What’s your story?

I got an email late Friday night, before the State convention, asking if I’d have both a 1 and 2 minute speech prepared for the GOP resolution opposing Common Core.  Of course I would!  The hard part was trying to determine what I would say in 2 minutes or less.  How do you narrow down a gigantic tangled web of monstrosity into a short concise message?  I was also living on 3 hours of sleep as I’d been working on adding to Allyson’s rebuttal to the USOE’s flier and adding all the sources.  I was tired and had to get up at 4:30 to make it to the convention in time.  Ahhh!

All I could do at that point was write down a few bullet point of things I wanted to cover and then hope it all came together in the morning.  I slept soundly and woke up early but pushed snooze until 5 AM and then was on my way.  I saw my dear friend Christel when I got there and told her I needed to write my speech still so I’d brought my laptop.  She said, “I wrote it for you on the way down the canyon.”  She went over and put some final touches on her thoughts.  I didn’t end up using Christel’s words but will post them below.

After spending 3 hours talking to person after person about Common Core, I finally made my way to the convention floor.  It was a long day and I very much enjoyed being a part of the process and talking with so many people that I’ve come to know over the past year.  Midway through the day my speech started to come to me.  I wrote down a short version and a longer version.

The time was getting close.  I was watching the mics closely to make sure I’d get a chance to speak.  There were lots of people lining up for the other resolutions and I wondered if some were lined up already to speak about Common Core.  I went up and asked and those standing in line were waiting to speak about immigration.  Phew…  A little more time.

The time came and some of the men from the previous resolution didn’t leave.  I was nervous that they were all there to speak to the opposing argument but the case wasn’t so.  They were there to speak for the resolution.  I then knew I wouldn’t get a chance to speak but I am thrilled how things turned out.  By the time the speeches were over I was surprised at the length of the lines.  Did you have something to say that you didn’t get to say?

Here are the words to my longer version:

Common Core is NOT just standards.  Common Core is just one aspect of a much larger education reform package the President calls his “cradle to career” reform.  The push to strip local control in favor of centralizing or nationalizing education is not new, but the Obama administration has sought to “fundamentally shift the federal role in education” through coercive grants and waivers.

The Governor is right.  Utah MUST lead so let’s NOT follow 45 other states down a path toward a centralized education system.  We can’t lead by following.

This supposed state-led initiative is led by the National Governor’s Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers or the state’s superintendents.  While those sound like official government organizations, they are NOT.  These private organizations are funded by both private businesses and the Federal government.  They are not held accountable to the people or held subject to open meeting laws.

Changing the name to Utah core doesn’t change who controls the standards.  We DO NOT own the copyright.

As Governor Nikki Haley said, states “shouldn’t relinquish control to a consensus of states any more than the Federal Government.”


My friend JaKell did make it up to the microphone and here are her words:

In September 2011, Senator Marco Rubio wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Education stating that the Obama administration bypassed Congress to coerce states into adopting Common Core. He stated that they were violating 3 federal laws and our Constitutional structure by issuing waivers to states from No Child Left Behind IF we would adopt Common Core.
In February 2012, I asked my father, a retired Utah Appellate Court judge to read the waiver Obama’s administration issued to Utah. He did. He said, “It reads like Medicaid. It could bankrupt us.”
Mitt Romney said, “I don’t subscribe to the idea of the federal government trying to push a Common Core on States, and the reason is that there may be a time when the government has an agenda it wants to promote.”
That time has arrived. Obama’s 2020 Vision Roadmap outlines the agenda:
1. Control education
2. Compel states into Resource Distribution
3. “Direct Remedy” any failure to comply
Vote YES for this resolution and encourage our State leaders to restore our representation in education.
Christel’s words:
Is Not a Utah Standards Initiative:
Teachers, administrators and parents governed by Common Core were given no voice in the creation or adoption of Common Core.  Now that we’re governed by it, how many realize that there is no amendment process?
Despite the term state-led, Common Core was not vetted by Utah legislators and teachers and parents were bypassed.   Our State Board and Governor were not elected to give away our state authority, nor to represent us on a national stage.
Inferior Standards:
Common Core rests on untested, un-piloted, unproven theories such as the theory that replacing much of our classical literature with information texts will better prepare students for college, or that slowing down the time at which math algorithms are taught would somehow benefit students  or create “international competitiveness.”  (This is hogwash.)
Unelected Boards and Consortia:
The National Governor’s Association and Council of Chief State School Officers developed and copyrighted Common Core.  Neither is a transparent organization and neither is accountable to voters.  Utah’s current testing group AIR is partnered with Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortia, a federally funded Common Core testing consortia.
Let me remind you that under the 10th Amendment and GEPA (General Education and Provisions Act) law, the Federal government has no business doing federal reviews of CC tests, or promoting common standards, nor writing waivers contingent on federal standards.

What would you have said?  If you were in line on Saturday and had a story to tell, we want to hear it.  Please share in the comments below.


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