Utah State School Board Neutered By National Standards   Leave a comment

The Utah State Board of Education has virtually no control over the national standards as they have been adopted for Utah. 

  • USSB has no ability to delete anything from the already adopted national standards:

A governing document of Common Core gives no provision for the Utah School Board to delete anything from the national standards. 

(See page 7, Race to the Top Application, at http://find.ed.gov/search?q=Race+to+the+Top+application+November+2009&client=default_ frontend&output=xml_no_dtd&proxystylesheet=default_frontend&sa.x=0&sa.y=0&sa. )

  • USSB has no ability to add meaningfully to the standards:

That  same governing document of Common Core states that states can only add 15% to the national standards.  But Utah needs that freedom to add much more than 15%.  Example:

A whole year’s worth of improvement is needed for some of the given standards.  For example, a 6th and 9th grade Common Core “math bubble” of repetition was experienced this year in districts like mine that implemented Common Core math.  https://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/state-and-local-school-board-perceptions-of-common-core-differ-13-2/

We can’t add more and remain the same as Common Core nationally.  You’re either diverse, or you’re the same.  Our 6th and 9th graders learn no math for a year because of the lack of local control and the adoption of nationwide sameness.  (F.Y.I. –Prior to Common Core, 8th graders learned Algebra I.  Under Common Core, 9th graders learn Algebra I.) http://americanprinciplesproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Controlling-Education-From-the-Top.pdf

  • No amendment process exists:

Because the NGA placed the standards under copyright, Utah cannot amend them in any way. http://www.corestandards.org/terms-of-use   http://www.corestandards.org/public-license

  • How bad is it?

The lack of local control over the changes made by the national standards adoption is illustrated by this fact: this year, a current school board member pulled her grandchildren out of public school and home schooled both her 8th grade grandson and 9th grade granddaughter, she said, because “our school district had decided to adopt the Common Core for every grade, rather than what was proposed by the state. It was proposed that we only adopt for the 6th and 9th grade and provide alternative programs for those students who already had the skills…” https://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/state-and-local-school-board-perceptions-of-common-core-differ-13-2/

  • Evidence of the above statements, from the official Common  Core test writer, WestEd:

The test developer, WestEd, affirmed that “in order for this system to have a real impact within a state, the state will need to adopt the CCSS, i.e., not have two sets of standards.”

Full email from WestEd at:   https://whatiscommoncore.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/what-is-wested-and-why-should-you-care/

WestEd also stated that any changes (up to 15%) that Utah makes to the national standards will never be taken into account on the common standardized tests.

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