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Lawsuit claims State School Board violated law by adopting Common Core

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  • michaelitos Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2014 1:18 p.m.

    They held open meetings. They asked for input. And now, simply because it's the latest flavor of the month, the Libertas Institute is suing. How ridiculous!

    Higher, consistent standards = college and career readiness = good for Utah children

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    July 31, 2014 1:23 p.m.

    If our government (s) had to wait to make any decision until they had consulted with specifically "identifiable" groups and receiving their blessing or no vote then if we think the wheels of government move slow now....this is why we elect people. To make those decisions in the first place. Then, if we don't like those decisions we can vote them out. That's the beauty of our country. Yet, it seems that anymore that every little group who feels as if their voice has not been heard (i.e., had things go their way) then let's file that lawsuit. Yes, I know. That is another beauty of American jurisprudence. If we feel as if we have been aggrieved in some form then we sue. But this? Just grandstanding.

  • Ender Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2014 1:28 p.m.

    "Having an open meeting is not the same thing as consulting proactively with specifically identifiable groups"

    So when they held open meetings and asked for participation, they needed to specifically include these 6 educators and parents on the list of invitees... Oh, well, that makes sense...

    Just one question then: How do I get on the special list? I want special invites, too! I mean, I can't be expected to actually look at the Utah school board's website, or be involved enough to know what's coming down the pipe, or talk to anyone with the PTA or other involved group. I mean, after all, an open meeting isn't really open if I'm not there. That's it! I want to join the lawsuit, because I should have received a personal invitation, too! We'll sue the pants off them because I should have been personally notified about this 4 years ago!!!

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    July 31, 2014 2:17 p.m.

    From the libertas website...

    Libertas exists to advance the cause of liberty within the State of Utah. The Institute promotes liberty by generating NON-PARTISAN analysis and commentary on public policy issues relating to Utah, and recommending our findings to opinion leaders, policy makers, media, and interested Utahns.

    Ok.

    Non-partisan?

    Common Core has become a dog whistle for the Republican Party.

    Non Partisan?

    How can the lawsuit be taken seriously when the Institute(?) does not follow its own Mission Statement?

  • Vladhagen Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2014 2:32 p.m.

    This litigation is absolutely ridiculous. I work in education. And we need standards like Common Core. CC really has become the dog whistle of the far right. As an educator, CC is the best thing that has happened to Utah education in 25 years.

    I also love how different opponents of CC cannot even agree on what is wrong with CC. Some say it is too hard (scoff, says Europe and Asia). Some say it is too federal (Although Obama had nothing to do with it). Some say they did not get a personal invite delivered to them by a 72 piece trumpet brigade (Maybe we should have sent a cupcake to entice your participation in the open meetings?).

  • jbrooke Vernal, UT
    July 31, 2014 2:44 p.m.

    "Common Core has become a dog whistle for the Republican Party."

    Uh huh. That's why big names like Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee are pushing so hard in support of it...

    Here's a fun game. Try googling "liberals against Common Core" or "Democrats against Common Core." You'll soon see that this is not a partisan issue, as you have claimed. NPR, Huffington Post, and others have all covered this angle.

    At least one of the Plaintiffs named in this very lawsuit is a lifelong Democrat and proud Obama voter. So, stop lumping all Common Core opponents in with the Republicans. We don't appreciate it.

    Plus, if you'd ever been to the Libertas website, you'd know they certainly don't cow-tow to Republicans. Nice try, though.

  • Uncle Gadianton Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 31, 2014 2:49 p.m.

    The most the lawsuit will accomplish is forcing the State School Board to conduct more public hearings, after which they will most likely adopt the same Language and Math standards.

    It is interesting that the people who are against the Common Core Standards object simply because they were produced via federal funding. The Utah State School Board voluntarily adopted the standards after a thorough review. They were not forced to by any federal agency.

    I have yet to see an objection to the standards themselves, only their "source" or the "procedure" used to adopt them.

  • Commenter88 Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 31, 2014 3:24 p.m.

    Boyack has a point. Asking for input in an open meeting is not the same thing as a call for input. If the state office has documented solicitations and/or responses, then it will be easy for the state to pass this hurdle. My suspicion is that they do not. Especially if Utah's sub-statute for conditions is unique among other states.

    As for the common core, it will help the great influx of English language learners in our system, and others, to catch up. And more of them will be career-ready. But the bad is that Utah's highest scores will surely drop. And overall fewer student's will be college-ready for the better schools. The common core has many other disconcerting points as well, such as stripping narrative as a primary learning mode, stripping the best literature, and a more formulaic, more boilerplate experience for all students.

    For the common core to improve, it needs to allow for local exceptions to curriculum and testing.

  • bradleyc Layton, UT
    July 31, 2014 3:42 p.m.

    If the Libertas institute didn't have public education as their whipping boy what other group would they choose. Connor is trying to make a name for himself. The court should throw this out... post haste.

  • Web Geek Lehi, UT
    July 31, 2014 3:53 p.m.

    Proponents of Common Core seem more interested in using rhetoric, calling names, and dismissing the opposition as "extremists" than actually debating the issue.

  • squirt Taylorsville, ut
    July 31, 2014 4:01 p.m.

    Our children are being used as political pawns in this game of anti-government, anti-federalism, and anti-anything speaking to the UNITED States of America.

    Shame on the folks who have grabbed onto a political agenda at the expense of students.

  • dogchow1 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2014 4:58 p.m.

    To EJM re: If our government(s) had to wait to make any decision until they had consulted with specifically "identifiable" groups and receiving their blessing or no vote then if we think the wheels of government move slow now..

    That would appear to be a definition of the seemingly endless years of lawsuits from groups protesting Utah lands and roads being run by the State instead the Feds.
    Ditto Fed control of just about everything else in our lives now, including what our children will learn.

    Can't have it both ways...I like slower in this case. Kinda like reading the bill before you pass it, so you'll know what's in it.

  • michaelitos Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2014 5:54 p.m.

    @Commenter88
    As a point of clarification, curriculum and testing are not set by the Common Core. The Core prescribes educational standards, but it is up to the state, district and teacher to develop curriculum on how to get the students to achieve the standard as well as the testing that measures if such achievement was attained.

    You can read the actual standards themselves. For example, a math standard for 2nd grade is:
    CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.OA.B.2
    Fluently add and subtract within 20 using mental strategies. By end of Grade 2, know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers.

    Still the curriculum of how to teach and get the student at that standard is up to the district, teacher, etc.

    Hope that helps!

  • michaelitos Salt Lake City, UT
    July 31, 2014 5:58 p.m.

    @Web Geek
    I am a big proponent of Common Core, as it sets forth a rigorous, consistent set of standards that will help our children be better ready for college and careers.

    I have not called anyone names, and for that matter, I'm actually very conservative.

    If you have any legitimate problems with the Common Core, I would love to help dispel your doubts. I just haven't heard a single detractor to the Common Core present something factual!

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    July 31, 2014 6:18 p.m.

    It is wonderful that CC promotes higher standards. I just don't see why states cannot come up with 'higher standards' for their schools. I worry when we must rely upon the Federal Government for everything - too much government for my tastes. With the states, at least there is a better chance that programs can be devised to meet the general populace in that state. Some states have more issues with immigrant children, some have less. A one program fits all, in my opinion, has never been a good option.

    Perhaps the mandate requiring input from so many might be burdensome at times, but not having it allows for more abuse as evidenced by all of the bills our legislators keep passing without having time to read them. I would rather citizens have a voice and things take longer, than to have no voice as the population is railroaded into submission.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    July 31, 2014 7:10 p.m.

    Another frivolous lawsuit. They did have public input meetings because I went to some of them. This stuff is just crazy.

  • OKWalker Duncan, OK
    July 31, 2014 7:53 p.m.

    From what I have seen, Common Core is to math what the whole language method is to reading.

    Both appear to have been designed to dumb down learning. Reading literacy has gone from 99.9% teaching reading with phonics in 1910 (with only 8 grades of reading) to lower than 80% with 12 years of school when educators used the whole language method. Actually, it is worse than that. Just listen to teenagers who you know try to read aloud anything complex, like the scriptures.

    Similarly, Common Core methods appear to be designed to make children hate math. The long term result will only further reduce the ability of young adults to think for themselves. They will have little capability to compute anything. They will be fully trained socialists totally incapable of thinking for themselves and analyzing anything important.

    But the government will know everything about them... They will become totally manipulated hostages to a top-down government that aims to control everyone and everything.

    One solution: homeshool. Use phonics exclusively. Teach the fundamentals of math. Get the kids into college at 16 or younger. Watch them excel.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    July 31, 2014 9:07 p.m.

    OK Walker: "Both appear to have been designed to dumb down learning." "Common Core methods appear to be designed to make children hate math."

    Right, educators and education professionals worked for years on "designing" standards to help students fail. Comments like this are what strips credibility from the anti CC crowd.

    That, and the total lack of honesty in Libertas' mission. Being on the extreme far right is not defined as "non-partisan" by anyone but Boyack.

  • wwashby Sandy, UT
    July 31, 2014 10:53 p.m.

    It is interesting that the Utah legislature passed a new law that would require further vetting of education reforms because of the process by which these standards were adopted.

    Additionally, what I have heard from teachers and parents are not concerns about the standards per say, but who has control of those standards, data collection of students, and reallocation of teachers/schools - based high stakes testing results - on federal algorithms rather than local administrators.

    This is not local education. Utah can produce better results.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    July 31, 2014 10:58 p.m.

    Connor Boyack is a scary radical writer whose literature makes Cleon Skousen or the John Bircher Society look moderate.

    He's merely trying to make a name for himself.

    Ignore the static and move on toward progression. Education will continue to roll forward with or without the Libertas Institute.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    July 31, 2014 11:42 p.m.

    If Boyack is as libertarian as he claims he is, why hasn't he come out against the bans for marijuana and gay marriage? Why hasn't he called out his own church for their obstruction of freedom in marriage?

    So health care and welfare and federal parks and common core is socialism. But marijuana bans and gay marriage bans is freedom?

    I don't think Boyack knows what being a libertarian is.

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 3:51 a.m.

    Open meeting and asked for input was not given to the citizens and tax payers and parents. I tried to contact and voice my opinion on this common core concept and I was denied because the comments and input was limited to a certain demographics of educators and administrators in the education department.

    And who is the Boycott to presume that we people don't want to be involved in our childrens lives? The school boards and schools and all their actions have been to lock out parents and taxpayers and public from information and school policies.

    I have never met a teacher who favored the common core and there was many reports from other resources that denied this common cora and sad it is nothing but government controlled propaganda.

    Any parent that has studied and informed themselves of this common core do not like it and representation. The BOE favor only the financial riches the federal government promises education departments if they let the feds take control of the curriculum and class room materials.

    This common core issue should have been put on the ballot as required by law.

  • Formerspud South Jordan, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 10:06 a.m.

    When he talks of local control, it's his control that he is talking about.

  • K.Call Moab, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 10:51 a.m.

    My personal experience with Common Core:

    1. I didn't hear anything about Common Core until it was on it's way to implementation. I have spent three years researching the curriculum, standards, and implementation.....I cannot find anything suggesting Common Core will be good for my children.

    2. I asked my district superintendent and two school board members about Common Core. Pointing to a book on his shelf, supt. said,'Common Core is now the law in Utah. There is nothing we can do about it'. Why, then, are we paying supt. salaries and electing school board members?

    3. I cannot see my son't 8th grade Common Core pre-test because it is sealed. I was told I would need to petition the USOE for permission to do so.

    4. USOE's office of assessments cannot, (phone call conversation) tell me where the data being collected on my children is going.

    5. As per a conversation with a representative from USOE, teachers will not feasibly be able to implement any flexibility regarding the standard driven Common Core curriculum.

    Let's address the above.

  • StringFellowHawk Blaine, Wa.
    Aug. 1, 2014 11:33 a.m.

    Common core is absolutely ridiculous! It's government encroachment into controlling education and neither wanted or needed. Those 'test's', are not warranted, and it's, in essence, a dumbing down of schools and the children who want to learn, are held back by those who cannot do as well, for whatever the reason. ALL, children do NOT learn the same, they cannot be grouped together as all being 'equal', simply because they do NOT learn at the same rate or the same way. You cannot hold back a child who is smarter than another, it seems sort of cruel, but not all children are 'smart' together. Some move on, while others will just lag behind, for many reasons, but no matter, they are all different, not exactly the same. Schools do not have cookie cutter children.

  • Nathan Andelin West Jordan, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 11:36 a.m.

    It appears to me that the legal challenge has merit. But I believe that the adoption of common core will have such far-reaching impact on every citizen of Utah which will also affect citizens of other states, that I would suggest dropping the legal wrangling and putting the question on a Utah ballot.

    The debate should not just include the procedural aspects of the law. It should include a debate over parental and local control vs. state and national control over education. Make no mistake - standards and assessments are most effective control mechanisms.

  • TheJudge Provo, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 11:38 a.m.

    Key points in the Common Core (CC) Timeline:$53.6 Billion from the Stimulus Bill 02/17/09. Secretary of Ed Duncan lauded the CC efforts of Achieve and Gates. USED hired 2 key employees from Gates, James Shelton & Margot Rogers. March 2009 Duncan used Stimulus funds to start Race to the Top. Utah applied. 06/01/09 NGA and CCSO reported 46 states had "joined a state led process to adopt CC" without saying what "joining" meant. 2 weeks later NGA held a forum for 21 governors with Duncan spliced in saying "My job is to help you succeed in adopting common national standards". 07/24/09 he said RTTT was a REFORM competition. The States had to compete for money by showing commitment to CC. UTAH committed to the CC Standards and Assessments BEFORE they were WRITTEN. Phase I deadline 01/19/2010. First draft of CC March 2010. Only DE & TN won grants. Phase II application deadline June 1. NGA released final K-12 CC draft June 2. Utah had until August 2, 2010 to amend application and submit "evidence" of adopting CC Standards after June 1 plus membership in SBAC to develop standardized tests aligned with CC. Gates assisted 24 states prep RTTT Applications.

  • gridlockisbetter Toosmalltosay, UT
    Aug. 1, 2014 12:22 p.m.

    As a teacher, the first I heard of Common Core was that it was beyond our control and we were going to have to do it. We were told that implementation would be difficult, but that we would just have to handle it. I felt that it was rammed down my throat. I didn't care for it then, and I don't much like it now.

  • Commenter88 Salt Lake City, Utah
    Aug. 1, 2014 2:37 p.m.

    @micaelitos:

    Further clarification: while the federal government is not in the business of making curriculum, in practicality, all states in the common core will have nearly the same curriculum for Language Arts, Math, and Science. Utah's curriculum and testing is designed by AIR, a Mega-gov-corp based in D.C. that provides curriculum for at least half the states. Utah pays for their services. Yes, the state says what is wants, but what it gets is pretty much what the Mega-gov-corp produces for all the others.

    Again, this is not all bad. But I don't think we should be deluded into thinking that the curriculum for the common core is created locally by Utah educators. That's just not the case.

  • Paul8777 Brigham City, UT
    Aug. 2, 2014 9:13 a.m.

    The lawsuit will not go far. However, it will accomplish it's actual purpose by keeping Mr. Boyak's name in the press and making the Libertas Institute seem like a credible organization.