Dear Utah State School Board   4 comments

Feel free to use this letter if it helps.  I sent it today.  If others wish to add their voices to mine, the board’s email is : Board@schools.utah.gov.

The Governor needs to hear from us, too.

———

Dear USOE and State School Board,

Parents and teachers like me are so very tired of reading lies about Common Core, which are stated (and published) repeatedly by the USOE and Utah State School Board, and which are then replicated across school district websites all over Utah. I’m writing to ask you to provide references to prove the claims are honest– or remove the claims. One or the other.

We’re tired of being told, for example, that there is a Utah Core. Most people do know that it’s the Common Core for Math and English. It’s misleading to say “Utah Core” unless you are talking about P.E. or history or other standards.

Some of you have not done much research about Common Core and you have been fed only the claims given you by Common Core proponents –such as Pearson, Wireless Generation, Bill Gates, and others, who stand to make a lot of money implementing Common Core.

You read Gates’ own publication, Education Week. You listen to the groups Gates has paid (bribed) to advocate for the untested experiment of Common Core, including the national PTA, the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Governor’s Association, the Harvard Newsletter, Manhattan Institute, Fordham Foundation and others. Gates admitted in a NY Times interview that he spent $5 Billion– billion– dollars pushing HIS version of education reform. So the marketing has been good. But the product is defective. You of all groups ought to study this thoroughly.

Sometimes people forward their emails from you to me. I am aghast at the unreferenced, untrue responses, such as “Common Core is an improvement” and “We still have local and parental control” and “We aren’t spending money on Common Core that we wouldn’t already be spending on education standards,” and “Common Core is academically rigorous.” These are absurd statements to anyone who has done their homework on Common Core.

Why not provide references for your ongoing claims to increase your trustworthiness in the public eye? If you are telling the truth, please show us. If not, it’s time to ‘fess up.

Parents deserve referenced truth. These are our kids. These are our tax dollars. And you are not telling the truth: that Common Core is an unproven, unwanted experiment –for which you’re using kids as guinea pigs.

The standards are not Utah’s. And they are not academically nor constitutionally legitimate. If I am wrong, please show me.

In education, as in medicine, the motto should be “First Do No Harm.”

Where is the evidence that Common Core standards are not harming our students? Where is the empirical data upon which this transformative alteration to Utah education was based?

More specifically, can you point me to a study that shows that not teaching kids how to convert fractions to decimals is better college prep in the long run? Where is the study that shows that lessening the teaching of classic literature and of narrative writing is going to benefit children as adults? Where is the proven, long term study that shows that informational text is more beneficial than classic literature?

If there is no such research, then why on earth have you foisted this hogwash on our kids– and called it “rigorous”!?!!

It does not even make sense. Rigorous? Running a mile is rigorous to a couch potato but it’s a dumbing down to an athlete. One size fits all can never be accurately described as “rigorous” and I pray you will quit abusing that word across our good state.

The adoption of Common Core is, ironically, dataless decisionmaking. It is decision making based on the wealth and influence of extreme politics, not based on the American principle of voter representation and local public vetting.

Where is the proof to back up the claim that Common Core is state-led? How can it be state-led when nobody in the state even knows about it? No legislator has a clue. No school board except the state school board was ever allowed to vet or vote upon this huge change to education. How can it be state-led when it’s written behind the closed doors of the NGA/CCSSO and there’s no amendment process?

Where is the proof that the Common Core is academically legitimate? We know it was developed by noneducators: David Coleman, the NGA and the CCSSO. We know it was most heavily funded and promoted by noneducators. We know it has been politically hijacked by the Dept. of Education and that Obama and Sec. Duncan claim to have given it to states (further crushing the claim that it was state-led). We have endless references for these things. Yet this board and office continually fails to provide a shred of evidence for its Common Core promoting claims.

I find this to be a terrible example to the rest of the educators and students of this state.

If I were teaching an English class today, would I say to my students, “Oh– you didn’t provide references in your research paper? Well, no big deal. Neither does the Utah State Office of Education or the State School Board” ?

Where is the proof that Utah still has control of her education system? There’s a solid copyright on the Common Core. There’s a 15% no-alteration rule. Ridiculous. That is the opposite of local control.

If Utah wants to teach sky-high, way past the mediocre Common Core, 15% does not cut it. If Utah wants to prevent corporate researchers, hackers or the federal government from accessing private student data collected in the State Longitudinal Database System (which we all know is interoperable with the federal database, and was paid for by the federal government and is modeled after their desires, not ours) — we cannot protect our kids’ privacy. Because the Common Core tests will collect all the information and will track the kids in the P-20 and SLDS. This is common knowledge today. By remaining in Common Core, you tie parents’ hands behind their backs. No parents can opt their children out of the SLDS tracking. This is unacceptable!

Common Core Standards, tests and data collecting tentacles are a tragic, horrific joke and as you know, the people who will suffer most are the children and the teachers.

For what is far from the first, and likely far from the last time, I implore you to please answer these issues with references.

If you can’t, then your duty to the people of Utah is to get us out of Common Core.

Integrity demands it.

Christel Swasey

Heber City Parent

Credentialed Utah Teacher

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4 responses to “Dear Utah State School Board

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  1. AMEN!!! THIS SHOULD BE DONE IN ALL STATES!!!

  2. Awesome Letter – another Amen!! Yes, this should be done in all states. But unfortunately it is not known by 99% of the parents that it is even in their states. I’m in Washington State, it was adopted in July of 2011 and nobody I know knew about it. I only found out because of Christel appearance on The Blaze – Glen Beck.

    Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I have been trying to get the word out and getting others attention and I have written similar letters to my state legislator, state rep. and school district superintendent as well as the WA state education secretary. Still no reply. No answers to my questions.

    I would love to use some of the text in your letter Christel; you have been on top of this much longer then I and eloquently put your words in to context much better than I.
    thank you!!!!

  3. Fabulous letter!

  4. We need more teachers to speak out. As a Pastor I have joined the fight in Maryland to get the word out about Common Core. Today 6 of us spoke at a School Board meeting and was told by the Board President that they are going to put Common Core on the agenda for the next meetinf so more time can be spent on it. Pray for our efforts in Maryland. Keep up the fight to expose U.S. Dept. of Ed’s agenda to control and intdoctrinate our children with an amoral, progressive, globalist agenda at the expense of our liberties and our tax dollars. This must be stopped. This must become our Alamo!

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