Alisa Ellis sent this letter to Brenda Hales, other USOE officers, and the State School Board this morning. We wanted to share this with the public and ask that you share this as well. There is a need for a hearing, perhaps in an education committee interim legislative meeting. Questions are not being fully answered by state officials who continue to say we’re wrong but without producing documentation.
I know you and others at the State office are frustrated with our continual fight against Common Core. This is why I feel it is time we sit down and talk. As noted after the public forum at Granite district offices by a reporter (loosely quoted) “both sides left further entrenched in their views”.
I have seen the articles and statements put out by you and others at the state office and I have read many, many government documents relating to the Common Core Standards and other educational reform ideals. From my perspective the documents and the statements put out by your office do not mesh.
I’ve seen your timeline and also studied the minutes of your meetings. I’ve studied the minutes from other states and feel that there is a lot of misrepresentation. I know you feel that I am misinformed but I can assure you I’m more informed than I’ve ever been in my life.
Of course there are some documents and meetings I am not privy too and so I feel it is imperative to sit down with you and Superintendent Shumway and go over all the questions I and other parent’s and citizens have. At a meeting on April 6th with Governor Herbert, he promised to help us set up a meeting with Superintendent Shumway and so I’ve copied his secretary to get that ball rolling if I must.
I would like to see documentation to the statements made by the state office.
I would like to see exactly how you and other’s in UT wrote the Math and ELA standards. Especially after I listened to the audio of the board meeting where you said they didn’t want us (UT) to send a team to help write the standards because they didn’t want it to turn into a Constitutional convention. I’d like to see a comparison showing the difference between Common Core State Standards and the Utah Core. I am very confused as to how UT claims to have written copyrighted standards. I read in the NCLB waiver that UT cross-walked our standards with Common Core standards. I’d like you to show me exactly how that was done and like I said show me the differences in the standards.
I’d like to know why members of the board are of the opinion that UT is not bound to any contractual obligations. We have an approved waiver application to NCLB (contractual obligation) and yet members of the board are of the opinion we can change our standards whenever we want. Be prepared in the meeting to explain exactly what process this will take when we’ve agreed to the definitions in the document and attached evidence of how we’ll meet the requirements outlined by the Dept. of Ed.
It is not effective to continue this “he said, she said dialogue”. We must have a meeting. I recognize it is summer but feel an urgency to sit down and talk with you.
I am available this week.
We do not need to keep down this path of confrontation. It is not conducive to constructive dialogue. I have 6 children in the public schools in UT and have no plans of backing down on my questions until I am satisfied that the answers given are backed up by fact and documentation and that this is the best move for our state and our children.
I look forward to hearing from you.