By Kristen Price, For the Deseret News
As a delegate, I am spending a lot of time attending candidate presentations, usually two or three a day. With the exception of Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, all of the candidates I have interviewed are against the Common Core initiative that the governor has committed Utah to participate in. At one meeting last week, I was invited by a delegate to attend the State Board of Education meeting held April 13 at the State School Board offices. This seems to be an important issue that I felt I needed to explore further.
I went to the meeting after reading a press release from April 2, 2012, encouraging parents and educators to encourage the governor to reconsider the impact of the Common Core Initiative. That information really concerned me.
At the beginning of the meeting, a board member spoke out strongly in support of their decision to adopt Common Core. After a prayer and the pledge, they allowed individuals who had previously requested a place on the agenda to speak for two minutes. Among those were three individuals requesting that they study the initiative further. Then there were even more teachers who spoke glowingly about how wonderful the Common Core standards are. The meeting was adjourned to reconvene in committees. I felt the deck was definitely stacked in support Common Core.
I recommend that concerned citizens to go several websites to get more information about this initiative: www.Utahnsagainstcommoncore.com has a lot of information and a petition to sign. Additional information is available at www.keepeducationlocal.com and Commoncorefacts.blogspot.com.
As I see it, the big issue here is not the standards. Everyone wants high educational standards. It is that this initiative removes all local control and gives it to the federal government through state group pressure. It is another method of federal takeover and the loss of state sovereignty and local control of our education system. One of the most disturbing features to me is the tracking and reporting component. The federal government will have very personal information about every student from kindergarten through high school. Talk about a loss of privacy. That is a huge issue for me. And in a lengthy discussion with a teacher last night who hates the CC but feels pressure to “keep her mouth shut” the information is very inaccurate but will stick with the individual throughout his or her life. She says they were given a touch tablet device to implement their testing. However, there is no way to correct a mis touch or mistake. That is outrageous.
Neal Mcluskey stated in an article, The Other Federal Takeover, published on March 27, 2012 by the Cato Institute that “classic propaganda techniques have been employed: repeat enough that the effort is completely ‘state led and voluntary’ and people will believe you.” That is precisely what our governor and the board of education are doing.
If we truly care about our children in the State of Utah, it looks like we will have to replace Gary Herbert as governor to get rid of our participation in the Common Core Initiative.
I have so many other quotes I could include but there isn’t time or space here. Please check out the websites and get informed. This is a huge chunk of our personal freedom that is being usurped once again by the federal government whose only job is to protect us.
Kristen Price is a delegate from West Jordan. Price is part of Utah Delegates, a group of delegates tweeting and blogging about their experience being a delegate in Utah. This group was assembled by KSL and the Deseret News. Follow them on Twitter: @UTDelegates