On Monday, the Sutherland Institute released their report concerning Common Core based on research they have been conducting and they agree with us that Common Core is a major entanglement and needs to go.
The executive summary is here and it’s an excellent 2 page read.
From the conclusion: “Utah is at a critical decision point. The longer it waits to change course, the more difficult it will be. To maintain Utah’s independence, the state should immediately exit Common Core and all agreements related to it.”
The more in-depth analysis is here and it’s 17 pages (5 of which are footnotes and it uses a larger font and generous spacing).
Among their guiding principles they list these 3 key points:
1. Utah standards should be broad in substance and application in order to preserve a personalized learning environment for each individual student.
2. Utah standards should be the best possible.
3. Utah standards should be independent, with the ability to be changed at will.
The report then addresses these three points and shows how Common Core does not match up. Common Core seeks to undermine the individuality of students and preserves the assembly-line mentality that all students should learn the same things at the same points in time. There are acknowledged standards that are better than Common Core and if Utah were to adopt any standards, they should be the best available. And finally, Sutherland correctly points out that Utah agreed to adopt Common Core as written and can only add 15% to them. To change the standards we would have to convince the consortium of states that modifications were desired.
They conclude that Utah has the ability to create it’s own high standards, be flexible in the approach to learning and keep our education system independent.
We totally agree.