The Most Laughable Bill of 2013

The Deseret News has published my op-ed or letter to the editor regarding the most insane bill I’ve ever read. Here’s the text of my letter and a link to the DNews. Please share the DNews link.

Published Letter

Do we really need to stoop to this level? The legislature is considering HJR 8, “Joint Resolution on the Benefits of Adopting Common Core.” This bill is full of the same lies that get told over and over attempting to propagandize the public into believing they are true.

“This joint resolution of the Legislature recognizes the significant benefits that have come to Utah’s students due to the adoption of the Utah Core Standards.”

How exactly can someone claim significant benefits when we have NO data on how Common Core is performing yet?

“WHEREAS, the Common Core standards were developed by a state-led effort”

No they were Gates-led, not state-led. The Gates Foundation pumped $20 million into the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State Superintendents Organization to create these standards. They did it to fulfill a contractual obligation stemming from Microsoft’s 2004 contract with UNESCO to create a global education system. Gates has paid $173 million so far to create and promote Common Core. The Utah State Office of Education didn’t even know who was on the drafting committee until the standards were written, which happens to be AFTER Utah adopted them.

“WHEREAS, the process used to write the standards ensured they were informed by the best state and international standards, the best student test scores, the experience of teachers, content experts, states, leading thinkers, feedback from the general public, and the most important international models, as well as research and input from numerous sources, including state departments of education, scholars, assessment developers, and professional organizations;”

You’ve got to be kidding me. First, it’s well established that the Common Core standards were never internationally benchmarked.

Second, does anyone seriously think that the standards were “informed by the best” student test scores?”

“Leading thinkers?” The leading thinkers were on the validation committees and upon reviewing them opted to NOT endorse the standards.

Feedback from the general public? The Utah state office only held a public meeting as a formality due to complaints after they adopted the standards.

“WHEREAS, the Utah State Board of Education began the effort to revise its mathematics core standards in 2007 after concerns were raised about the rigor of the state’s current standards;”

Yes, concerns were raised and the 2007 standards were a great improvement. In fact, those standards had most students finishing algebra 1 in 8th grade so most students could take an authentic calculus class by 12th grade. Unfortunately, Common Core pushes completion of algebra 1 to 9th grade, so most students will never get calculus by the time they graduate, just pre-calculus.

The rest of this bill is so full of nonsense I just can’t even bring myself to comment on it. Here are a couple examples.

“WHEREAS, while Utah Core Standards help teachers organize and prepare for instruction, like building codes help an architect prepare a blueprint, the curricula used to implement the Utah Core Standards varies according to district or charter school needs, like homes built using building standards or codes are not identical, but are built based on the needs and values of the owner while still following the building code;”

“WHEREAS, the Utah Core Standards are based on college, career, and civic readiness that lead to honest labor and are designed for the greater common good of Utah’s citizens:”

My guess is that someone from the State Office of Education drafted this in an attempt to convince legislators and the public that Common Core is really great, magically turning fiction into fact.

Common Core is the biggest education boondoggle foisted upon the American people, and it will prove to be worse as time goes on. How will Utah students be better prepared than anyone else in the United States when they are being commonly trained for the same jobs? Someone needs to jump ahead, and Utah should be that state.

Please contact your legislators and tell them not to be duped by such insanity and to vote against HJR 8.


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