Someone emailed me about this article which appeared on The Blaze yesterday.
U.S. Education Secretary: Common Core Isn’t Headed Toward National Curriculum Status
In it, Gov. Herbert is quoted as saying:
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, a Republican, supports the concept but said his state is cautious about federal encroachment.
“Common Core was designed initially by the states,” Herbert told TheBlaze. “It’s really just a common goal. It predates my time. Governors were upset about the progress of education. We’re falling behind. So states simply said, ‘Why don’t we have a common goal on language arts and math, and whoever you are in this country, when it comes to getting a high school diploma, you have some kind of minimal proficiency?’ That aspect of it was good.”
“We certainly don’t want to have the government overreaching and dictating to the states, certainly not to Utah, about our methodology, how we’re going to do it, what our textbooks are, what our testing is going to be,” Herbert said.
“In fact in Utah, we’ve passed a law to say that can’t happen. We have a law that says if any of this federal overreach somehow gets into our system, we are mandated to get out of it. I think our education, our state school board, our education leaders, we’ve always controlled our own curriculum, we’ve always controlled our own textbooks and testing. We’ll continue to do that in Utah.”
Here are some specific issues with his statements:
1) Common Core was not initially designed by the states. The common national standards movement has been around for decades. David Coleman, architect of Common Core, has clearly stated that he went around convincing governor’s to sign on. This was done long before the states got involved.
2) Minimal proficiency is one thing, but due to the amount of testing and tying this to teacher performance, Common Core is maximum standards, not minimal. Teachers don’t have time to do anything else. I spoke with a teacher this weekend who supports Common Core, and said she no longer has time to teach her elementary students history or art or read to them because of all the stuff she has to cover. The amount of testing has doubled and there is no time to individualize education for her students. She said all the teachers in her school are frustrated by this, and she SUPPORTS Common Core.
3) The law: SB 287 is what the Governor is referring to. I’m well familiar with this law because I wrote the draft. I put specific triggers in the bill that if any of a number of things happened, this bill mandated that “Utah shall exit Common Core.” When it got introduced, the language had mysteriously been change from “shall exit” to “may exit,” supposedly by the governor’s office request. The teeth had been removed from the bill and now it is essentially inert. Instead of “This is Utah and if you do that we’re gone!,” it’s “Yeah, so what, we might exit if we really feel like it.” Here’s a link to the bill. Line 53 is the neutered line.