Utah Common Core Survey
I had a friend post a link to this Utah common core survey in a homeschool group. She, along with others in my circle of "crazy homeschool friends :)" was frustrated at not being able to say everything she wanted about "common core," and feeling a bit disenfranchised. I understand her frustration for sure, but I disagree somewhat and feel I have to fi nally share the conclusions I have come to over the past few months. I first heard from the anti-core people. I signed the petition for rejecting common core based on what I read. I would take that back now if given the chance. I would not say necessarily that I love the common core standards, but I realize now that I was mistaken on some important things. (I may feel differently if I were in another state that had taken federal money from Race to the Top, but that's a discussion for another day.)
I think much of the frustration on the issue of "common core" stems from the fact that people on both sides are using the term to mean different things. When a supporter says "common core," he or she literally means only a set of standards. When an opponent uses the same term, he or she refers to a whole host of issues surrounding education reform, which, while perhaps not completely unrelated, do not rightly fall under the definition of common core. It is infuriating on both sides to discuss the issue in this way. I don't mean to say that there aren't problems to fix. There are plenty - excessive testing, data tracking, the possibility of inappropriate or biased curriculum, federal coercion via RTTT, for example. Some of these need to be resolved at the school level, some at district level, some at state level, and some at the federal level. It is not fair to call them all "common core" and blame our state school board and the governor. In fact, I'm afraid that even if opponents of the core get their way and the standards are repealed, we will be unpleasantly surprised that very little of what we actually oppose has been eliminated.
So while I do share in the frustration over lack of forum to discuss all my concerns - most of the concerns being more objectionable than the standards - I welcome at least this small opportunity to legitimately respond to the common core itself. I plan to reread the standards and provide the best feedback I can. I do so with the handicap of having no real experience with a child in public school. Some of you could draw upon much deeper insight when looking at the individual standards. I encourage you to do so. This is it, people. You cannot ignore a chance like this and then complain that you had no say in the matter! Please read the actual standards! If you object to a certain standard, find it. Make sure you understand what it actually says, not just what either side is telling you it says! If you still object, say so! I think we need to respond where and when we can, (and try to stay on topic - cramming everything we dislike about education into a standards discussion does nothing for our credibility) or we will continue to have less and less opportunity to do so.
Here's a link to the KSL article about the standards review: