Tag Archives: Common Core

Bill Evaluators Needed!

Today we act.
Today we act.

The Legislative session starts next week and over 100 education bills have already been submitted with another 100 likely lying in wait.

We need your help!

If a few people from each legislative district step forward and read some of the bills authored by their Representative and Senator, then each volunteer would have only a handful of bills to evaluate.  

We’ve come up with a simple process to make evaluations as easy as possible. To begin, simply contact us for your assignment, download and open the UACC Bill Evaluation Form and Instructions: How to Evaluate a Bill in 5 Steps . Then follow the Instructions contained therein. We encourage you to begin now!

Let us reassure you that evaluations don’t need to be perfect, we know you are not a lawyer and don’t expect you to know everything. Multiple people will be evaluating each bill, so if you miss something someone else will likely pick up on it. If you have any questions we will be supporting each-other in UACC’s Facebook Group!

To Begin:

1)Use our Contact Us page to volunteer. Tell us how many bills you will do and we’ll email you back an assignment .

1)Download the Instructions: How to Evaluate a Bill in 5 Steps

2)Download the UACC Bill Evaluation Form

3)Please complete and submit your evaluations by Monday, February 3rd.


Father arrested at school meeting for questioning Common Core

Shock video. A father asks a question at a Common Core meeting and winds up getting arrested and charged with 2nd degree assault of a police officer. He was tired of all the pre-planned softball questions the panel was addressing, so he stood and asked them to address a concern of his that Common Core is really not meant to make students ready for colleges like Harvard, but just for community colleges. What happened next is stunning.

Here’s a bit from the Baltimore Sun:

Robert Small said he wanted to express his dismay over the introduction of a new school curriculum at a public forum Thursday night in Towson, but instead the Ellicott City parent was pulled out of the meeting, arrested and charged with second-degree assault of a police officer.

Small stood and interrupted Baltimore County School Superintendent Dallas Dance during a question-and-answer session and began to tell the audience that he believed the new curriculum was lowering the standards of education and was intended to prepare students for community colleges. “You are not preparing them for Harvard,” he said.

The format of the forum did not allow the public to stand and ask a question. Instead, those who wanted questions answered had to write them on a piece of paper. Dance read the questions and had members of a panel, which included state schools Superintendent Lillian Lowery, answer them.

When Small started speaking, Dance told him that he believed his question would be answered, but Small continued to talk. After a couple of minutes, a security guard confronted Small, saying, “Let’s go. Let’s go.”

Small, 46, asked him if he was an officer and the security guard, an off-duty Baltimore County police officer, showed him a badge. The officer grabbed Small’s arm and pulled him toward the aisle. The audience gasped and some people sitting nearby got out of their seats.

As he was being taken out, Small said, “Don’t stand for this. You are sitting here like cattle.” Then he said, “Is this America?”

Here’s what Small said (in case it was difficult to make out);

“I want to know how many parents here are aware that the goal of the Common Core standards isn’t to prepare kids for full-fledged universities, it’s to prepare them for community college…..Parents, take control. We’re sick of this. This is not a CNN political game. This is a public town hall… Listen, don’t stand for this. You’re sitting here like cattle. You have questions. Confront them. They don’t want to do it in public…. Parents, you need to question these people….Do the research, it’s online.”

Do we question those in authority, or are we just cattle?

There is some additional information at Michelle Malkin’s blog.


The Exodus, opting out of Common Core assessments and data collection

This is a post to share with all your friends and neighbors. Not everyone is going to do this, but we need as many people as possible to participate. If you have a child in school, please print out a copy of this form and send it in. Here’s a pdf copy and the text of the document is reproduced below which you can copy/paste into a word processor of your choice.

State National CAT / Data Collection Opt-Out Form (PDF)

To help spread the word, have your children share these small pass-along cards with their friends: My parents opted me out (PDF)

To properly introduce this topic, please check out this short interview clip my good friend Ken Cromar made for a documentary he’s making called Miracles. It’s an interview segment he did with Rabbi Daniel Lapin and it’s what we need right now to understand Miracles come after we take action. Please take action today. We need massive amounts of parents to opt-out of these assessments



State/National CAT/Data Collection Opt-Out Form




First, I, _____________________, as the parent/guardian of ___________________, have a  “fundamental liberty interest” in the care, custody and welfare of my child as codified in Utah Code §62A-4a-201. In exercise thereof, I hereby elect to exclude my child from participating in all computer adaptive tests (CAT) administered by or through Utah’s public education system (including but not limited to MAP/CRT/AIR/NWEA assessments) which are optional or required by the state for standardized testing. Utah code §62A-4a-201 states:

(d) The state recognizes that:
(i) a parent has the right, obligation, responsibility, and authority to raise, manage, train, educate, provide for, and reasonably discipline the parent’s children; and
(ii) the state’s role is secondary and supportive to the primary role of a parent.
(e) It is the public policy of this state that parents retain the fundamental right and duty to exercise primary control over the care, supervision, upbringing, and education of their children.

I take this action to protect the privacy and welfare of my child because these examinations contain behavioral testing1 which I believe is a violation of state law2 and the individual results are tracked in a statewide longitudinal database system (SLDS) which is accessible by the federal government and private entities3, used for school grading4, and allows my child’s personal information to be individually identifiable5. In taking this action, I recognize the state office may label my child as non-proficient6 which has negative repercussions.

I believe these tests are fundamentally flawed by attempting to test students on material to which they may have never been exposed. The fact that the exams are confidential7 so no one may examine the questions before or after a child takes the exam and that they provide psychometric feedback from embedded behavioral questions, are unacceptable to me as a parent.8

Second, I further opt my child out of any and all surveys that contain personal, financial, or any other information on our family, and from any other type of data collection method that would contain personal, private, and confidential information (eg. DNA collection).

To the extent that the above named school now, or in the future, possesses any data on my child, I do not give permission for such data to be passed to the state unless it is de-identified, aggregate data combined with that of many other students.

When CAT’s are given to my child’s class, I request that my child be provided an alternative exam that will be graded by my child’s teacher, or, alternatively, that my child be allowed to spend that time in quiet study.

I further request that the school keep a copy of this document in my child’s school file and that the school acknowledge my rights and their intent to support my decision by signing below and returning a copy to me.

Finally, this action is not intended to be an indication of my opinion regarding the quality of my child’s teacher(s), or of the school, but as a statement that my family refuses to participate in any activity that further erodes our privacy. I respect and appreciate your work in educating my child.

Please provide a copy to each of my son/daughter’s teachers who administer CAT assessments so they are aware that my child needs an alternate activity during testing.

Please contact me via email __________________ or phone ________________ if you have any questions.




____________________               ___________                       ___________

School Official Signature                       Title                                         Date


1- http://le.utah.gov/~2013/bills/sbillenr/sb0175.pdf (line 66)

2- Utah Code Title 53A Section 302

3- http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/pdf/ferparegs.pdf (page 13) and http://nces.ed.gov/programs/slds/state.asp?stateabbr=UT

4- http://le.utah.gov/~2013/bills/sbillenr/SB0271.htm

5- http://www.schools.utah.gov/assessment/Adaptive-Assessment-System/FAQTop10Questions.aspx (pg. 17)

6- At the 8/2/2013 Utah State Board of Education meeting, amendments to SB 271 were made to label students non-proficient if they failed to take the CAT standardized assessments

7- http://www.schools.utah.gov/assessment/Adaptive-Assessment-System/FAQTop10Questions.aspx (search “confidential”)

8- https://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/dr-thompsons-letter-to-superintendent-menlove/

The German Education System by Shana Osterloh

On July 17th, over 500 citizens showed up to share their concerns about Common Core with legislators. Hundreds were unable to share their stories. This is one of them. Shana Osterloh shared this with us and we wanted to make sure people understood exactly what President Obama is talking about when he praises the German school-to-work education system. When the purpose of education becomes managing the needs of the economic workforce instead of educating all children to best meet their needs, interests, and capabilities, we destroy initiative and high achievement on a mass scale. Here is Shana’s talk.

Thank you for the opportunity to voice our concerns on Common Core. I have come across many people who do not know what Common Core is, and others who have felt alone in their fight against it. President Obama has been quoted praising the German education system in his discussion about education reform. I suppose that’s why I felt it was important for parents to hear from someone who has been through a Common Core system in Germany.

What follows is a letter from my husband regarding his experience in Germany. Some parts would need some cultural translation or further discussion, but I believe the overall message is very powerful.

As a German growing up in Germany, I always had my battles with common core standards. I was not one of the top students during my school years. I also was not part of the bottom, so I was placed into the path which freely translated we call “middle maturity”. On this path I was set up to pursue a vocational training career unless I could get my grades high enough to study at a Gymnasium (the path required for academics). I managed to skim by with my grades, making it barely into the Gymnasium. However, because my middle path of schooling was not dominantly designed to move up in educational paths I quickly fell behind, lost interest and ended up in a career that did not require academic education, just as predicted when assessed by common standards at grade 6 at the time. (The assessment is done at grade 4 nowadays.)

I pursued the career of a fitness trainer. I was the best student of the year, even the best student that institution has had until that date. I liked my job, but I always had a nudge in the back of my head how I could sustain a family making barely the average income that was usual for fitness trainers in Germany. I tried to calm myself by telling others that I would probably do this job only until about my fifties, and then move up somewhere into an office and work more on the administrative side. But I knew I was lying to myself. I probably would not have had the courage for a career change in my upper fifties.

Once I told my then girlfriend about my career “ambitions”. She was from Arizona and grew up with the American spirit that you can become anything you want. She declared me crazy for settling for so little. She told me that if I really was that smart to outperform my whole training institution till that date, I could also study at a college and secure a better lifestyle.

I told her that in Germany, once you leave Gymnasium, there is no easy return. The Gymnasium I attended previously already had told me that there is no return for me once I left. There is such a thing as night classes, but those are mostly seen as a “second dive for failure”, or “not good/ smart enough for the normal path” by many Germans. So there is no telling once I would have completed such night classes that a university in Germany would have ever accepted me thereafter.

Luckily my then girlfriend did not get off my back hearing these excuses. She encouraged me to go to America and study whatever I want. She believed that I could do it.

A year later I met my wife, who is originally from California. She also told me the same thing; that I could become and do anything I wanted. I still was hesitant and with my German common core depressed upbringing I wondered if I was even good enough for a community college.

As of Fall 2012 I am enrolled in a Utah college and am on my way to change my future working on an associate’s degree in business and accounting with ambitions to rise up to a doctorate level.

I am grateful for the American spirit these two women introduced into my life, freeing me from the shackles of educational depression that was put on me by a common standard. Each person is unique. Who is the government to tell children at age 10 what they can or cannot become in life? What interest does the federal government have in common core standard testing that destroys our children’s vision and imagination for their future? The federal government should not be interested in such as it is to serve its people.

One can argue that Germany makes good products, brings forth good engineers and many other good things. Sadly Germans are also one of the most unpatriotic and job-insecure people you will ever meet. How does that fit together? People feel they always have to compete against the rest of the world while being told “you are not good enough.” Common education standards equalize – not raise – education standards at the expense of people losing their identity.

My brother, by the way is a baker, having been tested by government computers at age 14 that this is what he could become. He still thinks he is not good enough for anything else, or even to start up his own bakery.

I have seen the effects of common core in my own life and had a hard time to break out of this rut. In Germany common core has already broken the hope, vision, and imagination of many people. I am not willing to see another country make the same mistakes. Do not hand over more control to the government. Parents, let us be responsible!

What Did They Used to Say About Common Core? Just Listen!

This post is reprinted with permission from Wendy Hart from her blog entry at:



This video contains actual audio from the beginning of the Common Core standards discussion in Utah. Having listened to these meetings, I wanted to make sure some key points were readily accessible and available to everyone.

As human beings, sometimes it’s helpful to go back to original sources instead of listening to talking points.  This information on the Common Core process is invaluable in providing insight from those who were there at the time. What was their perspective, and what was their focus?

Please take a few minutes to watch and to understand what was being said about Common Core from the very beginning, not the least of which was the Utah State Board Agenda Item: “National Common Standards”.  Contrast this to the Utah State Office of Ed flyer which states: “Fiction: Utah adopted nationalized education standards that come with federal strings attached.”  Then ask these questions:

What was the overriding reason for Utah joining in with a group that was developing national, common standards?

Was there any federal involvement, real or implied, that motivated the jump into Common Core?

With all the public involvement, who do you know who was involved in vetting the Common Core standards?

The answers you get may be different from what you are being told.


Links to audio files featured in the video:
May 1, 2009 Utah School Board Meeting, Agenda Item: National Common Standards
June 17, 2009 Legislative Interim Education Committee Meeting
Quoted audio starts about 27:30
July 18, 2011 Alpine School Board Training, select the first audio file, quoted starts about 27:14

Common Core an assault on liberties

Ed: This op-ed by Christel Swasey was published in the Deseret News (http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765632044/Common-Core-an-assault-on-liberties.html) on 6/13/13.


Utah state GOP delegates officially disapproved Common Core when they passed the anti-common core resolution this year by a 65 percent vote.

Was that not enough for our state school board and governor?

Gov. Gary Herbert continues to promote the Common Core-dependent Prosperity 2020 initiative. And the state school board continues to label teachers and others who long to reclaim local control and who want legitimate, non-experimental education standards, “the misinformed.”

The fact is, we are not misinformed; we know what Common Core is, and we reject it.

The board won’t even respond to requests for specifics about what we’re so misinformed about.

Now, despite the Utah anti-common core resolution passing; despite the examples of Michigan, Indiana and other states passing time-out bills against Common Core implementation; despite Obama’s recent announcement that he plans to tax Americans to pay for Common Core technologies in his ConnectEd Initiative; still, Utah’s school board has not softened its rigorous-praise-of-Common-Core talking points and is moving it forward as if nothing is wrong.

In fact, the board markets Common Core as being beyond debate; it’s so minimalistic, so consensually adopted, so protective of privacy rights and so academically legitimate (none of which is true) that it is too big to fail and is beyond any future need for amendments (which is indeed fortunate for them, since there is no Common Core amendment process).

Something is truly amiss when experienced Utah teachers with credentials, like me, are perpetually rejected for requests to the state school board to discuss the pros and cons of Common Core. The board doesn’t want a two-sided discussion.

The board is silent on these simple questions:

Where is a shred of evidence to support the claim that Common Core improves education?

Where are any studies showing that the reduction of literary study improves college readiness?

Where is some evidence that slowing the age at which students learn math algorithms improves college readiness?

Where is any amendment process for Utah’s math and English standards, under the copyrighted Common Core?

How can one opt out of the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) tracking and the Common Core tests?

Where is the legal — constitutional — authority for people outside our state to set our local standards and to create and monitor our tests?

Why does Utah stand by while Obama announces that he will redesign schools and tax all Americans to pay for it, without Utah putting up a fight?

Why is there a spiral of silence culture now, that demands everyone pretend to agree; where is freedom of expression and freedom of speech in the common agenda, now that teachers and principals don’t speak out for fear of losing their jobs?

How on earth can anyone call Common Core “state-led” when unelected boards that operate behind closed doors, that are not accountable to the public, developed and copyrighted the standards, bypassing voters and the vast majority of teachers and legislators?

Where is the line-item cost analysis of taxpayers’ money being spent on Common Core technologies, teacher training and texts?

When will state leadership address Common Core’s specific damages with the people who elected these leaders to serve us, rather than bowing to every federal whim?

Will the board and governor ever stand up to the Department of Education’s tsunami of assaults on liberties?

Will they continue to fight against local teachers and citizens who rightfully demand local liberty and who rightfully ask for proven, non-experimental, amendable standards — following the example set by the national and world-leading education system in Massachusetts, prior to Common Core?


Source Documents for Common Core

Nobody has to choose between relying on the proponents of Common Core, or relying on the opponents of Common Core.

To find out what Common Core really is and does to education and to liberty, study for yourself.

These are just a starter batch. There are more!  Some of these are Utah-specific.  If you are in another state, do a related word search to easily find your own.



The Race to the Top Grant Application

The No Child Left Behind Waiver

The State Longitudinal Database System Grant

The lawsuit against the Department of Education

The copyright on Common Core held by CCSSO/NGA

The report entitled “For Each And Every Child” from the Equity and Excellence Commission

The Cooperative Agreements between the Dept. of Education and the testing consortia

The speeches of Secretary Arne Duncan on education

The speeches of President Obama on education

The speeches of the CEA of Pearson Ed, Sir Michael Barber

The speeches of the main funder of Common Core, Bill Gates

The speeches of David Coleman, a noneducator, the architect of the Common Core ELA standards and now promoted to College Board President

The Dept. of Ed report: Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perserverance

The federal websites such as the EdFacts Exchange,  the Common Education Data Standards, the National Data Collection Model, and the Data Quality Campaign, sites because three of these four ask us to give personally identifiable information on students, from our state database.

The Common Core English and Math standards

The full contract that Utah has signed with the American Institutes for Research (if you can get a copy from the USOE; it is not online yet). Here is AIR’s common core implementation document.


Here are some explanations of each of the documents, and what you can learn from them.



The Race to the Top Grant Application  – Utah got points for having a kid-tracking SLDS database system.  Utah got more points for having adopted Common Core.  This was how we got into it.  Despite not winning the grant money, we remained in these systems.

The No Child Left Behind Waiver  – This shows the 15% cap the federal government put on top of the copyrighted, unamendable Common Core standards.

The State Longitudinal Database System Grant  – This is a federally paid-for database that every state in the US now has.  It tracks students within the state.  Aggregated data ion students is sent from this system to the federal EdFacts Exchange.

The lawsuit against the Department of Education  – The Electronic Privacy Information Center has sued the DOE for destroying the previously data-privacy protective federal FERPA. The lawsuit explains which terms were redefined, which agencies now have legal access to the private data of students, and much more.

The copyright on Common Core held by CCSSO/NGA  – The fact that there are “terms of use” and a copyright shows that we have no local control over the standards which are written behind closed doors in D.C.

The report entitled “For Each And Every Child” from the Equity and Excellence Commission – This report was commissioned by Obama.  It reveals that redistribution of wealth is the real reason that Obama wants a national education system.

The Cooperative Agreements between the Dept. of Education and the testing consortia – Even though Utah escaped the SBAC and is not bound by the Cooperative Agreement directly, Utah’s current testing group, A.I.R., works closely with SBAC.  This document shows how clearly the DOE has broken laws like the General Educational Provisions Act and the 10th Amendment.  It mandates the synchronizing of tests and the sharing of data to triangulate the SBAC, PARCC and DOE.

The speeches of Secretary Arne Duncan on education – He seems to believe Common Core was Obama’s idea from the start.

The speeches of President Obama on education – Obama’s goal is total control of everything– teachers, tests, money, and toddlers.

The speeches of the CEA of Pearson Ed, Sir Michael Barber – Barber wants every  school on the globe to have the exact same academic standards and to underpin every standard with environmental propaganda.  He also likes having global data on kids and stresses the term “sustainable reform” which is “irreversible reform”.

The speeches of the main funder of Common Core, Bill Gates – He’s funded Common Core almost completely on his own; he’s partnered with Pearson; he says “we won’t know it works until all the tests and curriculum aligns with the standards” so he’s writing curriculum for us all.

The speeches of David Coleman, a noneducator, the architect of the Common Core ELA standards and now promoted to College Board President –He mocks narrative writing, he’s diminished the percentage of classic literature that’s allowable in the standards, he’s not been elected, he’s never taught school, yet he’s almost singlehandedly destroyed the quality and liberty of an English teacher’s classroom. And as he’s now the College Board President, he’s aligning the SAT to his version of what Common standards should be.  This will hurt colleges.

The Dept. of Ed report: Promoting Grit, Tenacity and Perserverance  – behavioral indicators of students are wanted by the federal government.  It’s all about control.

The federal websites such as the EdFacts Exchange, the Common Education Data Standards, the National Data Collection Model, and the Data Quality Campaign, sites because three of these four ask us to give personally identifiable information on students, from our state database.  -The first link shows what we already give to the federal government; the others show what the federal government is requesting that we share, which does include intimate, personally identifiable information.

The Common Core English and Math standards – These are the actual standards.

The full contract that Utah has signed with the American Institutes for Research (if you can get a copy from the USOE; it is not online yet). Here is AIR’s common core implementation document.  – This shows that AIR is not an academic testing group but a behavioral research institute.  Parents and teachers may not see the test questions.

Upon This Lack of Evidence We Base Our Children’s Futures

Where is the evidence to support the rhetoric surrounding the CCSS? This is not data-driven decision making.

This is a decision grasping for data…  Yet this nation will base the future of its entire public education system, and its children, upon this lack of evidence.

– Dr. Christopher Tienken, Seton Hall University, NJ

In the Education Administration Journal, the  AASA Journal of Scholarship and Practice (Winter 2011 / Volume 7, No. 4) there’s an article by Dr. Christopher Tienken of Seton Hall University that clearly explains the utter lack of empirical evidence for adopting Common Core.  The full article, “Common Core: An Example of Data-less Decision Making,” is available online, and  following are some highlights:

Although a majority of U.S. states and territories have “made the CCSS the legal law of their land in terms of the mathematics and language arts curricula,” and although “over 170 organizations, education-related and corporations alike, have pledged their support,” still “the evidence presented by its developers, the National Governors Association (NGA) and Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), seems lacking,” and research on the topic suggests “the CCSS and those who support them are misguided,” writes Dr. Tienken.


“The standards have not been validated empirically and no metric has been set to monitor the intended and unintended consequences they will have on the education system and children,” he writes.

Tienken and  many other academics have said that Common Core adoption begs this question: “Surely there must be quality data available publically to support the use of the CCSS to transform, standardize, centralize and essentially de-localize America‘s public education system,” and surely there must be more compelling and methodologically strong evidence available not yet shared with the general public or education researchers to support the standardization of one of the most intellectually diverse public education systems in the world. Or, maybe there is not?”

Tienken calls incorrect the notion that American education is lagging behind international competitors and does not believe the myth that academic tests can predict future economic competitiveness.

Unfortunately for proponents of this empirically vapid argument it is well established that a rank on an international test of academic skills and knowledge does not have the power to predict future economic competitiveness and is otherwise meaningless for a host of reasons.”

He observes: “Tax, trade, health, labor, finance, monetary, housing, and natural resource policies, to name a few, drive our economy, not how students rank on the Trends in International Math and Science Study (TIMSS)” or other tests.

Most interestingly, Tienken observes that the U.S. has had a highly  internationally competitive system up until now.  “The U.S. already has one of the highest percentages of people with high school diplomas and college degrees compared to any other country and we had the greatest number of 15 year-old students in the world score at the highest levels on the 2006 PISA science test (OECD, 2008; OECD, 2009; United Nations, 2010). We produce more researchers and scientists and qualified engineers than our economy can employ, have even more in the pipeline, and we are one of the most economically competitive nations on the globe (Gereffi & Wadhwa, 2005; Lowell, et al., 2009; Council on Competitiveness, 2007; World Economic Forum, 2010).

Tienken calls Common Core “a decision in search of data” ultimately amounting to “nothing more than snake oil.”  He is correct.  The burden of proof is on the proponents to show that this system is a good one.

He writes: “Where is the evidence to support the rhetoric surrounding the CCSS? This is not data-driven decision making. This is a decision grasping for data…  Yet this nation will base the future of its entire public education system, and its children, upon this lack of evidence. Many of America‘s education associations already pledged support for the idea and have made the CCSS major parts of their national conferences and the programs they sell to schools.

This seems like the ultimate in anti-intellectual behavior coming from what claim to be intellectual organizations now acting like charlatans by vending products to their members based on an untested idea and parroting false claims of standards efficacy.”

Further, Dr. Tienken reasons:

“Where is the evidence that national curriculum standards will cause American students to score at the top of international tests or make them more competitive? Some point to the fact that many of the countries that outrank the U.S. have national, standardized curricula. My reply is there are also nations like Canada, Australia, Germany, and Switzerland that have very strong economies, rank higher than the U.S. on international tests of mathematics and science consistently, and do not have a mandated, standardized set of national curriculum standards.”

Lastly, Dr. Tienken asks us to look at countries who have nationalized and standardized education, such as China and Singapore:  “China, another behemoth of centralization, is trying desperately to crawl out from under the rock of standardization in terms of curriculum and testing (Zhao, 2009) and the effects of those practices on its workforce. Chinese officials recognize the negative impacts a standardized education system has had on intellectual creativity. Less than 10% of Chinese workers are able to function in multi-national corporations (Zhao, 2009).

I do not know of many Chinese winners of Nobel Prizes in the sciences or in other the intellectual fields. China does not hold many scientific patents and the patents they do hold are of dubious quality (Cyranoski, 2010).

The same holds true for Singapore. Authorities there have tried several times to move the system away from standardization toward creativity. Standardization and testing are so entrenched in Singapore that every attempt to diversify the system has failed, leaving Singapore a country that has high test scores but no creativity. The problem is so widespread that Singapore must import creative talent from other countries”.

According to Dr. Tienken, Common Core is a case of oversimplification.  It is naive to believe that all children would benefit from mastering the same set of skills, or that it would benefit the country in the long run, to mandate sameness.  He observes that Common Core is “an Orwellian policy position that lacks a basic understanding of diversity and developmental psychology. It is a position that eschews science and at its core, believes it is appropriate to force children to fit the system instead of the system adjusting to the needs of the child.”

Oh, how we agree!

Since when do we trust bureaucracies more than we trust individuals to make correct decisions inside a classroom or a school district?  Since when do we agree force children to fit a predetermined system, instead of having a locally controlled, flexible system that can adjust to the needs of a child?

What madness (or money?) has persuaded even our most American-as-apple-pie organizations — even the national PTA, the U.S. Army, the SAT, most textbook companies and many governors– to advocate for Common Core, when there never was a real shred of valid evidence upon which to base this country-changing decision?

Utah GOP Anti-Common Core Resolution PASSES

At the Utah GOP convention today, delegates passed a resolution to oppose Common Core with what’s been reported as a 65.5% YEA vote! That’s a huge margin on a resolution that the state office of education worked hard to oppose.

A big thank you to all volunteers who spent time passing out information this morning to help educate delegates, and a big thank you to the delegates who made the right choice.

Resolution on Common Core State Standards and Assessments

WHEREAS, The Common Core State Standards Initiative (“Common Core”), also known as “Utah’s Core,” [1] is not a Utah state standards initiative, but rather a set of inferior nationally-based standards and tests developed through a collaboration between two NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) and unelected boards and consortia from outside the state of Utah;[2] and,

WHEREAS, Common Core was financed with private foundation funds,[3] replacing the influence of our votes with wealth and influence to bypass our state legislature and impose control over Utah’s education standards and tests;[4] and,

WHEREAS, Common Core binds us to an established copyright over standards, from which we cannot subtract, replace or add to – beyond an additional 15%;[5] and,

WHEREAS, the General Educational Provisions Act [6] prohibits federal authority over curriculum and testing, yet the U.S. Department of Education’s “Cooperative Agreements”[7] confirm[8] Common Core’s test-building [9] and data collection[10] is federally managed;[11] and,

WHEREAS, “student behavior indicators”[12] – which include testing[13] for mental health, social and cultural (i.e. religious) habits and attitudes[14] and family status – are now being used for Common Core tests and assessments; and,

WHEREAS, Common Core violates Utah[15] state and federal privacy laws[16] by requiring the storage and sharing[17] of private[18] student[19] and family data without consent;[20] using a pre- school through post-graduate (P-20) tracking system and a federally-funded State Longitudinal Database (SLDS), creating surveillance capability[21] between states[22] and federal agencies,[23] in accordance with funding mandates;[24] and,

WHEREAS, Common Core violates constitutional[25] and statutory prohibitions by pressuring states to adopt the standards with financial incentives tied to President Obama’s Race to the Top, and if not adopted,  penalties[26] including[27] loss of funds; and,

WHEREAS, the federal[28] government is imposing yet another unfunded mandate on our State[29] for unproven[30] Common Core instruction[31], training and testing platforms, without any pledge of financial support from federal, state or local governments; and,

WHEREAS, unproven experiments[32] on our children, lacking empirical data[33] to support them, are removing traditional math, replacing classic literature[34] with increased technical reading[35], and prohibiting teachers from reviewing the tests to know what they ought to be teaching; and,

WHEREAS, this top-down process and the principles behind Common Core[36] undermine the teacher’s role[37] and do not support American and Republican ideals of local control,[38] parental choice[39] in education, standards and testing; and,

WHEREAS, the Republican National Committee recently passed a resolution opposing Common Core State Standards;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that we call on the Governor[40] and the Utah State School Board to withdraw from, and we ask the Utah State Legislature to discontinue funding programs[41] in association with, The Common Core State Standards Initiative/Utah’s Core and any other alliance[42] that promotes and tests for un-American[43] and inferior,[44] curricula,[45] standards[46] and assessments; and,

THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution shall be delivered to the Governor and the State legislature for executive and legislative action.

Submitted by State Delegate Cherilyn Eagar, Salt Lake County
State Delegate Co-Sponsors:  Wasatch – Alisa Ellis, Norman Durtschi, Anissa Wardell, Patricia Deden, Suzanne Pollard Juab – Stella Lightfoot Washington – Mary Burkett Box Elder Jeff Hardy Weber –  Lance Adams, Dan Deuel, Bea Cardwell, Clark Roberts, Laura Warburton, Gregory Martin, Becky Gerritsen Iron – Blake Cozzens Davis – Rod Arquette, Mark Arrington, Dale Hulse, Stephanie Terry, Kris Kimball, Phill Wright, Mark Cook, Christopher Snell, Bruce Bolingbroke, Barbara Derricott, Stephen P. Cloward, James Oldham, Elizabeth Mumford Summit – Jacqueline Smith Salt Lake – JaKell Sullivan, Jennifer Jensen, Maryann Christensen, Laureen Simper, Larry Jensen, Lisa Cummins, John M. Knab, Scott Miller, Rhonda Hair, Phoenix Roberts, Eric Fowler, Tana Allen, Chelsea Woodruff, Jennifer Jensen, Janalee Tobias, Kendall Springer, Kathryn Gritton, Brian Gallagher, Brent Maxwell, Rebecca Akester, Kurt Jaussi, Joseph Darger Utah – Gayle Ruzicka, Kristen Chevrier; Rod Mann, Larry Cerenzie, Clark Parker, Nancy Jex, Marie Nuccitelli, Amelia Powers, Brandon Watters, Barbara H. Ward, William C. Lee, Heather Williamson, Darren Rollins, Peter Morkel, Lisa Baldwin, Don Carlos Davies, Todd Seager, Rhonda Wilkinson, Alyson Williams, Sherilyn Colby, Diana Ballard, Delvon Bouwhuis, Mike Bready, Richard Jaussi, Tamara Atkin, Jamie Towse, Julie Blaney, Kent Besaw, Kevin Braddy

School Board-Legislative Endorsers: Congressman Jason Chaffetz; State Representatives Jake Anderegg, Brian Greene, Keith Grover, Mike Kennedy, David Lifferth, Curt Oda, Marc Roberts; State Senators Margaret Dayton, Mark Madsen, Stuart Reid; Curt Bramble School Board Members Joyce Sudweeks, (Piute), Peter Cannon (Davis), Brian Halladay, Wendy Hart, Paula Hill (Alpine)



[1] http://www.corestandards.org/terms-of-use

[2] http://senatedist23.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/common-core-memo-from-judge-norman-h-jackson/

[3] http://www.gatesfoundation.org/Media-Center/Press-Releases/2010/06/National-Governors-Association-and-State-Education-Chiefs-Launch-Common-State-Academic-Standards

[4] http://www.schools.utah.gov/arra/Uses/Utah-Race-to-the-Top-Application.aspx

[5] A State may supplement the common standards with additional standards, provided that the additional standards do not exceed 15 percent of the State’s total standards for that content area – http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop/executive-summary.pdf

[6] “No provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, or over the selection of library resources, textbooks, or other printed or published instructional materials by any educational institution or school system…” – General Educational Provisions Act

[7] http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment/sbac-cooperative-agreement.pdf

[8] http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment/performance.html

[9] http://www2.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment/performance.html

[10] http://nces.ed.gov/forum/datamodel/information/aboutThe.aspx

[11] http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/09/23/remarks-president-no-child-left-behind-flexibility

[12] http://le.utah.gov/~2012/bills/hbillenr/hb0015.htm

[13] https://www.utahnsagainstcommoncore.com/dr-thompsons-letter-to-superintendent-menlove/

[14] http://www.air.org/about/?fa=viewContent&content_id=96

[15] http://le.utah.gov/code/TITLE53A/htm/53A13_030100.htm

[16] http://epic.org/apa/ferpa/EPIC-ED-FERPA-MSJ.pdf

[17] http://www2.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/edfacts/index.html

[18] http://www.dataqualitycampaign.org/stateanalysis/states/UT/

[19] http://nces.ed.gov/programs/slds/state.asp?stateabbr=UT

[20] http://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/usoe-the-answer-is-no-can-a-student-attend-public-school-without-being-p-20slds-tracked/

[21] http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/01/19/unlocking-power-education-data-all-americans

[22] http://siec.utah.gov/

[23] http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/inside-school-research/2012/07/ed_urges_states_to_make_data_s.html

[24] http://www.ed.gov/recovery

[25] http://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/tenth_amendment

[26] http://www2.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/blueprint/publication_pg4.html

[27] http://dianeravitch.net/2012/12/27/teacher-common-core-harms-my-title-i-students/

[28] http://www.ed.gov/news/speeches/vision-education-reform-united-states-secretary-arne-duncans-remarks-united-nations-ed

[29] http://www2.ed.gov/policy/eseaflex/ut.pdf

[30] http://www.aasa.org/uploadedfiles/publications/newsletters/jsp_winter2011.final.pdf

[31] http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/04/27/30pearson.h30.html

[32] http://www.uaedreform.org/wp-content/uploads/2000/01/Stotsky-Invited-Testimony-for-Kansas-on-Common-Core.pdf

[33] http://greatlakescenter.org/docs/Policy_Briefs/Research-Based-Options/02-Mathis_CommonCore.pdf

[34]  http://heinemann.com/shared/onlineresources%5CE02123%5CNewkirk_Speaking_Back_to_the_Common_Core.pdf

[35] http://www.corestandards.org/ELA-Literacy/RI/11-12

[36] http://www2.ed.gov/about/bdscomm/list/eec/equity-excellence-commission-report.pdf

[37] http://zhaolearning.com/2013/01/17/more-questions-about-the-common-core-response-to-marc-tucker/

[38] http://www.k12innovation.com/Manifesto/_V2_Home.html

[39] http://aclj.org/education/parental-rights-in-education

[40] http://www.utah.gov/governor/news_media/article.html?article=7433

[41] http://www.prosperity2020.com/2011/07/27/a-focus-on-the-basics/

[42] http://www.utahdataalliance.org/

[43] http://house.michigan.gov/sessiondocs/2013-2014/testimony/Committee223-3-20-2013-6.pdf

[44] http://www.city-journal.org/2012/22_3_massachusetts-education.html

[45] http://hoosiersagainstcommoncore.com/james-milgram-testimony-to-the-indiana-senate-committee/

[46] http://www.uaedreform.org/wp-content/uploads/2000/01/Arkansas-Testimony-2013.pdf