Letter to Utah State Board, Part 1

Last week the Salt Lake Tribune ran an article that had State School Board member Debra Roberts quoted as saying something I viewed as a direct attack on parents concerned about the Common Core implementation. I wrote this letter to her over the weekend and wanted to share it with the public since her comment was very public and needs a response. Yes it’s a pointed email. I do not like writing letters than have an element of venting but there is no more time to waste beating around the bush. I publish this here so that others can see the holes in the arguments being made by the education establishment. Use this and the materials we’ve published about the Common Core to get all the facts and have them at your disposal when public meetings occur. You don’t need to believe anything I’ve written about this. Do your own homework. We’ve listed references in our research but do your own reading and get up to speed on this.

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Debra,

I read the article in the Tribune this last week and was shocked to see them quote you saying this:

“I’m disappointed that there are a few in the state who don’t yet see the value of college and career-readiness standards for our students,” said Debra Roberts, state school board chairwoman.

Are you kidding me? Were you not on the board a few short years ago when we worked so incredibly hard to raise Utah’s math standards from a D to an A- and hit one roadblock after another from the USOE? They said we didn’t need new standards and brought in West Ed to try and prove it (Epic Fail). When we suggested adopting California’s excellent standards they said Utah was unique and California didn’t share our values and standards (and I guess we suddenly developed a strong affinity for the values of 45 other states). We FINALLY prevailed and got much improved standards and all of us fighting for this wondered “WHY ON EARTH DOESN’T THE USOE WANT OUR CHILDREN TO BE COLLEGE AND CAREER READY IN MATH?”

Now Common Core comes along and without the standards even being finalized, the board adopts them. No questions of Utah’s uniqueness at stake here. No questions about proving the quality of the standards against high achieving states or nations because THIS was the product of a state led effort so they must be excellent.

I am outraged that you would make such baseless comments about people like myself. It is entirely inappropriate. What do you actually know about the origin of Common Core? Have you bought into the lie that this was simply the product of the NGA and CCSSO coming together to craft common standards? Have you done your own homework? Did you follow the money trail? Did you discover that this is simply a rehashing of the old “school-to-work” concept? Did you discover that the Gates Foundation paid the NGA and CCSSO millions of dollars to help in this effort? Did you find that the Gates Foundation paid the national PTA millions of dollars to shill for the Common Core and promote it into schools? Did you know the Gates Foundation signed a contract with UNESCO in 2004 to work with them and be in line with the UN’s agenda? Have you read any of it including this line?

“Therefore UNESCO with assistance from Microsoft is embarking on a multi-stakeholder initiative to develop a reference master curriculum…”

Are you familiar with Agenda 21? It’s highly driven toward education. Did you know that Common Core standards were one of the last things created and needed to bring about the nationalization of education and loss of local control because ALL THE OTHER COMPONENTS WERE PAID FOR BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT? We have assessments that Utah is required to use since we are governing members of the SBAC. The feds paid over $350 million for them in violation of federal law. We have a massive database to track our children and all their “progress.”

Did you listen to Larry Shumway on Rod Arquette’s show this week? He said he wrote his letter to Arne Duncan not out of concern for what myself and others were saying, but because he’s heard Arne and Pres. Obama talking about the standards as if they had made them. He’s finally seeing part of the net. They put the RTTT cheese out and we adopted their standards hoping against all common sense that they would send Utah somebody else’s money, but alas, we didn’t get any. Now we have contracts with strings.

As you can tell, I’m frustrated and a large part of that is your insult to concerned parents all over the state who want the very best for their children and have very real concerns that the federal government is in takeover mode.

I strongly encourage you to read these recent articles. The state board is soon going to become the administrative extension of the federal DOE.

http://jaypgreene.com/2012/03/06/handwaving-away-opposition-to-the-national-standards/

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/mar/5/want-to-withdraw-from-obama-ed/

Oak

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Continued in Part 2

4 Responses to “Letter to Utah State Board, Part 1”

  • Anonymous:

    I don’t think the real issue is what is contained in the Common Core because it is certainly more rigorous than the current Utah Math Core.  Utah education standards are lax across the board compared to many other states, so in that regard the Common Core is a good thing. 

    The real issue is the fear of a federal takeover of public education via the Common Core, yet even that is illogical, because the federal government has already taken over public education via NCLB.  Rejecting the Common Core doesn’t get the Federal Government out of public education in Utah, it only endorses NCLB and the current level involvement of the federal government in Utah schools. The only way to get the federal government out of public education is to get rid of the Department of Education or to outright reject all federal dollars coming to Utah. The federal government has always blackmailed the states. During the 80’s, they were blackmailing states to pass seat belt laws and speed limit laws or face losing highway funding.    

    The state also needs to get out of education. I don’t like Sen. Santorum that much, but he did say one thing that resonated with me and that was for both the Federal and State Governments to quit micromanaging education and allow local school districts to control their own schools. Currently, the Utah Legislature is making a bigger mess of education. They can’t even let one law work for a year before they change it again. That is a sign of a lack of vision for education at the state level.

  •  Wow, we have almost complete agreement TheKingsCourt. :)  NCLB waivers are being granted for states, contingent upon adopting Common Core standards… The feds are corralling the states into national standards.

    As for Common Core being better than our Utah standards, watch for the next couple installments. This is highly debatable.

  • Anonymous:

    Oak, which do you prefer?  The Common Core or No Child Left Behind. Utah will not be able to opt out of both.  

  • Now that’s an interesting question… Utah tried to opt out of NCLB several years ago and the feds blackmailed us saying, “that’s fine, but with the loss of federal funding on education, we’re also going to cut federal funding to you in other areas. Good luck with that.”

    I would probably take NCLB since Common Core is the endgame for local control of education. That’s not to say I’m satisfied with that answer, because maybe someone out there can think of a way out of both and that’s the end I’m working toward.