The Four Candidates for State Superintendent

Yesterday the state office released the names of the four finalists for Utah state superintendent. It’s a disaster.

You can find more extensive bios on the four finalists here:

Here’s a quick low-down on their ties to Common Core…

John Barge, current Georgia state superintendent

It appears that based on this article, Dr. Barge is not someone we could ever trust. Before the 2010 election he was adamantly opposed to Common Core. After the 2010 election he was very totally pro-Common Core. Total 180.

Rich Crandall, former director of the Wyoming Department of Education

This is a special individual. When the elected Wyoming state superintendent (Cindy Hill) spoke out against Common Core, the governor illegally stripped her over her powers and left her retaining her title, and brought in Rich Crandall to helm the state superintendent powers. Mr. Crandall said, it is “critical” that Wyoming successfully implement the common core state standards in reading and math adopted here in 2012. In my opinion, anyone who would accept an appointed position to unconstitutionally supplant an elected one, should not be near public office. I totally oppose Rich’s nomination.

Brad Smith, current Ogden School District superintendent

Disqualified himself by speaking of Common Core in this way: “They’re a huge step up from where we’ve been,” he said. “A huge step up.”

Martin Bates, current Granite School District superintendent

I can’t find any immediate articles tying Martin’s comments to Common Core, but Granite school district has been one of the most aggressive in implementing policies passed down from the state office of education, particularly carrying the SAGE and other tests to extremes. Teachers have lost days of teaching in order to test their students and from teachers who have contacted me and others, morale is low because of it. They also fired teacher Ann Florence over refusing to grade the writing portion of the district-wide Acuity Test. She said the exam was a waste of students’ and teachers’ time, did not further any education agenda and that it was unethical to have teachers grade their own students on a standardized test that then would be used to judge the teacher. I agree.


How do the two outsiders above get brought in but Michael Sentance from MA is dropped when he helped build the best education system in the country? He gave a great interview when Dr. Menlove was appointed. No need to answer my question. I know the answer and it’s got putrefaction all over it.

We need partisan elections in Utah and I believe we need to elect our state superintendent publicly in partisan elections just like we do other chief state officers. Wyoming elects their superintendent and got someone opposed to Common Core. We can’t have any confidence in our state school board when they bring forward people like this and reject people who have done great things in education like Mike Sentance.

Action Item

Email your legislators that the state board has failed us by bringing in 4 finalists who are so pro-Common Core they are ensuring there will be no candidate we can support. Tell them we need partisan elections in Utah and we need to publicly elect the state superintendent because the unconstitutionally appointed state school board doesn’t represent Utah values like a partisan elected school board would.

Find your legislator:

Email the state board and express your disappointment with their selections.


6 thoughts on “The Four Candidates for State Superintendent”

  1. Why is our governor so set on Common Core? Is it all about the money from Washington? When will our elected leaders start making decisions based on what is good for the people they represent instead of how much money and power they will have by going along with this corrupt system.

    Please get a superintendent in who will truly do what is best for our children and get as far away from Common Core as we can. Let Utah set the example of a state who has the courage to do the right thing!

    Please,please, please……

  2. Brad Smith is not pro common core. His statement is true common core is a huge step up but keep in mind we are talking about Ogden City Schools who use to be the worst school district in the state. I would recommend that more research be done showing what Brad has taken on and accomplished, rather than one small statement. Actions speak louder than words.

  3. If Brad Smith as quoted was talking about just Ogden School District, then his statement is true. For Ogden School District, the CCSS are a huge step up.

  4. I smelled trouble a long time ago in our educational system, and thought maybe I was being paranoid. Before I resigned from my job from complete dissatisfaction in the ways the district was treating teachers, I tried going to another school. Perchance I might be paranoid and just needed a change of schools? In my interview, the principal, a good friend in earlier days of my life, asked me very pointed questions about my support of the common core, and I answered truthfully, knowing that she would NEVER hire me with that answer. She didn’t even bother to call me back either way. I discussed with her how I felt about being given NO CHANCE anymore to design lessons for my students, that I felt like a puppet to the district. She wanted to WORK in the district – it always means higher pay and “status” to teachers to be hired at the district level. I am afraid for our schools. I wouldn’t go back to teach if I WAS young enough. My grandchildren are in a smaller district in northern Utah, but they are ALSO bound by these state decisions. All of our schools are. I could have GUESSED this would happen. The liberal agenda has a GRIP – if you don’t believe it, keep reading and encourage others to join the cause of UACC. TAKE YOUR CHILDREN OUT OF THIS SYSTEM. We aren’t winning enough battles to help this generation be educated without biases. Do it now.

  5. Oak, putrid is a good word for this whole thing. It’s been seething since that document you posted from 1984…and we didn’t catch on in time. Now, it’s bubbled into a smelly, rancid pool of bacteria and harmful ideas that have destroyed our American system. But who is to say we can’t build another one? Don’t we, the people, have the right to build our own AMERICAN SCHOOLS without the aid or intervention of the federal government? At least NOW, we still have the right to start our own schools and do a better job. Parents – from the SMART comments I’ve heard here, you can do this, and do it better than the schools your child is in right now. Don’t be nostaligic about anything in your past. The school I went to, the system of hard working teachers with inspired lesson plans, is GONE. It won’t be hard to beat it. After home schooling my children, I finally sent them to the public schools to get the benefit of scholarships, social life, sports games I so cherished when my OWN senior class won the State Basketball Tournament, but I’m telling you – they aren’t the same anymore. It’s not worth the price you are paying to have your child have to WORRY about what’s being taught him/her, the pressure of opposite beliefs in accepting things we have taught them are against God’s commandments and be reasoned with until they are confused. ARM them with truth as they go out every day, and backup reasoning. They are going to need it EVERY SINGLE day as they are scoffed at for their “old fashioned” beliefs…

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