Have you had someone tell you one of these whoppers?

“We can withdraw from Common Core any time we want to.”

Not only is it unrealistic to think the state would withdraw once it’s spent millions of dollars in compliance, but the best response was from one senator who said: “Yes, we can withdraw from Common Core any time we want, just as we can withdraw from the federal highway program any time we want. But we don’t do that. We’re on the federal hook and they’re reeling us in.”

“I’m on the _______ school board and Common Core is not the nationalizing of education.”

Oh really? Have you read the contracts Utah’s leaders have signed? We have contractual obligations we are responsible for and the longer we stay in the more committed we will be and the greater the problems with getting out of a bad situation.

71 thoughts on “FAQ”

  1. My Dad taught me to think for myself. Anytime I wanted to follow the crowd, he made me ask myself, will it make you a better person? So when I heard my Superintendent and School Board Chair tell me a year ago, “It’s Out of our hands, why is everyone jumping on board? So I asked myself, Is this really better, should Utah follow the crowd?

    After a year of Researching and asking questions, the AnSWER is NOOOOOO! The documents state clearly that we are not going to be thinking for ourselves. One of the biggest misconceptions, or lies, told about this, is that this is utah’s common core. I have read the documents, it clearly states that we had to accept the common core standards as written!!!! We have signed our right to sign for ourselves to Washington State who is the lead State in the smarter balance assessment consortium. it is not just a matter of we want out and it is done. Besides that, no cost anaylsis was done.

    so, my dad was right, think for ourselves, utah, we have dedicated teachers, parents, administrators who truly care what happens to our children and it has been taken out of our hands!!

  2. …and the Common Core conspiracy resumes. Yada, yada, yada! Blah, blah, blah. Give it a rest already.

    I am sick of the tea party/eagle forum’s fear-mongering.

    [mass noun]
    the action of deliberately arousing public fear or alarm about a particular issue:
    his campaign for re-election was based on fearmongering and deception

    1. Linda, it’s not just tea party members against Common Core. There’s a large and growing group of liberal Democrats in California fighting it, too. No all liberals are progressive, and we’re seeing more democrats waking up and fighting back against Common Core.

  3. Linda, I’m glad you’re checking out the site but I really think you should just look at the citations instead of engaging in these types of statements. We’ve provided a lot of references and our opponents in the USOE have not. They say things without backing them up with documents. Our statements are either true or they are not. Show us where they are false if you would like but this type of post doesn’t reflect what’s happening on this site.

    1. I’ve read through your statements and a lot of your “evidence” is just links to other biased articles. some of them are outright false and have no sources:

      “Utah has two new, conflicting sets of educational standards to juggle:–actually we just have one: the Utah State Core, which pulls its standards from the Common core standards. Think of the CCSS as a buffet and the state gets to build their own standards from them. We’ve even added one or two of our own standards to the Utah core. Evidence: visit the link on the USOE page and look at the standards.

      “There is no amendment process for the CCSS (federal standards)”–There is no amendment process to the CCSS because it is a static set of standards. Again, the states that adopted CCSS have the ability to select from (and even augment to) these standards to make their standards. In fact, Utah’s selection of the CCSS standards is to be reviewed and revised every two years. We just finished the latest revision and it is to be implemented starting the 2016-2017 school year. You can look at the revisions yourself at the USEO site. These revisions were done by Utah educators.

      “There has been no cost analysis, legal analysis, legislative input or public input regarding CCI/SBAC.”–I cannot speak to the legal analysis, but as for legislative and public input, it was the same process we’ve followed for the adoption of every core before this one (that’s right, there have been core standards for decades now. The public didn’t seem to care until the perception of the Feds getting involved came about.

      ” Utah leaders have signed Utah on as a governing member of the SBAC.” I fail to see how this is evidence against the CC, but rest assured that Utah has left SBAC. You can read articles covering it and you can look on SBAC’s site to see we aren’t listed as members.

      “The U.S. Department of Education (through the America COMPETES Act, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and the Race to the Top competition) has required the states to develop massive databases about school children.”–Again, I fail to see how this is evidence against the CC. Either way, I’m sure that Google is getting far more information from your kids than the government is.

      …I could go on and on, but it won’t make a difference anyway. I suppose you will all deride me as ‘on of them.’

      Well, good luck with your fight. I’ve got to go get prepped for whatever set of standards is coming after we toss CC.

      Oh, and one more thing: If we can’t withdraw any time we want, then aren’t you wasting your time. Ponder that for a bit, eh.

  4. Where are the frequently asked question? There are only the two above. There aren’t more questions??????

    1. You’re right Cristine. We’ve focused more on the content of the site and forgotten about the FAQ. We’re a bit overloaded so unless people ask us specific questions, we’ll just keep posting the stuff we’re digging up.

      1. Here’s a specific question someone asked me on facebook that could be included under your “FAQ” section:

        “In talking with others who are involved in the education system, it is my understanding that this is not coming from the federal government. Is this true?”

        1. Chelsea, there are many players in Common Core. One of them most certainly is the federal government. The feds have been specifically barred in statute from creating national standards, so they let the Gates Foundation direct the states to create Common Core standards. However, the states didn’t even know who was on the drafting committee of the standards. The Gates Foundation set this all up with millions of dollars to the organizations involved. The feds for their part offered a few billion dollars to the states in a contest called Race to the Top. RTTT was the golden carrot states couldn’t resist. They applied for this grant money and as part of the application had to agree to adopt Common Core. The feds coerced the states into adopting the standards and the feds have put $350 billion into two assessment consortium’s called PARCC and the SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium). This is a very brief look at the situation. I recommend you go to the Action List link at the top of the site and click to the page on getting educated. There are several articles and videos linked to from there that will help explain everything.

          1. It’s just like with the drinking age. Contrary to popular belief, there is no federal minimum drinking age. States can adopt whatever age they want. But the federal government, just as in this situation, has said that they will not give public highway funds to those states who have a drinking age lower than 21. Most states couldn’t upkeep with public highways without those funds so they adopt the federal “suggestion.” But essentially the federal government is mandating the age limit. That’s how they work, they dangle the carrot (read: large sums of money), and most states can’t resist/survive without it so the federal governments gets compliance and claim it’s voluntary.

        1. Yes, but not in a direct way unless they adopt Common Core for their standards. Private and home schools come under the influence of Common Core because the major college entrance exams are all being aligned to Common Core. (ACT/SAT/AP/CLEP)

          1. ACT is definitely NOT aligned to CC, and if AP test are, it is the core that is aligned to them, not the other way around. College entrance exams generally align to college readiness requirements as set by the institutions of higher education. You’ve got the arrow pointing in the wrong direction.

          2. Tyler, do you even attempt to take the time to look things up before you comment on this site? I’m going to have to start banning your comments if you’re just going to fill up the site with nonsense. You seem to know absolutely nothing about David Coleman, architect of the Common Core and now president of the College Board. Here’s one of MANY articles online pointing it out.
            One of the biggest issues with Common Core was that they changed the standards and the national assessments at the same time. That destroys the scientific process by changing both variables at the same time. The several tests I mentioned were aligned to Common Core after the standards came out. The directional “arrow” is pointing exactly as I indicated.

  5. There are more reasons to oppose Common Core than the data collection, dumbing down, etc. Is it fear mongering, Linda, to be opposed to our children being indoctrinated with pro-communist, anti-God garbage? Its certainly not fear mongering when the educators behind Common Core are literally breaking the law and violating our Constitutional rights. There is proof at the link below and more proof at my site that the progressive education movement backed and promoted by Bill Ayers for 30 years is the same movement behind Common Core and CSCOPE in Texas. We don’t want it – plain and simple. http://danetteclark.wordpress.com/2013/03/09/unravelled-the-30-year-agenda-behind-common-core/

    Oak, I actually came here to find out if you guys are tea party affiliated. You are doing a great job on your own, so it doesn’t matter. I’m just curious because I am hoping to encourage a few people in other states who have contacted me because they have no groups in their area fighting Common Core. They want their local tea party to help so I may compile a list of tea parties already engaged as a resource for those looking for help. The more people joined as one unit, the better. Thank you!

    1. Ah. That’s what I came here to check – as soon as I heard about this movement, I wondered how much of this was truly rooted in the same creationist and revisionist mindsets they’ve been fighting in Texas, Kansas, and so on. That’s exactly why we have federal control of some things – so that local populations can’t impose their particular brands of crazy on others/others children. If you want to teach your children to see communism looming in every shadow, to believe alternate versions of history in order to validate your political ideals, and to give a god attribution for your existence, that’s fine. Kindly allow the rest of us to learn real science in our science classes, and real history in our history classes.

      1. Wilson, did you actually read anything on this site or just find a suitable page to post a bizarre comment to?

      1. I’m not sure who you are commenting to Tyler, but I’ve never said there were any such standards. Another baseless accusation.

  6. This should be re-named Utahn’s blindly against anything and everything to do with President Obama regardless of the probable positive effects on our children’s education and future prospects.

    1. Typical of the pro-Common Core side, name call, stereotype, and fail to produce any evidence of your position. FYI, there are liberals opposed to Common Core as well as conservatives. You need to study the issues Ralph.

    2. “This should be re-named [Liberals] blindly against anything and everything to do with [Conservatives] regardless of the probable positive effects on our children’s education and future prospects.”

      1. This is truly a bi-partisan issue. Conservatives against nationalization, Liberals against data mining and tracking, and corporate special interests making billions, etc… There are things for everyone to be disgusted with so there is no need for labeling this issue with partisan labels.

        1. Hi Oak :) I agree that this is a bi-partisan issue. My post was just to point out the irony and hypocrisy of the person who DID come here to label. It is not a statement made to reflect my own political leanings. Thanks for all the great information on this site!

  7. Thanks for this website. I live in Arizona but while I was doing research on Common Core, I found this website and it helped give me more info rather than just all the “pro” Common Core lingo. Definitely interesting to see both sides. Thanks for the time and effort.

  8. I oppose Common Core. I campaigned, along with my children/teens, for President Obama. Prior to that, I was active in my support for Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party nomination. My last place of residence before moving to Utah was San Francisco, CA…not exactly a “Tea Party” hang out. The co-author of my recent note to the Superintendent, Attorney Edward D. Flint, is not only liberal, but probably more liberal than anyone who will ever post on this site…..Mr. Flint is so left leaning that he would not object if you called him a “Socialist”. That said, we are both against Common Core as it currently stands today. Our reasonings for our objection to the Core have been outline that past month in multiple letters to the community, and community leaders. I’m sure you will find, upon further examination, that not one mention of “God”, “Republican”, or “Tea Party” were referenced in our objections.

  9. Would CommonCore also affect the rights of private schools to make their own standards and curriculum? Does it change or affects our rights to homeschool in any way?

    1. Yes, private schools are affected but differently. The college entrance exams are being restructured to align with Common Core. This way, anyone who goes through a private school or home school program will be at a disadvantage unless they conform to the Common Core standards and curriculum.

      1. I’m thinking though, that private schools and home schools (not always, but often) would have higher standards and therefore would easily pass the entrance exams, right? Or am I missing the point?

        1. Yes on both. :) They should have higher standards, but they may choose broader content. In the past that wasn’t penalized but the assessments and exams will become the target of all teaching which will lead to a common curriculum. In the past the ACT was broad and you didn’t always know what would be on it. Now it will be aligned to Common Core. As a result, education will suffer. We will push all children into the same mold.

          1. You should all read the article, “ACT Supports Common Core State Standards.”

            One excerpt…
            “ACT strongly endorses the basic tenets of the Common Core State Standards Initiative—
            that they are research- and evidence-based, internationally benchmarked, aligned with college
            and work expectations, and inclusive of rigorous content and skills”

          2. Exactly, so are they bad guys now, too?

            What about the IHE that support them?

            What about all the math teachers that support them?

            Its one thing to fight the government wanting to impose a mandate on us, but to side against the vast majority of the professional educational community… well, you come off as those Thomas Dolby fans who argue that the Earth is flat.

          3. David Coleman is one of the bad guys. He’s the architect of CCSS and now sits as president of the college board. What are his qualifications? He’s never been a teacher but he’s in charge of so much. I encourage you to watch this presentation by Dr. Duke Pesta which is one of the best introductions to Common Core’s real background and exposes Coleman and Gates for what they’ve done (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-htDV60CjkA).

            The backlash against the ACT/SAT alignment to Common Core isn’t just parents. Universities are also recognizing that this isn’t going to be a college prep test anymore but a high school graduation test. There are now alternatives being developed that will test college readiness and get back to something meaningful. There is the Vector ARC being developed, and there is the CLT which is already making inroads with a number of universities. http://www.cltexam.com is the url if you want to check them out.

      2. I’m not being snarky, i’m really wondering if i’m off the mark…the main concern with common core is that our education quality would go down, right?

  10. Thank you for creating this site. It has a lot of great and well-referenced information and I am grateful for the people who are behind giving us the true facts.

    I have a question about the process of getting rid of common core. I understand we have already adopted the core for mathematics and English. What does this mean exactly? Has there been any money put into the building of curriculum to follow the standards of common core for these subjects? If so, are the efforts to defund common core to stop any more subjects being added or to remove it completely, including math and English?

    1. It means when the state office of education says we are using a “Utah core”, that we have fully adopted Common Core and named it Utah core. Utah is on Common Core for math and English. Yes money has been put into building curriculum for these subjects. Please view this pathetic attempt by the USOE to create math curriculum.
      Efforts to defund CC are not in process at this time. We have verbal statements from state leaders that we won’t adopt other subjects, but that’s no guarantee.

  11. I guess what I meant to ask is, if we are successful in getting through to our thick headed local leaders and are able to defund common core, will that also rid us of the math and English portion we already agreed to? Or are we stuck with it no matter what are best efforts are?

  12. So if it affects homeschooling and private schools, it affects charter schools too, right? So if you homeschool, can’t you just get the new curriculum and make sure that you cover it all, but you are still able to teach your kids the way you find best for them?

    1. Charter schools are public schools and must abide by all state regulations because they receive tax dollars (This is why vouchers are a bad idea because then private schools become subject to all state requirements). If you homeschool, you can certainly get Common Core aligned curriculum and follow it, but I don’t think your children will advance as far as using other quality curriculum.

  13. Thank you for this site! I have taught 6th grade Language Arts Common Core standards for a year. As far as standards go, I am impressed with many aspects of it, although anything new always needs to be refined. It wasn’t until I recently saw postings on Facebook that I was aware of the controversy propelled by people I usually agree with. It has taken a whole day of research to find substance to any charges! So many people are ranting and raving without providing any facts. I was around when our state adopted new state standards, and the griping and moaning lasted for years…so I’m trying to sift through the “Change Is Evil” folks and get to the “core” of the issue! :-) Thank you for posting websites for me to continue my research.

    1. “As far as standards go, I am impressed with many aspects of it, although anything new always needs to be refined.”

      I teach high school math, and I would have to say I’ve found the same to be true for the math standards. I find them a vast improvement from the previous standards.

      I ended up here (and other places) in an effort to see if I could figure out why some people are so vehemently against CC. I have yet to see a good argument against the standards themselves. Sure they could use some improving, but they aren’t all that bad. (Most sets of standards cited as ‘better’ have a lot more standards in them, something that I personally feel makes them impractical).

      Most of what I have found is a group of people who don’t like the government telling them what to do. While I can respect that, I know for a fact that if the standards were left up to individual schools and districts there would be a lot of places that would place the bar so low it makes me shutter to think about it (I’m referring to my own school and district). And since we won’t fund education thoroughly ourselves, why shouldn’t we expect the majority stock holder to not have a say in how things are run? The state of Utah still has a lot of freedom. In fact we just underwent the first scheduled core revision process with Utah educators–major ones in the English Standards and minor ones in the Math Standards. In two years time the Math Standards are scheduled to undergo a major review and revision process and the English Standards will have minor revisions–so its not like we are being force-fed these standards.

      If you we should be worried about someone controlling our education, it is your own state law-makers to worry about. If there is any autonomy lost in my classroom, it is because of all the state mandates–not federal ones.

  14. How can I find out what schools in Utah DO NOT subscribe to Common Core? Are all charter schools under the same curricular obligations that public schools are? Are schools required to identify their curriculum to the public?

  15. My children attend a Charter school in St. George UT. I along with other parents inquired about how Common Core would be implemented in to our school. The letter below is the response we got today. I have some very strong concerns about Common Core, and would really love some direction.
    Thanks so much!!

    Dear Families,

    Many of you have contacted the school in recent days after attending, or hearing from friends and neighbors about the meeting held by Utahns Against the Common Core in St. George.  We want to assure all of you that while all public schools are required to meet these minimum standards, the Common Core is not the foundation of GWA’s curriculum. Since our founding, we have always strived not just to meet the state standards, but to far exceed them, and to focus our attention on the research based, proven curriculums chosen by our founders. Our exceptional results over and over again on not just our state required exams, but on our own evaluations of our students’ academic progress, have proven that our methods are working. 

    Our teachers put in a tremendous amount of work to fit in a huge amount of curriculum during the school year and to ensure they are not overlooking anything either in GWA’s programs or the state mandated criteria that students are tested on each year.   This year, the state has chosen to move from ‘Criterion Referenced Tests’, which simply measures whether or not a student knows pre-determined items at the end of a school year, to a growth based assessment called the SAGE (Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence) which determines how much a student has improved from year to year.  We have found that this new format actually encourages critical thinking skills, rather than just filling in a bubble or checking off a box, and matches much more closely with our goals for students.  As a school, we use the results of all state testing, along with the testing results from our own curriculum, to determine how we can constantly improve our instruction from year to year. It helps us to find any gaps in subjects and to determine which students need additional help or more challenging curriculum.

    The decision to opt out of testing means that a student will receive a score of zero and be labeled as ‘non-proficient.’  This is unfortunate both for parents who want that option and for the school, which is judged publicly by our test scores.  Clearly, families need to choose what they feel is right and best for their children and we need to be able to comply with state requirements.   Some of the concerns I have heard from parents who want to ‘opt out’ are that the students answers are used to collect behavioral data and that their personal information may be gathered and used in inappropriate ways.  If this is true, I am concerned as a parent as well as an educator.  In order to alleviate my own concerns and be able to tell parents they can feel good about letting their children take these tests, I contacted the State Assessment Director for a response to these issues.  Her answers are below.  Please use the information as you see fit. 

    With Respect,

    Mrs. Yeager

    The advocates of “anti-common core” are falsely accusing USOE and schools and districts of collecting and storing data that is “behavioral data and non-academic personal information”.  They have no real evidence or examples to support this claim.  The only data that is collected and maintained is the specific data required by state and federal law.  The url below, is a document that provides specific information about data collection and use in Utah.  This document also provides links to other documents that lists each data field that is collected.  It is unfortunate that due to the misinformation that is being freely shared through emails, etc., parents who choose to not have their students participate in the academic testing this year, will not receive the assessment results that can provide good information for students and parents and be used to inform instruction for their classroom next fall. 
    There are also claims that the company, AIR that will be scoring the assessment, will use student data in an inappropriate way.  The original contract with AIR as well as federal law prohibits AIR or any other assessment company from using data for purposes not approved by the entity (state) that holds the contract.  Due to the many concerns, an amendment was made to the contract to strengthen the language.  The url for this amendment is below. 
    There are also concerns that the test questions contain inappropriate content of a social or political nature.  Every question on the SAGE assessment has been reviewed by the 15 member parent committee last fall.  Every parent on the panel (including the parents that do not support the common core) agreed that there was nothing in the questions that was inappropriate.  The media did some stories as a follow up to the parent panel.  This information can be found at the url below. 
    As an additional support to parents, USOE/AIR has produced a SAGE brochure for families.  There are three brochures; Policy makers, Educators, Families.  These are brand new and will be placed on the website today.  I have attached them for your use. 
    I hope these documents and information is helpful to you.  Please let me know if there are other questions, or if I can provide additional information.
    Judy W. Park, Ed.D.
    Utah State Office of Education
    Associate Superintendent
    Student Services and Federal Programs

  16. “Every parent on the panel (including the parents that do not support the common core) agreed that there was nothing in the questions that was inappropriate.” –Judy Park (above)

    I am a parent on the SAGE assessment review panel and this statement is not accurate. There were questions that parents flagged as inappropriate, subjective or biased. We were promised that these test items would be reviewed and addressed and that we would get to see how they were addressed when we convene again this fall. (Which is long after this Spring’s pilot unfortunately, so I can give you no assurance whether those items have been satisfactorily addressed or not.) I participated in this panel in good faith, wanting to be a contributor to making improvements and not just a critic and I feel it is a manipulation of my cooperation to characterize it as unreserved approval of these assessments.

  17. Linzi, please share this information with your school administrators and/or Ms. Park. (I also posted this on my blog with links to the documents cited if you need them. http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2014/03/07/fact-checking-associate-ut-superintendent-judy-park-on-nonacademic-data-collection/ )

    Ms. Park wrote:

    “The advocates of anti-common core are falsely accusing USOE and schools and districts of collecting and storing data that is “behavioral data and non-academic personal information”. They have no real evidence or examples to support this claim. The only data that is collected and maintained is the specific data required by state and federal law.”

    Here’s evidence to the contrary.

    1. First, there is a Utah law about Common Core standardized tests. This law, HB15, created in 2012, requires the collection of behavior indicators. It calls for “ the use of student behavior indicators in assessing student performance” as part of the testing. This is Utah’s S.A.G.E. –aka Common Core or A.I.R.– test.

    2. There is a company that Utah has paid at least $39 million to write its Common Core-aligned standardized tests: American Institutes for Research. Its mission: “AIR’s mission is to conduct and apply the best behavioral and social science research and evaluation…“

    Are we to believe that although AIR’s purpose is to test behavioral and social indicators, and although Utah law says that the test must test behavioral indicators, the test still won’t?

    3. Utah’s SLDS grant application talks about authorizing de-identification of data for research and says that individuals will be authorized to access personal student information in the various Utah agencies that belong to UDA. (Who are these individuals? Why does the UDA trust them with information that parents weren’t even told was being gathered on our children?)

    Starting at page 87 on that same SLDS federal application, we read how non-cognitive behaviors that have nothing to do with academics, will be collected and studied by school systems. These include “social comfort and integration, academic conscientiousness, resiliency, etc.” to be evaluated through the psychometric census known as the “Student Strengths Inventory. (SSI)” That SSI inventory –my child’s psychological information– will be integrated into the system (SLDS). Nonacademic demographic and other personal information is also captured while administering the test. SSI data will be given to whomever it is assumed, by the so-called leadership, that needs to see it. (This should be a parental decision but has become a state decision.)

    The SLDS grant promises to integrate psychological data into the state database. “Utah’s Comprehensive Counseling and Guidance programs have substantial Student Education Occupation Plan, (SEOP) data, but they are not well integrated with other student data. With the introduction of UtahFutures and the Student Strengths Inventory (SSI) and its focus on noncognitive data, combining such data with other longitudinal student level data to the USOE Data Warehouse the UDA.” It also says:

    “… psychosocial or noncognitive factors… include, but are not limited to educational commitment, academic engagement and conscientiousness, social comfort and social integration, academic self-efficacy, resiliency… Until recently, institutions had to rely on standardized cognitive measures to identify student needs. … We propose to census test all current student in grades 11 and 12 and then test students in grade 11 in subsequent years using the Student Strengths Inventory (SSI) – a measure of noncognitive attitudes and behaviors.” So the Student Strengths Inventory (SSI) is a “psychometric census” to be taken by every 11th and 12th grade student in Utah. That’s one way they’re gathering the psychological data.

    4. Ms. Park herself is a key player and even a writer for the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) –the organization that co-created and co-copyrighted Common Core. This makes me fairly confident that you are aware of what the CCSSO stands for and what its goals are. On the CCSSO website, it states that one of its main goals is “Continued Commitment to Disaggregation” of student data. Disaggregation means that academic bundles of students’ information will be separated into groups that are increasingly easy to identify individually.

    Lastly, there is this issue: Ms. Park wrote, “The only data that is collected and maintained is the specific data required by state and federal law.” This is a big problem since the state and the federal requirements do not match anymore. The state is much more protective of students’ rights. Federal FERPA regulations have been altered –not by Congress but by the sneaky Department of Education (DOE). The DOE changed the definitions of terms. They reduced from a requirement to only a “best practice” the previously protective rule that parental consent had to be obtained (prior to sharing private student data). They redefined personally identifiable information. So, no more parental consent needed and whatever they can con states into sharing, will be shared. Is this the kind of federal rule that Ms. Park is content to have us obey?

    Because Utah agreed in that same SLDS federal grant applicaton to use PESC standards and SIF interoperability frameworks, Utah’s children’s private data can be accessed by other states and federal agencies very easily as long as current Utah policy permits it.

    Unless bills like Jake Anderegg’s current HB169 student data privacy bill and others like it will pass, we have very few protections and a wide open policy of quite promiscious data sharing here in Utah.

    Sad but true.

  18. I just want to touch on one point from Linzi Hansen. Quoted from Judy Park: “Every question on the SAGE assessment has been reviewed by the 15 member parent committee last fall. Every parent on the panel (including the parents that do not support the common core) agreed that there was nothing in the questions that was inappropriate.”

    I served on that 15 parent committee, and I will tell you that is not true. And if Dr. Park says that, she must have been sleeping during the meeting we had altogether at the end of our week at the USOE office last November (a private meeting, without the media, where everyone there had to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements, which is why I can’t give specific examples). Yes, there were questions flagged for ridiculous reasons like grammatical errors, incorrect answers (seriously? I didn’t realize it was our job to check if the answers were correct!), or malfunctioning technology. But I know I wasn’t the only one to flag items because of subjective, inappropriate, or misleading content. Sometimes it was for individual questions, sometimes it was every question related to a certain passage, because the passage was inappropriate/biased. We were told that everything flagged would be reviewed again, and a decision regarding revision/complete removal/no change would be made between USOE and AIR. As part of the committee, we will not see the end result of those until we reconvene this fall. Everyone in the committee agreed that the majority of the questions seemed fine, however I don’t like it repeated that this equates to approval of the entire test.

  19. Can you clarify for me the funding that Utah has received, my understanding is that we did not get either of the Race to the Top grants, so financially we are not obligated to the federal governmen to keep the Commo Core?

    1. Hi Jenny, Utah received over $9 million to set up the Statewide Longitudinal Database System to be able to store hundreds of data points on children from pre-school into the workforce. We also signed numerous documents to try to obtain federal money, which resulted in our agreeing to adopt Common Core, Common Core assessments, and many other things. There are a host of documents where Utah contractually agreed to adopt these things. We even signed an agreement showing we support a federal role in education.
      However, you are right. We could walk away from Common Core if our leaders had any sense before it’s too late. David Coleman, president of the College Board, was the primary author of the ELA standards. He’s now forcing adoption on states by aligning the ACT, SAT, CLEP, and AP exams to Common Core.
      Also, just a couple weeks ago, it has now come out that the Obama administration is moving to change the name of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, to the College and Career Ready Students Act. That is the exact phrase that is used for Common Core amongst the feds. When people say CCR they are meaning Common Core. That’s how Race to the Top was originally written. What this means is the feds are moving right now to make Common Core tied to federal funding. It won’t even matter if the states signed onto it or not (which we did). The feds are nationalizing education just as they’ve wanted to for decades. They just needed to dangle a Race to the Top golden carrot in front of the states to get the majority of them on the same standards.
      We need to exit Common Core now and get off all federal funds. There is no time left. The step after this is government approved curriculum with cameras in every classroom to ensure teachers are teaching it, and biometric devices on students to ensure they are engaged learning it. Straight from government documents:

  20. I am very concerned about the sage testing. I appreciate all the information on this site. I am told I have only looked at one side of this — I need to look at both sides. What is “the other” side claiming is so good about SAGE? Thank you.

    1. The “positive” is it supposedly lets teachers know where their students are deficient. The negatives vastly outweigh the positives.

  21. I opted my kids out of SAGE/CAD testing and my 9th grade daughter was told by a teacher that if she didn’t take the tests that she wouldn’t be able to get into college. Any truth to this? I’m assuming it is a scare tactic, but would like to double check.

  22. So I’m a math educator (highly educated educator) in Utah and I’ve been “dealing” with implementing the common core for the past 5 years. It’s been a very interesting experience.

    As I was looking at your website, I saw your list of organizations that are opposed to the Common Core; it’s extensive.

    What I was wondering is why aren’t there any national, or local, educational organizations on that list? There are political parties, teacher unions, special interest groups; but nothing like NCTM: National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, or UCTM: Utah Council of Teachers of Mathematics…There aren’t any educational associations like ASCD: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the National Research Council. There aren’t even any Universities on that list….


    1. This Todd Weiler piece contains some accurate information, but lacks much in the way of showing the real background and agenda of what happened to bring it all about. I do not have time or the ability to summarize hundreds of articles on this website that show everything that took place. Your comment that we quote from other anti-CC websites rather than authentic sources is false. We quote from original sources all the time. That’s how we got started. We asked the USOE a lot of questions as we were reading the documents and they either couldn’t answer them or finally wouldn’t answer them. Here’s one example that shows the source documents contradicting the state lines about how (until we got out of SBAC) Utah could change the CC standards.

      1. again, it links to your site with the filtered information. A true source is a link to THE ACTUAL SOURCE so that people can read what it says (in its entirety), not what you want them to see that it says. We are intelligent people, we don’t need you to put on blinders for us so that we see YOUR almighty point.

        Also, the link you have referencing the graph does not take me to the graph. the other links just keep taking me to your site with more links to your site. …When does a link take me to the original information?

        1. See footnote 4? It links to the USOE Fingertip Facts. I myself created the graph from the USOE’s fact sheets. I apologize that wasn’t made more clear but you can actually get to the source information on the state’s website.

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