Proof Utah is on the Hook with SBAC

I have obtained a copy of Utah’s Race to the Top application. In searching the 493 page document the below items appear which evidence directly contradicts the information put out by the Utah State Office of Education which has maintained that Utah is not obligated to anything. Clearly we are. In fact, if Utah was applying for a federal grant (Race to the Top), why are we obligating ourselves in the application for funds, to sign on to Common Core State Standards and assessments created by a non-government entity (SBAC)?

The federal government is simply corralling everyone into these programs to make it easier to nationalize education. Another “sign on the line” lottery so we can spend millions of dollars changing out our standards and assessments in a vain attempt to get federal grant money. Shameful.

If you would like to download a copy of the application, it will be available at this link for 7 days. It is a 40 meg pdf file.

Here are some of the low-lights found in the document.

Pg. 20 “By August 2010, Utah will adopt and begin implementation of K-12 standards in mathematics and literacy created in conjunction with the Council of Chief State School Officers and NGA consortium.

Pg. 21 “By the start of the 2011-12 school year, Utah, working with the SMARTER Balanced Consortium, will begin the piloting of high quality assessments that are aligned with the standards to determine student academic achievement.”

Pg. 286 identifies Utah as a “governing state” member of the SBAC

Pg. 286, item h: “Bind each State in the Consortium to every statement and assurance made in the application through the following signature blocks…Governing State Assurance” (see at the bottom)

Pg. 288 under Responsibilities of States in the Consortium:

  • Each State agrees to the following element of the Consortium’s Assessment System:
    • Adopt the Common Core Standards, which are college- and career-ready standards, and to which the Consortium’s assessment system will be aligned, no later than December 31, 2011.”
  • Each State that is a member of the Consortium in 2014-2015 also agrees to the following:
    • Adopt common achievement standards no later than the 2014-2015 school year,
    • Fully implement statewide the Consortium summative assessment in grades 3-8 and high school for both mathematics and English language arts no later than the 2014-2015 school year,
    • Adhere to the governance as outlined in this document,
    • Agree to support the decisions of the Consortium,
    • Agree to follow agreed-upon timelines,
    • Be willing to participate in the decision-making process and, if a Governing State, final decision, and
    • Identify and implement a plan to address barriers in State law, statute, regulation, or policy to implementing the proposed assessment system and to addressing any such barriers prior to full implementation of the summative assessment components of the system.”

In other words, we are required to implement standards, assessments, and abide by the decisions that other states determine. We are also required to find the barriers in state law that might prevent this takeover of education and try to eliminate them.

Pg. 289 “7. Access for the State or its authorized delegate to a secure item and task bank that includes psychometric attributes required to score the assessment in a comparable manner with other State members, and access to other applications determined to be essential to the implementation of the system.”

I’m not feeling really warm and fuzzy with a test bank for our children that includes “psychometric attributes.” What’s that going to look like? “Based on your answers, we’re concerned your family may be teaching you there is a supreme being which is a violation of consortium policy…” (kidding…sort of)

Pg. 297 THE GOOD NEWS!!!

Exit from Consortium
Any State may leave the Consortium without cause, but must comply with the following exit

  • A State requesting an exit from the Consortium must submit in writing their request and reasons for the exit request,
  • The written explanation must include the statutory or policy reasons for the exit,
  • The written request must be submitted to the Project Management Partner with the same signatures as required for the MOU,
  • The Executive Committee will act upon the request within a week of the request, and
  • Upon approval of the request, the Project Management Partner will then submit a change of membership to the USED for approval.”


Governor Gary Herbert signs on the line obligating Utah to all these requirements. Utah is bound thanks to the Governor not understanding what he was obligating Utah to do.

RTTT Contract signed by Governor Herbert

Click to View Enlarged


5 Responses to “Proof Utah is on the Hook with SBAC”

  • Anonymous:

    You should note that to exit we have to get final approval from the USED which is interesting since this is “not a Federal program”

  • Jon F:

    I agree with the last comment…

    “Upon approval of the request, the Project Management Partner will then submit a change of membership to the USED for approval.”

    That withdrawal request would be pointless if they “deny” the request. A state should NEVER be required to “request” anything as a sovereign entity.

  • Jay:

    I am so glad my children go to a private school.

  • Michele:

    I’ve spoken to a principal of a Charter School that categorizes Common Core as a “dumming down” of education.  I have spoken to two educators who said the same thing and to two parents of kids in 9th grade that said the first half of the school year was a total waste in math where they did simple addition and subtraction – in 9th GRADE!!!, the kids were bored to death.  

  • Anonymous:

    I disagree that it is “dumbing down” the curriculum. Utah’s curriculum is already dumbed down because of the high class sizes.  I lived in New England, and their curriculum standards are much more rigorous than in Utah mostly because teachers can spend more time with each student.  I think Utah cannot handle the Common Core and that it will expose Utah’s dirty education secrets (lack of political and fiscal commitment).  Utah’s class sizes are too high for teachers to adequately meet the Common Core requirements.  Have you read some of those standards?  There is not enough time in the day for an English teacher to do what it requires with 40 kids per class and meet the English standards. 

    I think Utah needs to get out of the Common Core because it will make Utah look bad, and it will drive teachers to other states where the workload will be much less.

    P.S. It is “dumbing” down, not “dumming” down. You must have been educated in Utah under the fiscal micro-management of our wonderful legislature.