Herbert on The Blaze

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.


14 thoughts on “Herbert on The Blaze”

  1. I’m pretty sick of all the lies. Common Core was not by the States. We don’t want a freaking curriculum that brainwashes our children. I have something to say to all you politicians. Stop forcing your stupid laws onto us. You all work for us, we do not work for you. While you are at it impeach Obamacare and Obama

  2. I have grandchildren and great grandchildren in the Utah school system. I disagree with Governor Herbert. I believe that we must get out of the Federal Control of our Educational System. I think that one of the states most powerful Unions is playing a big roll in this desire to have the Federal Government control education. I have been active in politics for many years and I know the power and influence of the UEA (Utah Education Association) the teachers union. It is hard to be elected to a political office in Utah without their support. I home taught my children so that I could give them the true history of our nation and help them see the importance of our Christian Heritage. LETS GET RID OF COMMON CORE, and let our legislature and our Governor understand our wishes.

  3. I love how Governor Herbert says, “It predates my time”. He is the governor who signed the state of Utah up for Race to the Top money and Common Core. He had NO authority to do so and then says that it happened before his time. Its too bad he has to lie to cover the fact that he got us in this mess and a lot of Utahans want out!

    1. Huntsman signed the Memorandum of Agreement with the NGA to initially participate in the Standards initiative, but Herbert was Lt. Governor at that time. Herbert oversaw the rest. You’re right, he’s slipped in a small truth to cover up that most of this definitely has happened on his watch and with his enthusiastic support.

  4. I am a Level 4 Math teacher with MANY years of experience. These math standards will put our kids 2 years BEHIND where they previously have been. In other words, many concepts that used to be taught in 8th grade are now part of the common core grade 10 curriculum.
    When I began teaching, back in 1982, I started in an inner city middle school in Chicago where my new husband was starting dental school. I was shocked that in 8th grade I was supposed to teach long division, and other 4th, 5th grade concepts. Over the course of the 4 years I taught there, I started an early morning “Algebra Club”. I had students coming early just to learn algebra. They loved feeling like they were getting ahead, being challenged. It was in Chicago where I learned my most important truth as a teacher: students will rise to the challenge we put before them, if they know the teacher loves them, and will be there to help and support them.
    My students over these many years will tell you I have always challenged them beyond what the curriculum mandated, but with my help, individualized for some, and with kindness, they met the challenge. They succeeded and were proud of it.

    In my opinion, we are going the wrong direction. We need to challenge our students MORE, not less. They will rise to the occasion, whatever it may be.

  5. Time to get Herbert out. He is nothing more than one of the Rhinos in congress. I think it time to elect someone who will actually listen to the people.

  6. As I look at government sadly I am very disgusted with 95% of those in office. My heart bleeds at what is happening to our Constitution. As a Utah citizen I stand 100% against Common Core.. It’s true name is Common Horror. I believe Garry Herbert is a great husband father, and friend- but horrible at politics. It hard to stand for the right, but that is what needs to be done

    1. I remember having a handout and learning in grade school that porcupines could shoot their quills. It probably took me over 20 years to realize that was false. When teachers go through college schools of education they are told, “this is what all the studies show is the best way to do it.” And other nonsense. It’s very hard to be an independent critical thinker even when you instinctively know something isn’t right.

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