The Common Core Debate Video

Here’s the debate from Logan last night. Please share your thoughts below.

Alyson Williams and Wendy Hart against Common Core, and Tami Pyfer and Dave Thomas from the Utah State School Board for it.

8 thoughts on “The Common Core Debate Video”

  1. Utah’s involvement in Common Core reminds me of the old story about the tar baby. We are putting in our fingers, but don’t realize we’ll only get in deeper with no way out.

  2. This was a good debate and I appreciated the opportunity to hear public dialogue about Common Core, which has not been adequate before now. The invitation for public input in decisions about implementing Common Core by the State Board of Education should have been sent out through the schools which would have avoided any concerns that the media or anyone else had dropped the ball. The following question was asked numerous times and not clearly answered. I think the ideal education model is one that is constantly looking to improve, whether it be learning from what is being done in other states, implementing ideas THAT ARE TESTED and known to work well or listening to parents if standards become harmful or teach strategies that parents do not agree with. It is NOT a model that locks us in to doing things the same as other states. The model needs to build trust between involved groups because of its transparency and trust is everything. When a system is put in place that is not responsive to parents, they lose the power to ensure that new ideas implemented are best for their children. That is a God given right of parents. (I always wish a little more were articulated about what is lost when parents have no control over children’s education.) I appreciated the explanation that national standards leave parents entirely out of the equation. I wish more could have been said about the following issues: (1) the age inappropriateness of standards is causing serious problems in other states. Students’ sudden loss of confidence in the classroom, the increase in counseling required for stress in young and adolescent children who are not handling the expectations placed on them in other states are BIG concerns for me. Will we follow suit in Utah? (2) In a meeting concerning Common Core held April 12013 in Alpine School District, John Jesse, assessments director from the Utah State Board of Education, said that parents will not have access to testing results on their children. This raised some big red flags for me. Why can’t parents learn what is happening with their children so they can help them at home? Why is testing so excessive? What is happening with the test results gathered? How are they being used? Will children be channeled into occupations based on test results? What about late bloomers? I would love to hear a public statement about the purposes of gathering detailed test results statewide. Has the State board answered these questions? There’s that trust issue again. Thank you for posting this debate for those of us who could not attend. I was very glad to learn that cursive writing standards were returned to Utah standards by the State Board of Education. They sound like they are willing to be responsive to the public…but the way they have handled public relations about Common Core has destroyed my faith…I am not convinced.

    1. It took us 8 months of work to get the state board to put cursive back into the standards since they are only allowed to add 15% more to the Common Core standards. They are not responsive to the public. It takes enormous pressure for what should have been a no-brainer in Utah (genealogy records and U.S. founding documents are heavily written in cursive).

  3. Tami Pyfer told a story of enthusiastic students who were excited that they understood math, thanks to Common Core.

    Eight prominent principals in New York wrote a letter to parents stating that: “We know that many children cried during or after testing, and others vomited or lost control of their bowels or bladders,” the letter reads. “Others simply gave up. One teacher reported that a student kept banging his head on the desk, and wrote, ‘This is too hard,’ and ‘I can’t do this,’ throughout his test booklet.”

    Jeremiah Chaffee, a high school English teacher in upstate New York wrote that he was struck by how out of sync the Common Core is with what he considers to be good teaching and that “Such pedagogy makes school wildly boring.” One alarmed high-school English teacher, reporting on a Common Core training session that used the Gettysburg Address as an example, noted that teachers were instructed to read the speech aloud to the class not as Lincoln would have spoken it, with power and emotion, but rather without inflection. A past president of the National Council of Teachers of English declared herself “aghast at the vision of the dreariness and harshness of the classrooms [the standards-writers] attempt to create.”

    Parents have stated that their children have been losing their love of learning because of Common Core. I have written about this in an article that was published by Family Security Matters and that is also available here.

  4. Tami says they followed their typical process and didn’t try and sneak something in. The states adopted Common Core standards before they even knew what was in it. We know that was true because they were racing to the top before the standards were even published. They wanted the money. The fact is the Feds tried to sneak it in and did. Again that’s in the article I published about Common Core.

  5. The last question of the moderator was if you could wave a magic wand what would you have happen. If I could wave a magic wand the first thing I would have happen is for people to realize what’s wrong with education in this country. The government and Bill Gates and Achieve are attempting to fix the wrong problem. There is a reason for this. No one wants to admit what the problem really is.

    Discipline correlates with performance. African American and Hispanic students as a whole have more discipline problems than white and oriental students and so perform poorly on tests. Not only that but they disrupt classes with the result that those who want to learn have a harder time doing so. Anyone who states these facts is labeled a racist which is why few people do.
    American students of Asian ancestry outperform students in Korea, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong. U.S. whites test scores exceed those in every European nation except Finland. It is the low scores of African Americans and Hispanics that bring the American average down to the point where there are calls for education reform. I am not a racist making this up. I give links to my sources of information in my article.
    The first and most important step for improving education in the U.S. is reversing legislation that prevents discipline in the classroom. There are no such barriers to discipline in high performing countries such as China.
    Attempts to level the playing field by bringing down performance of high achievers must be stopped. Legislators should not impose a common curriculum that makes all schools the same. Legislators should not interfere with school choice so that parents can use school vouchers to send children to the best schools for their children. Legislators should reconsider welfare policies that lead to badly behaved youth. Our government should step back and allow the free market of education to work without imposing restrictions on what teachers can teach and without passing laws that make it impossible for teachers and principals to bring peace to the classroom.

  6. They called this a public input meeting, yet at the end, the moderator refused to take any questions from the public. He turned 30 minutes over to the crowd for questions but the crowd was asked to go talk privately to the debaters. Many people left frustrated because they were expecting public input.
    I was disappointed that there were no questions on the testing system and how data is collected and opt out options from the testing. The moderator asked the same questions over and over, just in a different format.
    I hope there will be more meetings like this and that Mr. Thomas doesn’t feel like it is to much “babysitting” for him.

  7. If I could wave a magic wand to fix Education in America I would take every taxpayer dollar out of education and privatize the whole mess.

    The biggest problem with education is the recidivism, unrepentant criminality, of the public school model which ensures that upwards of thirty percent of children in any given classroom will need remediation in basic skills year after year.

    Based of the research I have conducted, I believe we will see this number jump into the fifty percent range as Common Core continues to roll out across the country!

    As a homeschooling mother of five children, four of whom are university age, I have watched the education mess closely for 25 years.

    All of the really big federal dollars start to pour into state coffers when little Johnny and Susie are diagnosed LD and given a personal IEP.

    We should all be watching this closely over the next few years to observe how many and what percentage of our Utah students are diagnosed as Learning Disabled.

    Jenny Hatch

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