Tim Roper’s Story

Tim Roper is running for Davis School District’s board against current board president Tamra Lowe. Please like his FB page if you are in Davis school district and contact him to help with his campaign.


Tim’s son was just threatened with an “opps” ticket if he didn’t start doing math the right way instead of the way his parents taught him. An opps ticket gets you sent to the principal for a chat. The teacher sent a letter home this week telling parents to stop teaching the kids standard math and they would learn that in the 5th grade. She sent a packet with example division problems to work which was incomprehensible.

Unfortunately, Tim’s story is all too familiar. I got my start in education advocacy 10 years ago when my daughter’s teacher hadn’t been teaching students the times tables and I asked why near the end of her 3rd grade school year. The reply? “It’s not part of the curriculum.” Huh? I asked, “well how do you expect students to learn the times tables?” Teacher: “Well, the smart kids will just pick it up as they go.” (this was a 22 year veteran teacher). I bought flashcards that day.

The next year my daughter was in 4th grade under the same torturous constructivist math program known as Investigations math. One day I came home to find her sitting in the kitchen with a piece of paper with circles all over it. 120 to be exact. She was carefully drawing lines down the page and I asked what she was doing. She said, “long division.” I was stunned. I said, “why aren’t you doing it the way I taught you?” She immediately burst into tears and replied, “I’m not allowed to.” My math crusade had begun.

At one point I was invited by Brett Moulding, the state curriculum director, to visit him in his office. He asked me, “Oak, you’re a parent who is very involved in your children’s education. How can we get other parents so involved in their children’s education?” I replied, “Easy, just implement Investigations math statewide.” I had no idea that tongue-in-cheek suggestion would be taken literally and implemented through Common Core math.

When the state implemented Common Core, I knew it was only a matter of time until parents like Tim around the state became incensed. In Alpine School District, there was a flood of parents creating charter schools and putting their children in them to get better math (such as using Saxon).

If you are a frustrated parent, what can you do?

1) Run for school board. Even if you don’t intend to run all the way, toss your name on the ballot to send a signal to the district and state that you are frustrated enough to run. Find others to do it as well. By doing so, you’ll be taking out a low cost ad against Common Core. Let the media have a field day asking people why they are running and getting hundreds of “Common Core” answers. Look up on your county website if your area’s seat is up for grabs, both local district and state school board.

2) Attend school board meetings. Last fall when classes started, people were attending board meetings and complaining about Common Core. That has probably ended in most districts.

3) Teach your children math. They need to know efficient algorithms for solving problems. I love Singapore math (the Primary math series). I even created a site to tout its benefits a few years ago, hoping Utah would pilot this math series that allowed Singapore to become the math leader in the world.




7 thoughts on “Tim Roper’s Story”

  1. Dear Mr. Roper,
    My children are grown and I taught one of them at home because I knew I could do better than his teacher at school. I taught him about place holders, addition, subtraction and fractions. We learned multiplication by rote repetition and long division. I taught him standard measurements and simple algebraic expression. I even was able to teach him the beginnings of the metric system. He still has the a great understanding of practical math and it’s everyday uses. I HATE COMMON CORE!!!!!!!!! I believe it is meant to separate children from their parents and to turn to the system for help. Pete Cannon is my neighbor and I so appreciate him for his endless efforts in exposing this government take over of our children’s minds. I am sad as there are some that see anyone who bucks the system as a bit of a radical. How do we convince the young parents that the status quo will not do? You have my vote and anyone else I can convince. Thanks for running!

    1. I turn 37 in March and have five kids who are full of energy. My nine year old has a passion for history and especially WWII history so I have to stay ahead of the game to help guide him and my other children. Most parents I speak with just feel helpless as to what to do or they feel intimidated by those in charge. This spring I look forward to hitting the streets and going door to door to help anyone who will listen see why we need be involved no matter what they believe. I have had the opportunity to help wake up many people around me to the issues facing education and it seems to be this happens when it starts hitting home and they learn that this is not just in other schools or other states. I hope to show these parents that we do have a voice and we can lead the way to provide our children with a great education to be the leaders of the future. On this or any other issue facing education from common core to how taxes are used in education I want everyone to be informed. I know it can be done. Thanks for your vote and I appreciate any help in getting others to vote for me as well. I am in this to the very end.

  2. I have both grandchildren and great grandchildren in the Davis County Schools. Several years ago I withdrew my children from the public school system here in Davis County and home taught them. We used the Saxon Math Program and they have all done well in Math skills. I would be happy to help elect someone who can help us straighten out our public school system here in Utah.

  3. So am I correct to understand that you Oak created the website: Utah’s Math Future? There is a link on that site that leads to a Training site to train teachers to implement The Common Core standards using the Singapore method. Are there different methods being used in Utah to teach the Common Core? Isn’t the Utah State School board training teachers to use Investigations/Connective math?

    1. Yes I did, and thanks for pointing out that link issue. They used to just train teachers in Singapore math. I haven’t followed that link in years. I’m taking the link off right now.
      The state board doesn’t train teachers but the state office of education (“under the direction of the board”) implemented Common Core in the integrated math way specifically so they could move Utah in a constructivist direction.

  4. Thank you Oak for the great article! I have already had a great outreach from those that want to help. I know this will be an uphill battle but one I am willing to take. I will admit I had no intentions of running for the school board but after recent events I can not take it anymore. I have educated myself on common core but did not think of myself as one that would be able to change it. I have always been involved and stay connected with issues. I have felt for a long time that I had something to do to help more in my community. I have taken a path through many groups that have great good to offer. Little did I know my path was leading me to running for the Davis County School Board. I need all the help I can get so please let me know.

    1. Tim, 10 years ago if someone had told me my path would lead in this direction I’d have said they were crazy. Thank goodness for a supportive family. :) Thank you for doing what you’re doing.

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