Quantcast
Opinion

In our opinion: It's time to scrutinize Common Core standards through rigorous review process

Comments

Return To Article
  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    July 21, 2014 12:42 a.m.

    I have some issues with the common core and have repeatedly stated I'm not a fan of the testing, which existed before the common core. I think we have deeper issues like class size and doing things to attract and retain teachers, all of which have nothing to do with the common core. But with that said I have one question to ask Oklahoma:

    So what exactly what will your curriculum be?

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    July 21, 2014 1:59 a.m.

    This one's a no brainer. It's about dumbing down the smarter kids so they don't make the "disadvantaged" kids feel left out. Common core is an uncommon massive mistake.

  • E Sam Provo, UT
    July 21, 2014 6:08 a.m.

    The problem has little to do with the standards, or with Common Core itself. The problem is testing. End-of-year standardized tests, by their very existence warp the teaching process. I know the buzz word is 'accountability', but it's an artificial accountability that has to enforced by threats and statistical measures. Finland's education system is the model to which we should aspire. First step to achieving it: end testing now. Of course, subject matter tests, carefully graded, can be a valuable pedagogical tool, if test results are kept entirely confidential, between teacher, student, and possibly, occasionally, the child's parents. But no test result should ever be shared with any government entity, or even with school administrators.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    July 21, 2014 6:22 a.m.

    Without going too far into the woods on this, why is it a problem that a child who graduates from high school in West Virginia has the same proficiencies as a child who graduates from California? Does one state seek to have "dumber" kids than another?

    I don't have a dog in this hunt, but it sure seems silly to me that an American child would get one education in Utah, and another in Mississippi.

  • Me an Der Lees Summit, MO
    July 21, 2014 6:23 a.m.

    Probably you have heard the quip about the guy who left his work place each day with a wheelbarrow full of straw. Upon examination it was determined that he did not have anything hidden under the straw. The inspectors did not realize they were the wheelbarrows he was stealing.

    Same thing with Common Core. It is not the "standards" that are sooooo much the problem (however stupid they may be) it is the mechanism of control by the federal government that is being stolen. Once in control of the system, the feds can alter the standards in any way they wish because the states and local system are HOOKED.

  • bill in af American Fork, UT
    July 21, 2014 7:34 a.m.

    I agree with this article. As an educator for 38 years, I have seen a growing lack of respect for the education community encouraged by the far right of the republican party. Many of these people appear to be "active" members of the LDS church. They will criticize anything done in education for their own personal political benefit. Common Core is just one target that they continue to spread misinformation (also known as lies) to undermine the education of a majority of the children in our state. I support the Governor in his common sense approach to really clear the air and UNDERSTAND what CC really is and how it affects our children. The standards are an improvement over what NCLB was (a republican national program). There may be concerns about the math aspects of CC. If so, adjustments will be made. Anyone who looks at the language arts/social studies/ science CC will be hard pressed to find fault. As a teacher, I am not controlled in how I teach or what text book I use to accomplish these standards. I, like most teachers I know, live by the same standards most good parents in Utah do.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    July 21, 2014 8:08 a.m.

    The latest attack by the fringe, radical, right wing elements in our country are nothing more than another attmept to de-fund and marginalize public education. We're spending a lot less, per pupil, on education than we did 20 years ago and attacking common core is just another tactic for the right wing radicals to continue de-funding education. People need to wake up and see what the religous right is trying to do to our country. Liberal education is one of the key foundations to a strong, progressive, competitive society.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 21, 2014 8:28 a.m.

    Re". . . time to scrutinize Common Core standards . . . ."

    Way, way past time. And not just Common Core [thought that's a good start], but the whole state curriculum.

    I remember an heroic history/civics teacher of two of my children -- he had to make up his own extra-credit crossword puzzle handouts, in order to teach the history and civics knowledge he and I [and every American generation, until this one] received as a child, but which are mostly absent from today's dumbed-down, touchy-feely, UEA/NEA-approved curricula. Things like the preamble to the Constitution, the Gettysburg address, the Declaration of Independence, and many, many Utah statehood facts.

    Sadly, gone are the days when we could just trust our children's education to educators. Too many have either become soldiers in the war against America, or abrogated their thinking to their union bosses, all of whom are proud socialist warriors.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 21, 2014 8:32 a.m.

    Re: "Liberal education is one of the key foundations to a strong, progressive, competitive society."

    Another proud socialist warrior. I'll bet it'd be interesting to the parents involved to know which schools he's the union boss over.

  • Jennifer Huefner Garden City, UT
    July 21, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    Why is it that the governor doesn't want any comments about Common Core unless they address the standards themselves when it's not the standards that are the biggest concern? I know that for those of us still interested in LIMITED GOVERNMENT, it's the power the state is giving to the federal government that is of greatest concern. Once we give that power away, it will not be given back to us. Our founding fathers wisely left most powers to the states. Why are so many willing to give such power to the federal government? Why are so many, including Gov. Herbert and our state school board ok with the manner in which Common Core did NOT go through the legislative process? These issues are much more bothersome to me than the standards, although I don't like the standards either. I'm really bugged that if I don't like how math is taught at my school, I can't move my kids to another school that does it different and better. Since when are we as Americans so interested in sameness?!

  • Atlas Smashed Santa Monica, CA
    July 21, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    Hasn't this been discussed ad nauseam?

    The Eagle Forum will never be happy.

    Just ignore them and move on.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    July 21, 2014 8:44 a.m.

    If the United States hopes to compete in the future global market place than it will need a strong common core. While the current standards are not perfect they are a start and the longer we fight against this the more we fall behind. There are other aspects of our education system that need work as well but this is a key feature that should have been adopted decades ago.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    July 21, 2014 8:46 a.m.

    Baloney. Federal bureaucrats have no stake in Common Core. It happened without them and is proceeding without them. The Eagle Forum-ers are having childish nightmares while our governor goes prostrate in front of them.

    As a former educator, I've reviewed Common Core standards. I find them intelligent, adaptable, and even intriguing. Schools that live by these standards will produce students who are more capable thinkers.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    July 21, 2014 8:46 a.m.

    By all means review. Comments from educators already using the standards should outweigh all others. Comments not related to specific standards should be immediately deleted. Look at the list of states not adopting or backing out of national standards. Why would we want to join that list?

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    July 21, 2014 8:49 a.m.

    @Procurador,
    Your heroic teacher is pulling your leg. In examining the Davis curriculum myself, I can see plainly that every single item of history you mention is explicitly covered in that curriculum. If your heroic friend really did have to develop his own curriculum, it's not because the curriculum didn't exist.

  • junkgeek Agua Dulce, TX
    July 21, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    Utah just wants to keep standards low.

  • Michael Shea, MD Yuma, AZ
    July 21, 2014 9:00 a.m.

    Just what, exactly, is "liberal education?" Is that the sort of education that has replaced traditional American "religious" values in the classroom with an opposing social bias of dubious distinction? Clearly, our educational system has deteriorated during the last 50 years. Maybe those who keep trying to "improve" it should consider whether whether what they are doing is right or delusional. Personally, I think there is a lot of delusion out there.

  • bill in af American Fork, UT
    July 21, 2014 9:19 a.m.

    procuadorfical...
    Again spreading more false statements about education. Your "heroic" teacher was probably some football coach who had no idea what was in the social studies core. As a teacher for 38 years, I personally know that teachers in Alpine District do a very good job of helping students understand every one of the examples you mentioned. Accurate history and civics is alive and well in public education despite what those of the far right would lead us to believe otherwise.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    July 21, 2014 9:20 a.m.

    As an educator, I can promise you without hesitation, that the Eagle Forum doesn't have any credibility on this issue. They've run a smear campaign and really don't care about our children. If they did, then they would be protesting the #1 issue that affects our children, funding.

    Why isn't the Eagle Forum demanding a meeting with the governor to discuss our dead last in per pupil funding? Why don't they lobby to raise teacher salaries to keep good educators in education? Where's their outrage when we have so many students that some must sit on the floor and not in a desk?

    It's clear that they have an anti-public education agenda. I suggest we ignore the static and move on. No amount of discussing the common core will satisfy them.

  • TilleySue South Weber, UT
    July 21, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    Ummm... Isn't Governor Herbert the the one who helped "create" and then sign on to the Common Core? Doesn't he know it inside and out? Why then is he now calling for a review? Looks like nothing more than a media show to me.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 21, 2014 10:16 a.m.

    Re: "Your "heroic" teacher was probably some football coach . . . ."

    As a matter of fact, he was in fact, a football coach, until football was abolished at our kids' school. But, having personally reviewed the textbook he was required to use, I can attest that none of the issues I mentioned were covered in that book. And, since formal Civics instruction was merged into history [in essence, abolished], there was no other class that taught these principles in the high school curriculum.

    You're entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own facts.

    Conscience required this heroic coach/teacher/mentor to do a lot on his own, most of which, because of his low-key approach to excellence, we'll probably never know. This included working with American Legion's Boys/Girls State program and teacher-funded history parties, as well as his extra-credit handouts. He was excoriated for not embracing Utah's trade-union-dictated ruling pedagogical agenda -- dumbing-down education -- but he stuck it out to retirement.

    Thank God for him! And for Utah parents smart enough to reject UEA/NEA it-can't-happen-here bilge.

  • bradleyc Layton, UT
    July 21, 2014 10:17 a.m.

    The common core is a really good set of standards. We should be reviewing the standards for what they are rather than using them as a political football. This should be about kids. I love the common core, we need a common set of standards, the far right 10 years ago wanted accountability and now that we have a common set of standards it will be much easier to know what teachers are supposed to be teaching, know whether or not they are teaching those standards, and provide professional development when someone is falling short. This is awesome. Leave it alone.

  • Woodworker Highland, UT
    July 21, 2014 10:45 a.m.

    I have been in education for over 30 yrs. I have taught college, high school, jr. high, and elementary students. I am not a member of any political party, nor do I believe in them. As the state examines the Common Core standards, I hope they will take time to speak with veteran teachers in the classroom. It has been my experience, through several sets of standards, that no human being has the TIME and sometimes the MEANS to be able to finish all the standards listed. It is better to teach less standards in depth than just skim the surface in a rush. Trust me, we need to cover less ground in the year, especially at the elementary level. Thank you for considering my viewpoint.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    July 21, 2014 11:25 a.m.

    I think the problem that some people have with the Common Core is that it teaches students how to think for themselves. Notice, I said it teaches them how to think for themselves, not what they should think; that is a scary concept for some people.

    The language arts core, for example, focuses on evidence-based writing. That means that when the student chooses a particular side of an argument, the child must then provide textual proof from a variety of sources to back up their claim. Students are learning to take a look at multiple perspectives of an issue with the accompanying evidence to help them draw their own conclusions.

    So, in the spirit of the common core, I would like to invite procuradorfiscal to provide evidence of the poor choice of textbooks that his children were using. Provide the names of the textbooks so that we can draw our own conclusions. One caveat, however: You cannot blame the textbook choices to the common core. That choice is made at the school district level.

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, UT
    July 21, 2014 12:00 p.m.

    From my understanding, the standards themselves are not a problem. They are not "dumbed down" from the old standards designed to hold back the higher achieving kids. I understand that the problem is the literature. It sounds like it is less patriotic than the old curriculum, taking things like the Preamble out (they may be in the "standards", but not in the texts). Overall it sounds like social studies teachers are being pushed into a liberal (and apologetic) agenda.

    I am a teacher as well. In my experience it seems that, as Woodworker said, there is too much to learn in the year.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    July 21, 2014 12:18 p.m.

    I'm with Real Maverick. I wish the governor would study why having say 45 students in a Government class is a bad idea.
    We are truly lost in the weeds on this issue...

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    July 21, 2014 12:18 p.m.

    As somebody who is actually in the trenches at secondary education schools here in Utah, I can say through personal experience that the top 2 problems facing education today are:

    1. Lack of funding (dead last in per pupil funding is embarrassing)
    2. The Eagle Forum

    In fact, if the focus is "our children" then why are so many Eagle Forum types not even mentioning our children in their posts? Just look!

    @ Me an Der

    "It is not the "standards" that are sooooo much the problem (however stupid they may be) it is the mechanism of control by the federal government that is being stolen."

    Feds don't have control of CC, but educators. No mention of children here.

    @ procuradorfiscal

    "Too many have either become soldiers in the war against America, or abrogated their thinking to their union bosses, all of whom are proud socialist warriors."

    No mention of the children here either. By the way, when was the last time you actually went into a public education classroom and taught? If you know so much about their "union bosses" then obviously you must have some experience teaching in public education, correct?

    To be continued...

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    July 21, 2014 12:19 p.m.

    To those that say that the standards are fine, you are wrong. The standards are just the beginning of the problems with Common Core.

    I have read the standards. All of the standards fail in the same way. They put advanced topics in front of kids without preparing them for the advanced topics.

    For example, in first grade they have the kids writing predictive essays or persuasive essays about books they have read. That sounds great, until you realize that the kids that age can barely spell and are still learning proper grammar. In addition to not having the basics of writing established, you are asking kids to write down something they can't do verbally.

    The math standards are the same. They teach algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and other advanced concepts before the kids have an understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division.

    On top of not teaching the basics, they are now going to be tested at least 2 times per year on the standards. Each test period lasts about 1 week. With the disruption to teaching and test preparation, that means that teachers will lose 4 weeks of instruction time.

  • Mom of Six Northern Utah, UT
    July 21, 2014 12:20 p.m.

    The problems with education today stem more on the ills of society rather than on any set curriculum. As a teacher, I am expected to protect a child's self esteem, teach them moral lessons on anti-bullying and why we should treat everyone appropriately, cater to every students learning style, listen attentively to family problems and at the same time make sure I am teaching reading, writing, math, science and social studies with perfect accuracy. All for a mere $35K per year! All jokes aside; However, I am no fan of common core. I supported it at first, but feel after teaching it for two years that it is very weak in some areas, and not developmentally appropriate in others. As a state, we need to trim down inflated salaries of administration and school boards or require that those who set the curriculum to teach in the classroom for at least 1 of every five years in a cyclic system. I can dream...can't I?

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    July 21, 2014 12:27 p.m.

    Continued from above

    @ Jennifer Huefner

    "Our founding fathers wisely left most powers to the states. Why are so many willing to give such power to the federal government?"

    Once again, no mention of the children here. Jennifer, when was the last time you actually interviewed a public education teacher to find out what their top concerns were? When was the last time you taught a day in a public education classroom?

    Not one mention of the children from the anti-CC crowd. Yet, plenty of anti-federal government statements. So is the concern really over our children? Or is the concern over political football?

    While you Eagle Forum/Anti-Common Core folks are passing notes to legislators during the day, just look at what educators have said throughout this discussion. Every single one of them mentions our children.

    @ Howard Beal, Bill in AF, Irony Guy, and other fellow educators here:

    When was the last time your representative came to your classroom? When was the last time they taught a lesson in your classroom? When was the last time they asked you what your concerns were?

    Telling, isn't it?

    Rather than meet with Gayle, Herbert should meet with educators.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    July 21, 2014 12:32 p.m.

    Procuracafishcadorporal -- please look up the definition of "liberal education." It's not what you seem to think it is.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    July 21, 2014 12:34 p.m.

    To "The Real Maverick" actually, those are lies. Utah is 10th in the nation for the percent of its budget spent on education, so we are not dead last. We are in the top 10 when it comes to spending on education. Plus, there is no correlation between spending and outcomes. If you look at the states that spend more dollars per pupil than Utah, there is no correlation between how much is spent and the outcomes.

    Since you think that the problem is funding, tell us how adding more testing that requires newer computers and has a fee per student applied to it will help make more funding available?

    To "Mom of Six" can you please educate us about how many standardized tests you are required to give your students each year, how many days of instruction are lost to take each test, and how many does of instruction are lost to prepare for each test?

    What do the tests tell you about the student that you couldn't figure out on your own?

  • Mom of Six Northern Utah, UT
    July 21, 2014 12:34 p.m.

    For those of you spouting that opponents of Common Core are right winged....you apparently are not following this on a national level. There are many liberal states and organizations who oppose these standards as well. This is not a left-wing/right-wing issue. This is a... why are we doing this to our children?... issue! On paper these standards look good, but try teaching a 2nd grader how to add and subtract using 10 to 15 methods, or 3rd graders how to read non-fiction paragraphs and prove their point using information from a text, when they are barely mastering reading. Our children are going to be burned out; finding no joy in learning because the teachers have no time to explore the joy. This year in fact, I have to cut out art....there is no time for it in this world of high stakes testing and "wonderful" common core. By the way, the SAGE testing was a total fail this year as well.

  • Atlas Smashed Santa Monica, CA
    July 21, 2014 12:42 p.m.

    @ Redshirt and co

    Why the focus on Common Core and not on funding?

    Why shouldn't big families pay for their decisions? If you decide to have a big family, great!

    But don't skip out on being responsible and actually paying for your personal decisions.

    Why shouldn't big families have to slap some skin into paying for their child's education? Eliminate the child exemption. Why should the tax code relieve big families of their duties while placing the burden on smaller families?

    Everyone needs to slap some skin into financing our education! No exemptions!

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    July 21, 2014 12:43 p.m.

    Woodworker is exactly right.

    As for Procura's claim the textbooks were missing certain precious right wing things, he needs to understand that virtually all our textbooks are written explicitly to try to satisfy the extreme right wing of the State of Texas.

    As for our books not teaching those things -- when I was teaching fourth and fifth grades in Utah schools, ALL those were in our social studies books. My fifth grade students took great pride in memorizing the Preamble, the Gettysburg Address, being able to explain most of the Bill of Rights (some parts are a bit beyond fifth grade capability to understand). Perhaps procura needs to actually try to learn the truth rather than simply spouting stuff he either imagined or heard somewhere from some very questionable sources.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    July 21, 2014 1:03 p.m.

    Wow, you use the word "liberal" to substantiate your argument and many of the DN readers envision some god-less entity encroaching on their well-being. A liberal education is what most Utahns would support if they could get by the word "liberal". Read the following and ask yourself if a liberal education might be just what we are advocating.

    Liberal Education is an approach to learning that empowers individuals and prepares them to deal with complexity, diversity, and change. It provides students with broad knowledge of the wider world (e.g. science, culture, and society) as well as in-depth study in a specific area of interest. A liberal education helps students develop a sense of social responsibility, as well as strong and transferable intellectual and practical skills such as communication, analytical and problem-solving skills, and a demonstrated ability to apply knowledge and skills in real-world settings.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    July 21, 2014 1:32 p.m.

    Follow the money.

    Demonize teachers and public education.

    If the money doesn't go to public education, it has to go somewhere.

    Right?

    Why not Eagle Forum/Reich-Wing/Christian-Evangelical Politically Correct Private Schools?

    Game plan...

    Socialize the costs (tax payer money),

    Privatize the profits (give tax payer money to politically correct private interests),

    Works every time.

    A Politically Correct Conservatives... Dream?

    You betcha!

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    July 21, 2014 1:32 p.m.

    To "Atlas Smashed" if large families should have to pay more for educating their children, does that mean that small families should pay more Social Security and Medicare taxes?

    Why shouldn't small families pay for their decisions? If you decide to have a small family, great!

    But don't skip out on being responsible and actually paying for your personal decisions.

    Why shouldn't small families have to slap some skin into paying for their SS and Medicare benefits? Eliminate the equal SS tax rate. Why should the tax code relieve small families of their duties while placing the burden on bigger families?

    Everyone needs to slap some skin into financing our retirement entitlements! No exemptions!

    If we tax larger families more for education, it is only fair that smaller families should be taxed more for SS. It is the children in those large families that will pay for your retirement, so why not punish those that do not have sufficient kids to pay for their entitlements.

    You might as well tax the poor more since they require more government services than the wealthy do. We want to be "fair" now don't we?

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    July 21, 2014 2:00 p.m.

    Because of our demographic bubble of having lots of children in our state, we perhaps Redshirt do spend a higher amount of our budget on education. As we should. I would say we are still NOT doing enough. If it takes being #1 and #1 by a long ways because our family sizes are bigger and we have more children to educate, then this is what we do. The fact that we say put 30 plus students in an elementary class and 40 students in a secondary education and think this is okay does not say much for us as a culture here in Utah. I'm calling it like it is.

    But we also maybe we need to think about what more we need to do not to just increase what education takes of the budget pie, but actually making the pie bigger. Perhaps it is a lottery, though that has problems. Perhaps it is changing the tax structure a bit and having families with larger families contributing a bit more than they do more. Perhaps it is asking corporations to step up and giving more through higher taxes and/or donations to our districts and schools.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    July 21, 2014 2:26 p.m.

    @ Red Shirt
    "To "Atlas Smashed" if large families should have to pay more for educating their children, does that mean that small families should pay more Social Security and Medicare taxes?"
    Huh? Social security and Medicare are paid by workers and employers contributions. Everyone pays in the same amount up to a capped level of about 100k. In fact a single worker may pay more into the kitty if they make 100k a year than compared to 4 workers making 20k a piece. What Atlas and others advocate is personal and social responsibilty to put in at least as much as you take out. When it comes to education, large families simply do not put in as much into the kitty as they take out. That's a fact. He and others are advocating personal responsibilty something conservatives and Mormons advocate.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    July 21, 2014 3:25 p.m.

    @ Redshirt

    I don't know why you brought up Social Security and Medicare. Do their funds go to funding education?

    It really just seems like you couldn't refute anything that Altas, Howard Beal, and FT said and so you went with a cheap shot that didn't apply to this discussion.

    The truth of the matter is, that Utah's tax structure encourages big families to be irresponsible and selfish. See redshirt, it takes 2 people to create a child. When 2 individuals make the personal decision to have many many children, they should be expected to pay for those individuals. Unfortunately, Utah's tax structure gives exemptions to families with 2 children or more. The more children they have? The less they pay.

    And guess who is left to pay for their "free" public education? You guessed it, the families who are acting responsible and who actually pay the tax.

    In other words, Utah's own tax structure encourages slothfulness and irresponsibility. I have no problem with big families. I do have a problem with them expecting me to pay for their personal decisions.

    Why should I subsidize them? Will they subsidize my vacation?

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    July 21, 2014 3:44 p.m.

    Re: "I would say we are still NOT doing enough."

    No doubt.

    And, that's the biggest problem with Utah's education system -- no matter what we do and how much we pay, it will never be enough for Utah educators and their fat-cat trade-union bosses. We've tried, time and time again, to get them to even suggest an appropriate per-pupil expenditure for education.

    And, they always demur.

    There's no nailing an educator's foot to the floor on this spending issue. They've made it clear we'll never be able to make them happy, so why try? Let's just fund education at a level that produces good results -- which we're currently doing, particularly with the Governor's reckless new budget -- and ignore the childish rants from educators and their union bosses.

  • Strider303 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2014 4:11 p.m.

    Why have national tests and comparisons in the first place. Children are unique, teachers and schools and neighborhoods and the states are all unique. The concept of national testing is based on the idea that students, teachers and schools are uniform and like so many cogs in a machine and can be interchanged and replaced without any difference in performance.

    So there's a gap in achievement between groups of children, not named other than "minority". Some kids, like adults and even members of the state legislature, are smarter than others. Mr. Bell's curve is a reality and it will predict that about half are smarter than the other half and the lower half are behind and will be behind.

    I see the issue as one of control over the education system, like those striving to control every aspect of our lives. The desire to control others appears to be an illness some have, a cancer-like illness that grows and motivates some people aka "leaders" to seek control to satisfy an inner urge that cannot be quenched.

    We'll wind up spending more money on the process to control and monitor than we will on teaching.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    July 21, 2014 4:33 p.m.

    @ procuradorfiscal

    "I remember an heroic history/civics teacher of two of my children -- he had to make up his own extra-credit crossword puzzle handouts, in order to teach the history and civics knowledge he and I [and every American generation, until this one] received as a child, but which are mostly absent from today's dumbed-down, touchy-feely, UEA/NEA-approved curricula. Things like the preamble to the Constitution, the Gettysburg address, the Declaration of Independence, and many, many Utah statehood facts."

    Those are still all a part of the Social Studies core in Utah. US History classes require students to analyze and reflect upon the Constitution, Gettysburg Address, the Declaration of Independence, and Utah statehood facts.

    When was the last time you sat in a Government & Citizenship class, US History class, or Utah History class?

    You can come to my US History class if you want. I'll help to put your concerns at ease.

    Contrary to what you believe, no civics classes have been eliminated. Government & Citizenship classes are still required for graduation.

    I don't think you're as informed as you should be on this topic.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    July 21, 2014 4:39 p.m.

    To "FT" and "FreedomFighter41" All I want is a fair deal where you pay for what you take.

    What your ilk forgets is that SS is not a savings account. The money you put in today is spent on the current set of retired people. So, in the future, when you retire it is today's children that are paying for your SS and Medicare benefits. If you only had 2 kids, unless they have really good jobs they will not pay into the system as much as you draw out. It will be up to my 6 kids to make up the difference. You are now drawing out more than you put in. I am only asking for a "fair" system where you have some personal responsibility and put in at least as much as you take out.

    Public education was set up to provide more valuable workers in the future. Social Security was set up as a way of using the current set of workers to pay for retirement today. There are currently 4.6 workers for every retired person. As that number continues to drop, it is the families with few children that become a greater burden.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    July 21, 2014 4:39 p.m.

    @ procuradorfiscal

    "which we're currently doing, particularly with the Governor's reckless new budget -- and ignore the childish rants from educators and their union bosses."

    Is this really demonstrating concern for our children?

    Can't we put the political football away for a few minutes?

    If some people can't put their own personal agenda away for our children, then how will we ever progress as a society?

    I feel so sorry for our children today. Because of their selfish and short-sighted parents, they must go to overcrowded schools with outdated materials, and zero individual attention.

    Gary and Gayle Nero fiddle as Utah burns.

    Please, stop concentrating on Common Core and politics and please lets actually work to increase funding to education and give our children smaller class sizes.

    It's for our children!

  • Henderson Orem, UT
    July 21, 2014 4:45 p.m.

    I just became a teacher.

    I echo many of those who have already spoken in this thread. I just wanted to add my voice to it also. I don't understand how any of you believe it's acceptable to have 46+ students in one class. That's what I had. 46 Freshmen. Most of my classes were 30+. I know of some teachers who had 50+. Many math teachers had more students than desks so students took turns sitting on the floor.

    Is that acceptable?

    @ Redshirt

    When you get married and have a family you'll realize that families will often increase revenue to make ends meet. Wives will go to work in some capacity and husbands will work 2nd jobs. I even have some friends who donate plasma on weekends to increase their family budgets.

    In Utah, we have so many kids that we really do need to look at increasing revenue. What would be wrong with businesses paying their fair share? You do realize that Adobe and the malls get sweetheart deals, right? Many, don't even pay property taxes!

    You'll find out some day about increasing revenue when you have a family.

    Again, is 46+ students to 1 classroom acceptable?

  • DuckOuttaWater SLC , UT
    July 21, 2014 7:22 p.m.

    I am also new to the education arena after working in healthcare for 20 years. I just completed an MED degree so I have a little different perspective. My experience is in research and recognizing what works and what seems to do more harm than good.

    First of all to those who are meshing common core with high stakes testing, they aren't hand in hand. High stakes testing was actually a right wing idea/initiative. The common core is actually excellent in terms of the standards it is setting. In some areas it is actually more stringent and rigorous, while some may need to be polished (math IMO). High stakes testing on the other hand is horrible for educating our children. In nearly every study I have examined high stakes, performance oriented strategies and classroom environments have been detrimental to actual learning and recall. Mastery oriented strategies are preferable, where students are allowed to take and retake tests and form different answers and ideas as teaching takes place (someone suggested Finland...good one to model).

    Second, Real Maverick states the rest perfectly. Our children deserve more time and resources, not wasted time politicizing CC (not a federally constructed program).

  • Sweet Ginger Salt Lake City, UT
    July 21, 2014 9:20 p.m.

    As the mom of a soon to be first-grader I was surprised how intuitive and awesome the common core was in teaching math to my daughter last year. I hope Utah keeps moving forward with common core.

  • Chuck E. Racer Lehi, UT
    July 21, 2014 10:33 p.m.

    One reason NOT to have a "Common" core is just that. To make it pass politically, it has to be just common or very mediocre. And you can bet with the high-stakes testing, where teachers' jobs will be on the line in the future, they will NOT teach anything extra.

    Whenever your force everyone to be "the same," they end up having to come DOWN to the lowest Common denominator. Those who would do better are pulled down, because they can't force the bottom up. Why can't we have students get the same quality of education in both Massachusetts and Mississippi? It's the people not the schools. Common Core pulls at least half down.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    July 21, 2014 11:21 p.m.

    @procuradorafiscal,

    I would like to know who these fat-cat trade-union bosses are? Please provide us with names and their income levels. Once again, I would like to see the evidence before I come to any conclusions about such issues.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    July 22, 2014 8:00 a.m.

    @Chuck E. Racer

    Common doesn't necessarily mean mediocre. Common also means belonging equally to a group; joint; united; widespread; familiar. The standards within a core can be quite high.

    While the standards are the minimum that must be reached within a class, I know of many teachers who are taking their students way beyond that minimum. Don't discount our student population of our state; there are many who want and do go beyond the minimum expectations. What should change in our state is a means for the students who choose to go beyond the minimum to have the ability to advance academically at a quicker pace.

    You have common standards within your church, right? Do those standards drag people down to the lowest level, or do they lift more people up? We have common standards or levels of expectations at our places of employment. Those who go beyond get raises and promotions, and those who simply meet the basic expectations stay static in their jobs. We all know what happens to those who don't meet those expectations.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    July 22, 2014 8:16 a.m.

    @ Chuck

    School districts are free to raise their standards. The common core wasn't meant to be too hard or too easy. It was meant to be a baseline.

    Please contact your alpine school district and inform them that you believe the CC standards are too easy.

  • Chuck E. Racer Lehi, UT
    July 22, 2014 8:52 a.m.

    @ FreedomFighter41

    Sure they "can" "raise their standard" (no more than 15% though) but they won't, because it won't be on the TEST. They will do just what is being done now with it. Anything not tested is not taught, including history and geography. I know many of my colleagues spend very little time on history, because it is not tested. Of course any test developed for history will have to pass political correctness too, which changes it as well.

    Of course it was "meant" to be a baseline, or at least it was sold that way, but that ISN'T what happens. It becomes the ceiling, if the testing is included and becomes high stakes as it is with CC.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    July 22, 2014 9:00 a.m.

    To "Henderson" why do we have to raise revenue for education? There is no relationship between money spent and results. For example Washington DC spends more than double what Utah does and their kids can barely tie their shoes when they graduate high school.

    As you learn about the organization that you have just joined, you will find that at the district level there are many people with important sounding jobs that do little to nothing while being paid 3 to 4 times what you currently are paid.

    You will also find that the non-teaching staff at your school spends half of their time sitting around gossiping.

    Some day you may find out how much schools spend on computer based testing. Testing that doesn't give you any information you couldn't figure out yourself.

    It is great that companies like Adobe don't pay property taxes. Their property taxes may add $20,000 to a local school budget, but the salaries of their employees could easily be adding $400,000 to the school budget.

    When you learn about the tax system, you will learn that attracting a business with a small tax break can result in greater tax revenue.

  • Henderson Orem, UT
    July 23, 2014 5:01 p.m.

    @ Redshirt,

    I've done extensive research on this topic, several years, in fact. Washington DC and Hawaii are called outliers. When you finish high school and take a basic stats course at the college level, you'll find out what that means. When doing studies, you will find that there will always be a few outliers.

    There is a strong correlation between per pupil spending and student achievement. This can be confirmed by various academic journals and surveys. If you have access to JSTOR you can access these for free. Or, if you have access to a program like Microcase which compiles various studies and allows you to compare them to find any correlations with things like (per pupil spending) and (student achievement).

    So you can continue to regurgitate the opinion of the Heritage Foundation or actually to some research and read for credible peer reviewed journals and/or surveys.

  • Henderson Orem, UT
    July 23, 2014 5:05 p.m.

    Continued from above

    By the way, if you dislike student testing so much then I trust you've written to Governor Herbert and your local legislator to protest, correct? They're the ones who require the endless amounts of student testing at the end of the school year. These are state mandated tests, not federal.

    It's all part of the perceived notion that unless students can demonstrate on end of year tests x then teachers really aren't teaching!

    You should come and visit a public school for a week. You can visit my classroom. I'll get you a visitor's pass. Your eyes shall be opened to a brave new world!

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    July 25, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    To "Henderson" prove it. At some point there is a minimum that must be spent, but once you meet that minimum there is absolutely NO correlation between spending and outcomes.

    If you think otherwise, PROVE it.

    The CATO institute in the study "State Education Trends: Academic Performance and Spending over the Past 40 Years" found that "While spending has just about tripled in inflation-adjusted dollars and the number of school employees has almost doubled since 1970, reading, math and science scores for students have remained stagnant."

    The Washington Policy Center in their study titled "Does increasing public school spending improve learning outcomes for children?" found no correlation.

    The Nevada Policy Research Institute in their study "Analysis shows little to no correlation between education spending and student achievement" found that there is no correlation between spending and educational outcomes.

    Where are you mythical studies. I sure hope you can find something that is verifiable.

    Also, think about this. Nationally only about 60% of every dollar spent on education actually makes it to the classroom. Unless you can increase funding and get every dollar of additional funding to the classroom, what is the point of spending more?

  • Dave T in Ogden Ogden, UT
    July 27, 2014 6:52 a.m.

    It takes a village to run, build a town and to grow jobs. There are those who can write, draw, build, counsel, design, etc. We are all born with God given talents, however different. There are those who can listen well, work better by the written word and those who are hands on. The problem with common core is that we are all supposed to learn the same materials. There should be those who can write, though everything you live in, work in, drive, etc. are there built by hands on people. Excellent writers could not do their work, if they are freezing in buildings that were never built.
    At the same time, to create new companies, thus new jobs, it takes a village as well. There must be people who develop new ideas, produce designs, great with selling, those who are good with the details (accountants, engineers), and those who can write (attorneys, business plans developers) just to name a few. The main point that I am making is that we all are born with God given talents, however different to run and build a town. Thus our education should be different based on our unique DNA...