to be done.

    As I said to Becky Lockhart re iPads for every student, spend the money on good teachers instead. But there’s much to be said for raising the bar – making teachers and students think, think for themselves.

    In that light, I thought it dismaying the Comments header saying “If you want to share positive experiences with using the standards, please don’t go to the trouble.” So, are you interested in a dialog or are you just preaching to the choir?

    For the record, I’m a retired aerospace engineer, a USU math tutor, an ex-math and science sub (boy, was that fun) and a father of two public school teachers in Denver.

    Interesting, I note, that the great majority of respondents are women. Why aren’t there more men responding?

  • Amy says:

    My son started common core as a freshman. Compared to my other children who have already graduated, it is putting him at a huge disadvantage! Common core does not allow students to excel and take the more sophisticated courses that were previously offered, therefore the students who have higher capabilities won’t be allowed to take advantage of those previous opportunities. What is that going to do to our future when they can’t just step in at the college level and continue forward but spend more time and money getting the education they should have been able to get BEFORE graduating. It will take decades for our country to get back to being the greatest country on earth and the freedoms that we have known to be able to excel if you have the desire to so so!

  • JessaD says:

    Since it was implemented I have watched my 5th grader struggle with issues he never had a problem with before. (My 7th grader refuses to home school) He asked to be home schooled recently so I kept him home last week to see how he would do managing his time alone. The first two days went well but by the third he had lost interest. I know I need to play a big role in this and fully intend to, it was a test to see how much time I would be investing and how well he could manage his time and how much effort he was going to put into it. I have the affidavits printed out to be turned in to the JSD but am still hesitant though I don’t know if it is because I feel like I can’t do this and will fail him or if it is because I know what a people person he is and worry that he is truly going to miss being with others all the time. I am NOT a people person (for so many reasons but mainly because I have seen how AWFUL so many of these home school parents are to others who ‘don’t fit in’ so the idea of doing field trips with other home schoolers scares the crap out of me…

  • Grandparent says:

    After reading article after article about Common Core, I have tried everything I can think of to stop this dreadful takeover of our grandchildren’s education in Utah. I have written Gary Herbert, our governor several times and he is ALL FOR common core and was instrumental in bringing it into our state. He refuses to get it out of Utah and I am hoping Herbert will be voted out because of his stand. It amazes me that NO ONE had a chance to vote on this takeover and I am worried that FEW parents even know about it. It has ruined mathematics and turned it into a circus of steps to find this answer and that when the math we learned in school was excellent–now the parents cannot help their children. Those that are experts in mathematics hate the Common Core math. Literature great standards have been replaced in some cases with assignments to read government pamphlets. The data collection they are accumulating on the students and their families is directly against our rights of privacy under the constitution. I hope grass efforts will inform parents so they rise up and throw it out of our states. Common core is a standard of teaching in many communist countries—it shouldn’t be here in America. I am worried for my grandchildren because of common core.

  • Kathleen Szymanski says:

    I just filed opt out papers for my 7th and 9th grade students in the Jordan School District. I found the principal and those I did speak to at the school district, to be very friendly to my decision to opt out. I also found out we were the only family in this school to do so. I try to talk to everyone I know, but I don’t think the word is getting out to enough people and that the whole Utah Common Core business has come about in such a complicated confusing way that most parents feel like they don’t have the time to read and learn about it enough to really CARE about it and do something about it. This website has helped me a lot, but even this website can seem like trying to swallow a whale whole and that intimidates many people. Unfortunately I think that is part of the strategy for supporters, make it too complicated and most people will just accept it because-hey, the state school board and governor support it so it can’t be that bad–right? How do we break through that barrier?

  • Jenn Wall says:

    I would like to see exactly what the issue is with the core with actual standards cited. I have read the core for K-6 and there is nothing political or social in it. This website is giving a lot of false information to parents and it is hurting our students. I find it very frustrating as an educator that parents would believe a site entitled Utahns Against Common Core without doing their own research. We try to teach students to look at reliable sites and to look at both points of view before making a rash decision yet we have parent doing exactly what they would not want their own children doing…believing propaganda. Parents please do your own research before making a decision about the core.

    • Oak Norton says:

      Jenn, I strongly encourage you to keep reading on this site and not believe everything handed to you from the state office or your district personnel. Just about everything we publish is tied directly to source documents. For example, the state office tells people we own our standards, yet their own documentation says that is false.
      Memorandum of understanding
      Please don’t insult the people who come here and agree with us by saying we’re giving them false information and it’s hurting our students. We provide parents with facts and they make up their own minds. If you disagree with something here, prove it wrong and make us believers in what your position is. We asked questions of the state office of education and they got their lawyer involved and eventually their lawyer gave up, presumably because she couldn’t answer our questions without agreeing with us.

    • Amy says:

      Jenn, with all due respect, I find it offensive that you imply that parents do not do their own research. I could suggest that I find it frustrating that educators such as yourself are only listening to the “propaganda” provided by the State Office of Education, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt. Hopefully you have done your own research as well. Unfortunately, the response I have gotten from many educators is “I don’t know that much about it, but the district/state says its good.” I have spent many months and hundreds of hours reading primary documents, listening to legislative and school board meetings, following local and national commentary on both sides, and speaking with local teachers and school administrators. I have also been a teacher myself. My opposition to Common Core does not stem from a cursory read of a few posts on Utahns Against Common Core. My decisions regarding my children’s education are anything but rash. Please do not assume that parents are not doing their research. Just because you do not agree does not mean that the views of others are based on unreliable sources or propaganda.

    • Anonymous says:

      Jenn,
      I agree with you and as you have done, I read the core standards and do not find anything objectionable in them. While the core creators can do more to improve them, they seem to be a step in the right direction for now.
      Unfortunately, this website seems to be dedicated for thoughts against common core and does not seem to be interested in hearing anything in support of common core. At the very top of this page it states the following:

      “If you have had an experience with some aspect of Common Core illustrating a loss of local control, please share it here. If you want to share positive experiences with using the standards, please don’t go to the trouble. We know there are people who like the standards and feel an emotional attachment to them. This page is for those who have seen real issues with what the standards, assessments, curriculum, and database tracking are doing to our schools and children.”

      Given such a strong statement, I feel you and I will just be wasting our efforts voicing our support. The only facts this website seems to be interested in are just the facts that oppose common core and any questions asked of the state board seem to be asked with the mind already made up no matter what the answer might turn out to be.

      • Oak Norton says:

        Why do you keep posting as anonymous? If you have an opinion, state it. The only people that are justified in posting as anonymous are teachers who fear for their jobs.
        When I posted this page, I did type that paragraph because there was NO opposition voice. I’m going to remove that language now. We’re happy to have your comments, and they are all over this site. That was the original intent of that paragraph that on this page, there would be a place people could post their experience as a parent or teacher without a lot of noise. Other pages with specific issues have plenty of debate.
        Now as for your first paragraph, let me, once again, attempt to be completely clear with you. This point has been brought up numerous times on this site. The CCSS are not great. For Utah, they weren’t even a step in the right direction. For some states they probably were. Utahns have been lied to by the state office and state board. They are not stronger standards. We are gutting literature from ELA, and we’ve pushed the majority of students to finish algebra 1 in 9th grade instead of 8th grade as it was under our old standards. This means far fewer students will get to an authentic calculus class in high school to prepare them better for college. Utah also adopted the integrated path for math, along with Vermont. All the “students can transfer between states” arguments are null and void. Utah can and should have the highest standards. We don’t because we want money. Socialist greed drove the Common Core decision.

  • Michael Isom says:

    First of all all evidence of “federal backing” is invalid, it is USOE no government involvement in this, second, SAGE is separate from CC. third, as a math student under common core, I feel my opinion overrules many as I have participated in the program. Oak Norton, they are stronger at least for math, while students are not ‘completing’ algebra 1 in 9th grade, they are learning things that better prepare them, in a more logical manner, now I am learning pre calc in 9-11 grades, rather all at once, I learn algebra 1 then 2 and how they apply into trig and calc, rather than massive conglomerates of non sensical orders (e.g.) alg.1 geometry, alg 2) it is definitely a step in the right direction.

    • Oak Norton says:

      Michael, I admire your courage for jumping in here, but what you’ve offered here does not amount to reasonable arguments.
      What do you offer as evidence that there is no federal backing of Common Core?
      How can you say there is no government involvement in Common Core when the feds tied Race to the Top (RTTT) money to Common Core applications? When Massachusetts got no money in round 1 of RTTT, they reapplied and only changed one thing on the entire application: they checked the box that said they would adopt Common Core. Suddenly they shot to first place and won grant money from the Feds and dropped their previous standards which were perhaps the strongest in the country.
      In what way is SAGE separate from Common Core? Did you know that the feds funded 2 assessment consortia, SBAC and PARCC? The American Institute of Research is the official partner of SBAC and AIR is the entity that is doing the SAGE tests for Utah. Do you not see a federal connection? Follow the money.
      How exactly do you know that Common Core math standards are stronger? Stronger than what? Than what Utah used to have that let more students get through algebra by 8th grade and through calculus by 12th?
      Please don’t buy in to the integrated math lie. It’s just how the USOE brings constructivist math nonsense into the system. There are large holes in what is being taught now. Don’t take my word for it though. Listen to the experts in math standards and implementation. Dr. Jim Milgram from Stanford was the only math content expert that served on the CC validation committee and he refused to sign off saying the standards were 2 years behind other high achieving nations by 8th grade. It’s late and I don’t have the time to point to all the references on this site, but just do a search for math and you’ll find plenty of articles that discuss the issue. Also search for “David Wright” a math professor at BYU who has written about the massive problems with the way the USOE has implemented CC.
      Lastly, please realize that our beef with the standards is a mere fraction of the overall concerns. There is a massive agenda behind CC. Please look deeper.

    • Anonymous says:

      Michael,

      I agree that slowing it down a little and letting students figure out how things tie into Trignometry and Calculus is a better way to go.
      If pre-common core curriculum was better, then colleges don’t have to essentially re-teach the most basic concepts as they do now. When I taught a freshman course as a TA, there was a large percentage of Freshmen coming into college, not knowing how to apply ratios to real world examples. Doing a “lot” by the end of high school does not necessarily prepare them for courses later if they don’t understand the “how” of how it ties in.
      Common core’s approach is worth a try and I know at least 3 professors of Math and Engineering that agree with your assessment.
      Thanks for sharing your opinion as a math student under common core.

    • Oak Norton says:

      Sure. In a sentence:
      Loss of local control, inappropriate and extreme testing causing a lot of stress on kids who shouldn’t be taking the tests, data tracking, loss of privacy, crony corporatism, federally funded assessments, etc… Sorry. If I had more energy tonight I might keep going but I’m tired. Watch the documentary at http://www.commoncoremovie.com, and search this site for “Orem presentation” and watch it.

  • David Dimond says:

    If the Math Common core is unacceptable to your group, why does the 80,000 member National Council of Teachers of Mathematics support it? http://www.nctm.org/ccssmposition Why should anyone believe the opinion of a few math professors quoted on this site over that of the organization comprising the largest group of K-12 math teachers in the nation? Who has “conspired” with NCTM to promote the adoption of such a terrible set of standards?

    Were Utah’s “old” standards adequate? Only 38% of Utah’s 2013 high school students who took the ACT were considered “College Ready” in Math by ACT. (24% were College Ready in all four subjects–English, Reading, Math and Science.) http://www.act.org/newsroom/data/2013/states/pdf/Utah.pdf Is that acceptable to Utah’s parents? What about the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a test given to 4th and 8th graders throughout the U.S.? Utah ranked 24th for 4th graders and 25th for 8th graders on the 2013 math assessment. With the quality of families in this state, even with the limited resources available to Utah’s schools, is that good enough?

    What is the real issue in your fight against common educational standards in math and English? If it were to help Utah’s children have a better educational experience, I would think you would be proposing solutions, rather than tearing down, promoting fear, even paranoia. I attended a SAGE presentation last fall where the Assessment Director of Utah was invited to come inform patrons about SAGE. I was appalled at the disrespect shown him by a group opposing SAGE and the common core. As I left the meeting where he was continually interrupted by shouts from that group, I wondered if they had heard the same message I had in a religious meeting about being “civil” in our political disagreements. I think not. Common decency wasn’t found in that group. I’m glad I’m not party to any of it. “By their fruits ye shall know them.”

    • Oak Norton says:

      Are you honestly going to tout the NCTM after they gave us the 1989 standards that brought constructivist math into our schools and allowed the Investigations math nightmare to happen? You work for ASD as one of their higher paid teachers. Surely you are well aware of the massive problems that came from Investigations, Connected, and Interactive math that caused UVU (UVSC) to have a remedial math department for nearly 70% of incoming freshmen.

      Are you not aware that Utah used to have D rated standards which the USOE and school districts were just fine with but parents like us were not? We forced the USOE to raise standards in 2007 for which they got an A- rating from Fordham and would have probably gotten an A if the USOE hadn’t intentionally ignore the external reviewers suggested changes. Here’s the story if you’re unaware: http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/a-recent-history-of-utahs-math-standards/

      You don’t need to worry about the ACT test any more. Now that David Coleman (president of the college board who was the architect behind Common Core) is rewriting them to align to Common Core, we’ll definitely be seeing higher scores, not that students have changed, but the test will change and become easier since Common Core’s standards push students further behind. Particularly in Utah where we adopted the integrated math path.

      Obviously you don’t read this site. You have come out here like an angry, offended, Common Core proponent, and ignore the teachers who write here, and the solutions that have been proposed. Utah could have the best standards in the nation and maintain local control of education, but for a mess of pottage, we have sold control to the feds for a shot at Race to the Top money. Here’s one article full of solutions better than what we have now:
      http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/free-english-success-standards-for-utah/

      By the way, regarding the meeting at ASD last year on the SAGE tests, here’s a report one person provided to this site:
      http://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/parents-demand-real-answers-at-alpine-district-meeting-on-common-core-a-i-r-tests/

      It appears the meeting started fine, but questions weren’t to be taken during the presentation. I don’t know what was said in the end that caused things to get out of control, but I can only assume it was a typical situation where people were frustrated by not getting answers or getting stonewalled. It wasn’t some “group” such as UACC that caused this issue, it was parents trying to get answers.

      Oh, and on NAEP, you’re barking up the wrong tree. I’m well aware of how inadequate things are. That’s why I led the fight to get Utah’s standards raised in 2007. They were only used for about 2 years, far too short to see their effectiveness, until the state opted for Common Core. Why did we choose it? Money. Were there better options? Yes. In fact, in 2006 when we were debating what to do, Dr. Wright at BYU got 140+ professors around Utah to sign a petition to adopt CA’s excellent math standards. The state office said, “we don’t want to be like CA. This is Utah and we have unique needs.” Yeah right. Unique enough to adopt Common Core with 45 other states, and say it was for transferability of students, and then choose the integrated path for math along with Vermont. Nice transferability.

      I urge you to watch the new documentary at http://www.CommonCoreMovie.com. Go to the sources and learn what’s behind Common Core. It’s not a rush for educated students. It’s crony corporatism between Gates and the major publishers. It’s school-to-work training instead of a well-rounded broad education.

  • David Dimond says:

    The people in attendance at that meeting had not come with questions–they had their minds made up. They had an opportunity to listen to someone who was involved in the RFP, who had studied and helped create the contract with AIR, who knew that of the 11,000+ questions on the test, over 5,000 were developed by Utah teachers for this new system, over 5,000 were questions used on the previous CRTs, and these questions were reviewed by 293 Utah residents. He knew that this was not a psychological test, with cameras focused on the eye movements of the test takers. He knew that the information gathered by AIR was under strict security. Every comment he made was met with jeers, shouts of “That’s not true!” I was there. I witnessed it first hand. It was a lynch mob mentality. There was no civility. No class. No reason. No common sense. That’s how groups such as yours are able to maintain control–get the people blinded by anger and hatred. I used to follow Glen Beck. After a while, I began to see his pattern–everything is a conspiracy. We have to act now! The mainstream media is telling us lies! What motive could he possibly have in telling us about all of these conspiracies? Save our great nation, of course. Wrong. He’s after ratings, which bring money and job security. Why would Oak Norton get people riled up about these conspiracies? Could it be that he felt a bit of power in his crusade against Investigations math, and now that the new core insists that students become fluent in computation in the lower grades he needs a new venue to keep, even augment that need for power? You decide.

    • Oak Norton says:

      Yep, you’ve figured me out. Power tripper. Next I’m going to overturn the constitution and set up a Gilligan’s Island paradise. Coconut pie for everyone…

      So first, are you conceding all the other points by solely focusing on this meeting?

      Did you read the posts I linked to? Particularly the one about the ASD AIR meeting? There’s always another side to every story. When you’re in a situation where you know people have questions and won’t budge from your predetermined course to satisfy a question, it’s going to raise the tension. Mr. Jesse created some of his own nightmare by his actions.

    • Anonymous says:

      David,

      Thanks for posting this and your description of the SAGE meeting.
      Just wanted to add this article from the Salt Lake Tribune stating that 11 of the 15 parents on the test question review panel, appealed to the governor to veto SB257 that would have expanded the duties of the Question Review panel to also review complaints about instructional materials and curriculum. They served on the panel, reviewed thousands of questions and did not feel there was anything egregious or a hidden agenda in the questions. They felt that the added responsibilities were best left to the school district and charter board level.

      http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57765517-78/parents-state-bill-veto.html.csp?page=1

      The opponents to Common Core seem to be fearful of a hidden agenda and loss of local control that doesn’t seem to be borne out by the parent review panel’s report. It is still local control if the school and charter school board members, who live in our neighborhoods, drawing upon their training in education, are allowed to decide on the academic needs of our students.

  • Dear Anonymous,

    As an opponent to Common Core, I’d like to respond to the idea that we “seem to be fearful of a hidden agenda and loss of local control.” We are fighting because the agenda that is far from hidden and a loss of local control is real and ever eroding. This is not a fear of the unknown. Let me illustrate with a few points and TRY to be brief. If you look at the actual documents that bind our state, and at the actual documents put out by Achieve, Inc (a Common Core leading developer, partnered with NGA/CCSSO) you will see that we are NOT ALLOWED to add more than 15% to OUR Utah standards. People may say what they want. They may wave Sec. Arne Duncan’s letter in our faces. Yet the binding documents say what they say and we are stuck with that. If you look at the fact that virtually all tests in America, AIR/SAGE included, are “aligned” to Common Core Standards, you will see that we have signed up for a future without the ability to “draw upon training” and “decide the academic needs of our students” because those decisions have already been made without our consent: there will be no adding calculus to the high school curriculum when a local school board or charter board says that is our academic need! Why not? Because it will never be on the AIR/SAGE/CommonCore tests. Same goes for the cursive that our state added to the Common Core to create a slightly unique Common Core in Utah. That’s not on any state test, so very few teachers will teach it. I could go on and on. I wish this was not true; I wish we could all relax and be content that our leaders have done the right thing for our children. They have not.

  • David Dimond says:

    Mr. Norton,

    I was out of line in my comments about your motives in this issue. I made assertions about your character based on the actions of those who follow your site, and that was inappropriate. I hope you will accept my apology.

    Sincerely,

    Dave Dimond

    • Oak Norton says:

      Certainly. Thank you for this unexpected comment. I think you’re the first person to ever apologize to me in 10 years of having my name slandered around the district. :) I may have to frame your post. ;)

      Can I assume you read the post? I understand how people who have concerns go to a meeting and they may just have a quick question on something the presenter brought up. The presenter says “I’m not going to answer that right now but I’ll do it later” and a couple people say, “wait, just do it now so we know the answer and can move on.” The presenter digs his feet in and suddenly a group of people who came to get answers feel like they’re being stonewalled. Tensions escalate and the next questions deepens the rift. I put more blame on Mr. Jesse’s handling of the situation than on the attendees.

  • Karen says:

    I need advice about what to say to my daughter’s teacher who told her that if she did not take the SAGE test then she would make her take “an extra hard custom made test” instead of the SAGE. She also said that if she took the SAGE it would not be part of her grade but the “extra hard custom made test” would be part of her grade. My daughter has worked very hard to keep straight A’s and is worried that the teacher will purposely write a test that she won’t be able to pass and it will destroy her A average.

    If this is not bullying and intimidation…I don’t know what is!! I want to go and talk to the teacher with a calm demeanor but I want to be prepared so I would really appreciate any thoughts on this matter.

  • Chan S. Hardman says:

    Dear Utah,
    We will give you some “stimulus money” (that we STOLE from you in the first place) if you let us indoctrinate your children.
    Sincerely,
    The Federal Government

  • Forrest says:

    *Please note: This essay was written in a satirical fashion. Also, this was turned into my English Teacher.
    A MODEST PROPOSAL

    There has been a shocking outburst of young people, our future, our last hope, our cornerstone, have been dropping out of high school. This is completely shocking and extremely saddening to someone such as myself. I am a decent God fearing gentleman who has never been in trouble with the law, nor ever done something I would consider offensive. I go to work every day and keep my family supported. Hearing these young hooligans dropping their only hope, education, is maiming my overall opinion of this current generation.
    I have heard stories of students doing drugs, having random sex, and even vandalizing the beautiful country that we live in. I can think of only one thing that can help, which is why I propose with all my power and love of the children, that we force our education system to a very strict, rigid, and unforgiving common core program. We need to make sure that everyone is on the same level. This country already has too many successful people. What we need is a specific cookie cutter cutout of every student to make them the perfect underachiever.
    I say we take all incentive out of our students by forcing them to all take the same level of math, English, and science. You might be thinking, “What about people who are smarter or want to challenge themselves more? What are they going to do?” Here’s what I say; screw ‘em! They are probably just going to succeed anyways, so why should we try and help them during their childhood to push them through high school and reach college in a more accelerated fashion. The simple answer is, we shouldn’t.
    Now if you are a lover of the arts, you might be wondering what I think we should do with them. I think we should cut them and give all the money they waste to the effort of getting more technology in schools. We need iPads in every classroom. Think about it, what did people do before iPads? I don’t know and quite frankly I don’t care. All that matters is that we give all our money to Apple and other huge companies. Now back to the arts. Why would we try and implement creativity in our students? They would probably just become self-aware and try and rise up from the oppression of our amazing Common Core program. We cannot have that. I realize that I basically just called our students robots, but that’s okay, because we are mass-producing education.
    We need to think about what Henry Ford did with the car. He implemented the use of a conveyor belt. That’s what I hope schools will become more like in the future. It would be better, in my opinion, if our students had no human contact what so ever. It makes me giddy to think about everything that we can keep the students from learning this way.
    In all I say no to creativity, excelling, and doing well. I want everyone to be a lifeless box that does whatever I say, when I say it, because I said it. No questions asked, please. We don’t need more people questioning the way things have been run for so many years. It would be horrid if we had anything bad happen to these students that I love and adore. Please remember, A VOTE FOR THE COMMON CORE IS A VOTE FOR AMERICA.

  • Andrew Swapp says:

    I teach in a rural school where we do have a lot of parental input and the common Core or “Utah Core” and people seem to be very upset with the new standards and the tests that mostly are not finished yet. The new standards have some really good things that teachers should be allowed to glean and use, not be forced to use.
    The states that drop the Common Core will not have to spend Millions to re-establish new standards they can go back to the standards they had previously that in fact are much better by far. I will even go one further than that. Lets get the state out of the mix and let teachers run their classes as they have been trained to do. Let local school boards run their schools as they were elected to do. I believe that teachers need to be the professionals that we were originally meant to be. I have a professional license; an engineer has a professional license. An engineer can put a stamp on a bridge and we all drive across this bridge and trust it implicitly. Teachers should be able to sit down with the student and parents and prescribe education. If this sounds bold to you it shouldn’t! Hold your teachers accountable for the content of their class. Hold the administration and school board accountable. Do not cry to your congressman or senator. Face the people you are complaining about. I love to meet with parents and understand what education is to them. Contact teachers of your children and enjoy education again!
    Common Core has sapped the time completely away from the teacher and you! Demand better!

  • Claudine DiScala says:

    Hi Utah! I’m fighting Common Core in NY. Keeping fighting CC warriors! We had about 50 thousand refuse the tests in NY. We have called, emailed and lobbied our legislators, we have spoken at our local school board meetings, we have met with local school superintendents, dept heads and set up our own parent run forums to educate the community and yet, it’s STILL here. They are not listening. Can you tell me what the status is in your state? We are thinking about moving to the St George area. Thanks!

  • Lena says:

    First question: how many of you are a) teachers or b) well read in the actual contents of the Core?

    As a CURRENT TEACHER, I find it very disheartening to see so many ill-informed and ignorant comments from adults who are here in the best interest of their children. As a parent, you should absolutely have a say in your child’s education, but to an extent. Just as you should have a say in how they are treated by a doctor, but to an extent. Teachers are professionals, believe it or not, and we have education and training that the average person does not, just as a doctor does that you may not. We teachers are also very well-versed on the Core in our content/grade level, and those few teachers who aren’t are blatantly disregarding their job descriptions and doing your children a disservice.

    1) Mandatory state testing has been around for YEARS, way before CCSS were out. In fact, it was NCLB that really pushed for these mandatory benchmark tests. And as you may or may not remember, NCLB was created under George W. Bush’s presidency, not Obama’s.

    2)The Federal Government DID NOT CREATE these standards, nor is the government telling me how to teach and what your child should learn.

    3) CCSS are standards to be met why whichever means we as teachers deem necessary and most useful. For example, I can teach standard W. 11-12.1 “Write arguments to support claims” ANY way I please. I can have them read an article from the newspaper and write an argument with evidence (something that many people here lack training in) to support it. Or, they could read a novel, even a “classic piece of literature” which many believe we “can’t teach” now and write an analytical essay on said novel using quotations as evidence for their claims. Can someone please explain to me how this is the government controlling what your children learn? Don’t you want them to be able to think critically and use sound reasoning and examples to support their claims?

    Perhaps if more of you were familiar with supporting your arguments with facts, just as the Core outlines, we wouldn’t be in this mess of “Utahns Against Common Core.”

    • Lanette says:

      Lena,
      I find your comments very disheartening. May I respectfully point out that teachers are accountable to parents. It is the parents’ responsibility to educate their children. Parents may choose to use the tools that best fit their needs in educating their children. Those tools may include government schools, private schools, home schools, community schools, parochial schools, private tutoring, music lessons, and so forth. I highly respect many teachers with whom I have had the pleasure to know. However, parents are every child’s first great teachers. It amazes me how much a child is able to learn under the tutelage of their “uneducated and untrained parents” who lack a professional teaching degree. A child learns to crawl, sit, feed himself, walk, run, kick a ball, sing, play, and count. A child learns to speak a language fluently (and in my case two languages), even read fluently in the case of many children (including my own), and much much more before he ever sets foot in a classroom. Some children never set foot in a traditional classroom yet become successful adults. Comments made in the same vein as yours but from parent to teacher seem to be labeled teacher bashing. Parents are the primary stewards over their children and not just “to some extent.” The parents I know carefully consider the facts, ponder, pray, and even agonize before making decisions regarding their children. Sadly, comments like yours tend to create distrust between parents and teachers in a time we would be better off working together toward helping our children become compassionate, determined, confident, self-learning leaders. I have found so many parents lacking the confidence to advocate for the individual and unique needs of their children because they have been told and come to believe that they are incapable of knowing or doing what is best for them. I have found that the best, most confident teachers are those most willing to recognize and support the value of parents and their stewardship over their children. Please, let’s work together to support the education of our children.

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