Someone just sent me a link to Lt. Governor Bell’s blog post on the Common Core standards. Here is a link to it with my letter to the Lt. Governor which I sent off.
Dear Lt. Governor Bell,
Having read your blog post on Common Core (http://blog.lg.utah.gov/2012/01/common-sense-on-common-core/), I have a few questions for you.
1) If states joined this initiative without any strings attached, why are some states being forced by the federal government onto the standards if they want a waiver for NCLB and AYP requirements? Why did the federal government offer RTTT incentives to states that signed on? That doesn’t make any sense if you’re right. (see http://www.utahsrepublic.org/jumping-off-the-federal-education-train/)
2) How can you say Utah can adapt the standards to fit our needs and values? We are not allowed to change any of the standards except to add up to 15% more to them. They are not to be changed so they are not Utah standards. By virtue of being mostly nationwide, they are de facto national standards. (http://www.achieve.org/files/15PercentGuideline.pdf)
3) You’re correct the federal government didn’t develop the CCSS, but why are we not worried about the assessments and curriculum efforts they are funding to go along with the CCSS? Why are we not worried about the national database they have developed to track over 40 factors on children in such important ways as tooth decay, blood type, religious consideration, and what time they get on the bus in the mornings?
4) Were you aware that the federal government is rewriting federal education laws to remove state and local education rights and to put the federal government over education? Do you not see this directly related to their effort to get all states on the Common Core standards?