Gov. Gary Herbert wants the state to take another look at the implementation of Common Core and No Child Left Behind. Our "Political Insider" panel mostly thinks the state should keep Common Core. 49% of Republicans and a whopping 88% of Democrats think we should keep the educational standards, while 38% of Republicans and just 9% of Democrats think the state should jettison them.
Our readers, however, are decidedly against Common Core. 70% say the state should dump it while 29% think Utah should keep with the program.
Selected anonymous comments:
"Gov. Herbert is once again showing his reasonable and prudent nature in asking for this review. He knows that the standards are a positive improvement for our education system, but he also is responsive to citizen concerns and wants to make sure that Utah retains its independence from the federal government. We can make any changes that are found to be necessary without dumping the standards entirely. This is a smart move, both politically and administratively."
"Concerns about Common Core are fueled by the same conspiracy nuts who think President Obama was born in Kenya and that our participation in the United Nations will lead to a One World Order global takeover. If anything, we need more critical thinking taught in Utah schools to help prevent this kind of nonsense from infiltrating the minds of the good people of Utah in the future."
"Let each district determine their own standards!"
"Those who really understand them and want to see improvements to education seem supportive but the vocal opposition makes it hard to stay focused."
"I think we should keep the basic requirements the same. My objection is federal intervention in state education policy. Its very simple, we can adopt standards that someone makes available to copy but a requirement to adopt them is inappropriate."
"We should keep the standards we paid for AND ALSO feel free to refine and improve them as we go. Meaning, ditch the NCLB waiver (and eventually ditch NCLB) and cut the federal strings."
"Allow Utah teachers the flexibility to teach, instead of just preparing kids for standard tests."
"An issue like this takes some backbone. Herbert should be leading on this issue, not following extreme voices. If the implementation was wrong he should intervene. What he shouldn't do is roll over."
"We have to have standards that are rigorous and prepare our students for college and a career. I don't care what they call the standards we adopt, but we better have some and they better be good ones."
"Keep them, but I could be persuaded on tweaking them if some good arguments are made. However, this attempt by the governor seems hollow and designed to simply appease tea partiers."
"Teachers and administrators with whom I have discussed this all seem to feel it can work and is the best option."
"These have been in place for five years and Utah has made an enormous investment here. Educators have trained well to provide higher expectations for our students. It would be a mistake to dump this now."
"This review is nothing more than the governor pandering to his right-wing base. He is getting nervous as the angry rhetoric is heating up among the conspiracy theorists."
"The far Right doesn't want them because they symbolize (to them, anyway) government control. Most educators want them because they make good sense and will help our students keep up in an increasingly technological world. Utah's choice, then, is sense or symbol; the choice we make will determine whether Utah joins the rest of the nation or recedes into an ill-educated backwater."
"These standards have been around since 2010 and we are finally starting to see what the results of raising our standards will be. We keep moving the goal line to different locations on public ed. Leave them alone and see what they can do. Stop micromanaging education."
"He wants to review it to give the appearance of an unbiased appraisal although Gayle has already made up his mind for him."
"Just because 'you' find it too hard to comprehend, doesn't mean we shouldn't set a higher standard for our children. Since we're so busy screwing up everything else, like air and water, maybe we should educate our kids to a level where they might have a chance to fix everything we broke."
"This issue is a smokescreen that doesn't really impact education in Utah in a real way."