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My view: Common Core an assault on liberties

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  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 13, 2013 9:06 a.m.

    I am assuming that the nomenclature of “Utah Delegates” applies to people at the Republican Nominating Convention. Their goal would therefore be to nominate government representatives who would favor local control over any outside, especially federal, involvement.

    While the favorite argument against the outside is all about liberty for local masters, the real motivation is very probable commercial indoctrination at the desires of the local businesses.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 13, 2013 9:08 a.m.

    Time for repubs to deal with it. The time to debate the common core has already come and gone. It is here to stay. Deal with it

  • GZE SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    June 13, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    Yes, our education system in Utah is the envy of the nation. There is absolutley no need to try something different. Please ....

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 13, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    I don't think Common Core is as evil as some people think. It's well intended, but I agree that it's just an over-reach by the national government to try to mandate what must be taught in schools from Washington DC.

    What is taught and how it's taught should be decided at the most local level possible. And I'm not talking about the State. Or the District. I'm talking about the school. Where parents can go to school meetings and be heard, or go to school administrators and not just hear "We can't change anything, it's mandated by the State or by Washington DC".

    What does some group in Washington DC know about our local values, local concerns, local issues that need to be addressed in our schools? They don't. They can't. That's why schools need to feel free to educate their way (the way the local parent's want it done).

    In Vermont they have more local control of their schools. Each school is funded locally (leads to higher property taxes but more local involvement because you voted on the higher tax to improve your local school)

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 13, 2013 9:54 a.m.

    It's attitudes like Maverick's that concern me. The "We won.. the nation decided.. the debate is over, if you don't like the national education beuro's decision you had no say in that's too bad deal with it", type of attitude.

    That's why I don't like decisions being handed down from Washington DC. Because people like you get all... "If you don't like what the group in DC decided too bad deal with it... it's the nation's decision, not yours", type of attitude.

    That's what bothers me about big_government fan_boys.

    GZE,
    Do we need to keep changing until the Nation approves???

    Actually Utah's education system IS the envy of the nation in some areas. Many States are trying to find how we do such a good job with so little money, and how we get such good graduation rates, and the highest rate of children going on to secondary education in the nation.

    We have more work to do in Utah, and funding issues to address in Utah... but Common Corer doesn't answer these.

  • utahprincipal801 Sandy, UT
    June 13, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    I don't understand why people in this state have issues with defining what kids ought to know in certain grades compared with other students throughout the country. As an educator since 1971, I have nothing but applause for citizens for finally coming together to decide what kids should be able to know, do and benchmarks that show that. I want to know what my grandchildren are expected to know and do, at each grade level and also if they meet a national as well as state standard wherever they live. When teaching twenty years ago, we finally were coming up with curriculum maps for the year for each grade so that we knew we were covering the critical concepts. Imagine that your child was being taught without a "roadmap" of the curriculum throughout the year. That is how most teachers taught then, and would still do so without the "Common Core".

  • marathonman Heber City, UT
    June 13, 2013 11:11 a.m.

    “To tell the truth is not just to state the true facts, but to convey a true impression.”

    My problem with Common Core opponents is captured in this Robert Louis Stevenson quote. To get their way, opponents must frighten people by telling half the story, using buzzwords like “Washington” and even fudging their own credentials.

    Even here, the author continues to convey the impression that she’s a Utah teacher -- and one who left teaching because of CC (on Beck’s show). I find no record of her actually teaching in the last seven years – even that was in charter schools before CC was developed not by DC, but by Governors (many Republicans).

    Another example is continual references to “… reduction of literary study …”. This is another canard in the anti-CC argument. Under CC, districts would only reduce literature if they choose. CC simply calls for more reading of informational texts – which has turned out, ironically, to be things like the Constitution and inaugural addresses. And even the Robert Louis Stevenson (classic) essay from which the above quote comes.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 13, 2013 11:22 a.m.

    utahprincipal801,
    I don't understand why we need people in Washington telling us what kids ought to know.

    That doesn't need a national debate to me. They ought to know as much as they can at that age. And that isn't a one_size_fits_all thing. Not all kids are capable of leaning as much at every age as other kids.

    I think parents and teachers learn what each kid is capable of and adapt to it. National think tanks and Common Core writers may know the MINIMUM kids should know, but not what YOUR kid should know. Most kids are capable of understanding WAY more than is in Common Core. But if Common Core is all that is expected/required... I'm afraid some teachers may teach to the test and only teach what is required for Common Core (when so much more COULD be done).

    We already have schools dumbing down curriculum to the lowest common denominator... do we want to NATIONALIZE that lowest common denominator? I think we can do WAY more than Common Core. But I'm afraid teachers are going to accept it as the standard.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 13, 2013 11:35 a.m.

    Is it only in public education that we would reject the wisdom of the larger group of people? Are we rejecting the group wisdom only because it comes from the distrusted government?

    We often accept the large group wisdom in other things like medical care, legal matters, standards for measurement, weight, and all sorts of commercial things used in the American world. They are mostly private individuals.

    Should we let the town doctors decide how to best cure their patients? Should each town decide how to plug into electricity?

    Is the education needed different for different states and towns? Do we take away a persons freedom to move about the country by providing a custom education applicable only to where he is born?

    Is local education desired as an enslavement tool by some with ulterior motives?

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    June 13, 2013 11:54 a.m.

    2bits- "National think tanks and Common Core writers may know the MINIMUM kids should know, but not what YOUR kid should know." Which is exactly why common core is put out as national MINIMUM standards to be adapted by local school boards. If local schools don't succeed or push beyond the minimum standards they ought to be held accountable. Locally.

    Ultra Bob- "Are we rejecting it because it comes from the distrusted government?" No, we're afraid of it because we've been told it comes from the Obama feds, even though that's patently false.

    However, if HAD come from the Feds under a republican administration you wouldn't hear a constitutional whisper from this vocal minority. Kind of like NSA monitoring - fine as long as W was in charge. Just more obstruction, just misplaced this time because of purposeful mislabeling.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 13, 2013 12:31 p.m.

    To "2 bits" I don't think that people understand what the purpose of Common Core is. Education is only secondary. According to the Common Core website, the assesments are being used to "Create economies of scale". If you look into what an "economy of scale" is you find that it is a business term where a corporation optimizes its resources for a desired output. In other words, the government wants to test your children so that they can decide for your children what career would be the most efficient use of government money.

    Does the US seem like the type of nation that should be deciding for you what your career will be?

    To "utahprincipal801" and others who support Common Core. Ask yourself this, did the No Child Left Behind program work? If it worked, why do we need this program. If it didn't work, do you really trust those same organizations to give us a better standard?

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 13, 2013 12:40 p.m.

    Fear.

    Is that all the radical right can do now?

    Scare us?

    Why should we let local hicks and hillbillies determine our educational standards? Do they not realize that America is in an economic war with other countries? No longer can we disregard science, history, and reading and writing skills. The minimum standards are about 3 decades overdue. Enough with the local standards which have endorsed mediocrity. Set the standards and then let localities increase them from there. But no more of this local nonsense of no standards and merely turning biology and history into seminary lessons. Enough of this "kick the can down the road" approach so common amongst the GOP.

  • mamiejane Salt Lake City, UT
    June 13, 2013 1:18 p.m.

    The Deseret News editor needs to step in and clarify Utah State Delegates to what? Since the author thinks this vote should be dispositive, we are entitled to know who she is talking about.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 13, 2013 1:38 p.m.

    Maverick,
    "hicks and hillbillies" huh... So classy. Reminds me why your stereotype based views have no credibility with people who can see past your stereotypes and see people as people and not your stereotypes of people.

  • marathonman Heber City, UT
    June 13, 2013 2:28 p.m.

    Redshirt,
    "..did the No Child Left Behind program work?" Nope. That's why state governors and educators pushed for trying something else. Common Core is the result of that effort. If it doesn't work, we'll try something else. But we need a coordinated approach to compete. And we don't need to fear coordinating with other states as long as we have flexibility to improve upon the standard. Before worrying about caps on how much can be added to these standards, we should try to achieve them.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 13, 2013 4:07 p.m.

    To "marathonman" are you familiar with the definition of insanity given by Einstein. "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Why keep going back to the federal government and expecting better results? Why not look to history when education standards were higher or else the standards encouraged more knowledge to be taught. See the NAS report "Today’s College Students and Yesteryear’s High School Grads: A Comparison of General Cultural Knowledge" where they find that kids in 1957 knew more about general culture than kids today. There are also studies out there that show how the language used in textbooks from 60 years ago (or more) was more advanced than the language in modern textbooks.

    The government has been watering down the education. Take a look at "Solving America’s Math Problem" at EducationNext. They have a picture showing how watered down a pre-algebra book is now compared to 100 years ago.

    So again, why keep going down the same road if 100 years ago they had higher standards? Shouldn't we look to the past for answers to our future?

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 13, 2013 5:49 p.m.

    Why are repubs constantly being "assaulted" and attacked? They are constantly on red alert and being made to be "victims."

    Are they not fighting anyone or anything? Or are they merely taking punishment?

    I sense a growing fatigue of the general population towards the GOP's fear-mongering and paranoia. We aren't falling for their old bags of tricks anymore. Sorry fox and AM radio! Better try something else!

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    June 13, 2013 11:38 p.m.

    Redshirt, einstein's definition could apply to your comments. How many times do you have to be shown that common core is not a federal program before you stop saying it. Again, "no child" was a federal program; common core is the states trying to educate according to common standards.

    No argument from me that knowledge levels are falling. What's your solution besides using old text books? How about setting a minimum standards that can be improved over time?

  • Oak Highland, UT
    June 14, 2013 5:04 a.m.

    Awesome op-ed Christel. They haven't answered the tough questions yet but they'll keep spinning it like the debate is over.

    It's hilarious how some people are grasping at straws above questioning your credentials. How funny that someone is trying to find your teaching credentials just like one of the state school board members, and accusing you of being a liar. To MarathonMan, keep looking. :) Oh, and informational texts also include books recommended by the USOE such as "Children and the United Nations." A small informational booklet on the virtues of the UN that teaches children the benefits of smaller families and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    Mamiejane, please read the first sentence of the article for an answer to your question. Christel said it was 2/3rds of the Utah GOP delegates at their convention that voted for an anti-Common Core resolution. That's a huge margin when you consider that 60% of the delegates voted for Herbert who is a well-known supporter of Common Core.

    "But no more of this local nonsense of no standards and merely turning biology and history into seminary lessons." In violation of state law? Yeah right...

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 14, 2013 7:51 a.m.

    To "Owen" but it is a federal program. If a state adopts the standards they receive.....Federal money. Read "Common Core standards drive wedge in education circles" in USA Today. There they are quite clear that "President Obama, who has tied "college and career-ready standards" to billions in federal grants". If it isn't a federal program, why is it that those who adopt it get federal money? It is like saying Social Security isn't a Federal program.

    You can't set a national set of standards because educators, like anybody else, will typically aim to meet the stanards and nothing more because there is not a reward for exceeding it. Now, when the school standards were set more on the community level, the standards were higher. You should ask why. I would argue that when the standards were set on a community level, it reflected the desires of the people sending their kids to that school, and the motivation for the educator to meet those standards was to either keep their job or else they themselves had kids in those communities and wanted those same standards for thier children.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    June 14, 2013 8:52 p.m.

    Hmnn. I'm curious about why RedShirt left out the sentences surounding his quote from the article. I'll provide them.

    From the US Today story:

    "The story begins in 2009, when the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers announced an effort to create voluntary national standards in math and reading. All but four states — Alaska, Nebraska, Texas and Virginia — quickly signed on to the standards, known as the Common Core, agreeing to help create then implement them by 2014. Their decision was helped partly by [This is where the partial sentence provided by RedShirt goes] Last September, he all but required adoption of the Common Core or similar standards approved by state higher education officials if states want to receive federal waivers from the 2002 No Child Left Behind law. One of the four states, Virginia, applied for a waiver without adopting Common Core and is in negotiations with the administration over its plan."

    Hmnn. Looks like it is a state plan after all. Makes you wonder if RedShirt thinks no one else will read the articles he cites.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    June 14, 2013 9:42 p.m.

    Relax people (ultraconservatives):

    For the common core to be a threat to liberty, I guess it would actually have to work. But education has plenty of other issues, especially in this state. No core is going to work that great when teachers have 40 students plus in their classrooms, when males in the profession of teaching are vanishing because the pay and benefits are so bad, and there is no real accountability for parents and students for the learning of the students (it is all placed on the teachers and schools). It is funny that ultraconservatives, which have no faith in education and teachers generally, actually think the common core is a threat to western civilization. What is it? If our schools are so bad as you claim, teaching the common core won't matter, right? It is only worrisome if it actually works, right?

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    June 16, 2013 7:21 p.m.

    Brigham Young said that 'curriculum is for small minds'. How difficult is it really to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic? Common Core is for those who can't think for themselves. This is not about discovering common threads for learning. It is not about not using the knowledge being used effectively in another state. It is all about control. It is a joke! When parents and teachers can think for themselves, there will be no Common Core. To ignorantly suppose that Common Core is about using all the 'expertise' available on a national level is ludicrous at best. What a joke! This is about all the insecure patronizing small minds getting together and reminding all parents, teachers, and students that they are ignorant, dependent, and useless. How can anyone defend another federal program when a cursory review of everything from the Department of Education from the past has been an utter failure? I want teachers, parents, and individuals to believe in themselves, not a government bureaucrat?

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2013 9:51 a.m.

    "How difficult is it really to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic?"

    Spoken like someone that has never spent one day teaching others. Indeed, if you ever had you would no the answer to that question.

    "It is all about control."

    "To ignorantly suppose that Common Core is about using all the 'expertise' available on a national level is ludicrous at best."

    "This is about all the insecure patronizing small minds getting together and reminding all parents, teachers, and students that they are ignorant, dependent, and useless"

    Can you back up any of these statements with anything other then this is your belief or someone on the radio said it?

    "a cursory review of everything from the Department of Education from the past has been an utter failure?"

    Really? I would wager that you have never done such a "review", nor could you name even three programs the department of education administers. I would bet you could not even name who is its department head.

    "'curriculum is for small minds"

    Really? A curriculum is basically a plan. You want to reach a class without a plan? Again, spoken like someone who has never taught anything.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    June 17, 2013 9:54 a.m.

    " I want teachers, parents, and individuals to believe in themselves, not a government bureaucrat?"

    This is a question? You are not sure what you want?

    Hmnn. . . Clearly education has failed some people.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    June 17, 2013 10:46 a.m.

    As I said, I cursory review of what the Department of Education has done is useless unless one actually understands the words of the Constitution, which prohibits the federal government from administering it in the first place. As a teacher for over 20 years, I can tell you that there is absolutely nothing that has come from the federal government that couldn't be more effectively administered at the state level. If you wanted to change education overnight, close it down and send the money directly to the states or the parents. You either believe in liberty or not! It is not difficult to teach the fundamentals of reading and writing, etc. What is difficult is untangling the plethora of federal government mandates that dumb down everything that would actually help educate a child learn to read and write. The roller coaster ride of 'ideas' that are going to 'fix' education, including the most recent monstrosity, No Child Left Behind, are so embedded with excuses, quick fixes, ignorance, and bureaucratic malaise, it is an absolute mystery to me how anyone could defend the federal oversight of anything, especially education.

  • mark Salt Lake City, UT
    June 18, 2013 12:50 a.m.

    "As I said, I cursory review of what the Department of Education has done is useless unless one actually understands the words of the Constitution, "

    No it's not, that's not what you said. What's up with you guys? You don't even realize that what you said is written here. I mean, I know you guys like to pretend you say stuff you don't. But really?!

    You were a teacher? Hahahaha! Okay. So it was pretty easy teaching without a curriculum, huh? Hahahaha. Okay. But you are pretty anti government judging from your comments on these boards. How's that government pension working for you? Haha. Whatever.

    "it is an absolute mystery to me how anyone could defend the federal oversight of anything,"

    Hmnn. Really ? I think it's rather easy to defend federal oversight of the military. You, obviously, would prefer they function on their own.

    What a joke.

  • Cherilyn Eagar Holladay, UT
    June 18, 2013 11:02 a.m.

    It should be a concern to everyone to know that when the states, educators and teachers agreed that they disliked No Child Left Behind, that the US Dept. of Ed. provided a waiver. In order to get that waiver and additional federal stimulus money and grants, the states had to adopt Common Core Standards, sight unseen. The standards hadn't even been written yet. Oh, and did I mention that if a state didn't adopt the Common Core in lieu of NCLB, substantial earmarks would either be lost or defunded - earmarks that would eliminate thousands of jobs. This is how the federal government plays hard ball with the states. We are so focused on corruption in the AG's office, we are losing sight of the fact that government has become synonymous with corruption. Meanwhile, our kids are being sold.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    June 19, 2013 8:44 a.m.

    The new core expects students to cite textual evidence to back up their claims. Perhaps we could all learn from that expectation and start finding proof for our arguments instead of focusing rumors and emotion. So, here's some textual evidence to back up my claim:

    Reading Standard 1 for Grade 6 - Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

    Writing Standart 1 for Grade 6 - Write arguments with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

    In other words, an opinion is just an opinion until you prove it with evidence.

    What is missing from the common core is any required texts for the students to use. That is up to the individual teachers and schools to determine.