Here is a letter written to the Editor of a Southern Utah newspaper. I received permission to repost it here.
I am a concerned parent who strongly opposes Utah’s Core Standards (Common Core). Understand, I’m not opposed to having State-Controlled Educational Standards. My biggest concerns with the Common Core Standards are that they are controlled by D.C. private interest groups working closely with the United States Department of Education.
It is a public-private partnership. The Common Core tests are, in fact, funded by the federal government. It’s federally approved, federally funded, and federally promoted.
Frankly, it’s a control grab that cuts the American voter out and is clearly a violation of the General Educational Provisions Act (G.E.P.A.) which prohibits “any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration . . . of any educational institution, school, or school system .”
Further, there is no amendment process in place that our state can utilize if it disagrees with, or does not like the curriculum or the standards. The question begs to be asked: “Who will really be in charge of the curriculum, the state (as it should be) or private interest groups and the federal government?” It would appear that we will not be as free to make changes or improvements in the curriculum as easily as Ms. Roberts suggested in her recent letter to the editor.
Now is the time to act! We CAN and SHOULD withdraw from Common Core and protect our state’s educational system from the grasp of the federal government!
Ms. Roberts also stated that these standards were discussed and adopted over a period of time and in public meetings where we “could have commented during the public participation period”.
Does anybody else remember any advertising of such meetings? I don’t.
What I do know, however, is that there are parents and citizens that would like to have open discussions and answers to their questions RIGHT NOW!
Personally, I would like Ms. Roberts to publically answer the questions* outlined in the recent article by Christel Swasey–giving specific, detailed answers, not blanket statements and talking points.
I believe that parents have the ultimate responsibility of teaching their children and providing for their education.
If we do not stand up as parents and demand that our concerns and desires for their education be addressed and met by those in public leadership positions, then we will be held accountable.
Consequently, until Common Core is rejected, I am pulling my children from the public school system.
*The board is silent on these simple questions:
Where is a shred of evidence to support the claim that Common Core improves education?
Where are any studies showing that the reduction of literary study improves college readiness?
Where is some evidence that slowing the age at which students learn math algorithms improves college readiness?
Where is any amendment process for Utah’s math and English standards, under the copyrighted Common Core?
How can one opt out of the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) tracking and the Common Core tests?
Where is the legal — constitutional — authority for people outside our state to set our local standards and to create and monitor our tests?
Why does Utah stand by while Obama announces that he will redesign schools and tax all Americans to pay for it, without Utah putting up a fight?
Why is there a spiral of silence culture now, that demands everyone pretend to agree; where is freedom of expression and freedom of speech in the common agenda, now that teachers and principals don’t speak out for fear of losing their jobs?
How on earth can anyone call Common Core “state-led” when unelected boards that operate behind closed doors, that are not accountable to the public, developed and copyrighted the standards, bypassing voters and the vast majority of teachers and legislators?
Where is the line-item cost analysis of taxpayers’ money being spent on Common Core technologies, teacher training and texts?
When will state leadership address Common Core’s specific damages with the people who elected these leaders to serve us, rather than bowing to every federal whim?
Will the board and governor ever stand up to the Department of Education’s tsunami of assaults on liberties?
Will they continue to fight against local teachers and citizens who rightfully demand local liberty and who rightfully ask for proven, non-experimental, amendable standards — following the example set by the national and world-leading education system in Massachusetts, prior to Common Core?
Thanks to Deyette Bradley for sharing her letter here.