It is too expensive to replace Common Core.
That’s the argument one member of the Utah State Board of Education made last week.
The Salt Lake City Tribune reports:
Utah opponents of the Common Core State Standards may need to foot a $100 million bill if they’re committed to replacing the controversial education benchmarks, according to state school board member Spencer Stokes.
During a Thursday meeting of the school board’s Standards and Assessment Committee, Stokes said it is simply too expensive for Utah to start from scratch on a new set of grade-level standards for mathematics and English education.
“There’s no way on God’s green Earth that the Legislature is going to give us the money needed to create a true Utah core,” Stokes said. “In my mind, that chapter of this debate has closed because there’s no funding for it.”
Stokes’ explanation met resistance from board colleague Lisa Cummins, a member of the advocacy group Utahns Against Common Core.
She said her constituents don’t believe the debate is over and are not satisfied allowing a “socialist program” to be rendered impenetrable by financial constraints.
“Then they can pay for it,” Stokes responded. “The point is, the Legislature won’t give us the money.”
A 2016 report found that comprehensive revision of the Utah’s math and English standards, including the development of new tests and instructional materials and training for educators, could cost up to $38 million for the Utah Board of Education and another $87 million for local school districts.
First, if it will cost $100 million to replace Common Core, how much did it cost the state to implement it in the first place? I don’t recall the Board bemoaning the cost of new standards back then. I would also love to see a copy of this report the Tribune cites as there was no mention of who conducted the study, nor a link to the report. Since Mr. Stokes is throwing that figure around he needs to state where he’s getting his numbers.
Second, based on a study sponsored by the Pioneer Institute, American Principles Project, The Federalist Society, and Pacific Research Institute in 2012 that pegged Common Core’s cost at $16 billion nationally I don’t think it’s going out on a limb to say Utah spent more to implement Common Core. At least they won’t have to shell out more for broadband which would be a bargain.
Third, how much will it cost Utah, in the long run, to continue with these reforms that have so far have produced no fruit except, at best, a decrease in NAEP scores and increased achievement gaps?