Common Core Propaganda Bill in Utah House

Side_view_Utah_State_CapitolOak Norton wrote an op/ed about HJR008 at Deseret News, but I wanted to share the text of the bill here.  The language of House Joint Resolution 008,  which is a “joint resolution on the benefits of adopting the Common Core Standards,” says:

    This joint resolution of the Legislature recognizes the significant benefits that have
11 come to Utah’s students due to the adoption of the Utah Core Standards.
12 Highlighted Provisions:
13     This resolution:
14     .    recognizes that the adoption of the Utah Core Standards by the Utah State Board of
15 Education has brought significant benefits to the students of Utah as they prepare
16 for college and careers.
17 Special Clauses:

18     None

20 Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
21     WHEREAS, Common Core standards are a set of Mathematics and English Language
22 Arts content standards adopted by 45 states;
23     WHEREAS, Common Core standards consist of concepts, knowledge, and skills that
24 students need to understand and master as they move through their schooling and that prepare
25 them for further education or careers after high school graduation;
26     WHEREAS, the Common Core standards were developed by a state-led effort known
27 as the Common Core State Standards Initiative and were coordinated by the National

28 Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School
29 Officers;
30     WHEREAS, the process used to write the standards ensured they were informed by the
31 best state and international standards, the best student test scores, the experience of teachers,
32 content experts, states, leading thinkers, feedback from the general public, and the most
33 important international models, as well as research and input from numerous sources, including
34 state departments of education, scholars, assessment developers, and professional
35 organizations;
36     WHEREAS, the Common Core standards were designed to build upon the most
37 advanced current thinking about preparing all students for success in college and their careers;
38     WHEREAS, the Common Core standards are research- and evidence-based and aligned
39 with college and work expectations;
40     WHEREAS, the Common Core standards include rigorous and essential skills and
41 knowledge in Mathematics and English Language Arts that progress and increase in depth from
42 kindergarten through twelfth grade and are clear, understandable, and require mastery of both
43 basic and complex concepts;
44     WHEREAS, the standards have made careful use of a large and growing body of
45 evidence, including scholarly research, surveys on what skills are required of students entering
46 college and workforce training programs, assessment data identifying college- and career-ready
47 performance, and comparisons to standards from high-performing states and nations;
48     WHEREAS, a particular standard was accepted only when the best available evidence
49 indicated that its mastery was essential for college and career readiness in a
50 twenty-first-century, globally competitive society;
51     WHEREAS, in their design and content, refined through successive drafts and
52 numerous rounds of feedback, the standards represent a synthesis of the best elements of
53 standards-related work to date and an important advance over previous standards;
54     WHEREAS, the Common Core standards have been endorsed by an unprecedented and
55 wide variety of businesses, private foundations, educational organizations, research groups, and
56 experts in reading and mathematics;
57     WHEREAS, the Common Core standards have been endorsed by a wide variety of
58 politicians, educational organizations, research groups, businesses, private foundations, and

59 experts in reading and mathematics, including the National Council of Teachers of
60 Mathematics, the American Statistical Association, the Fordham Foundation, the National
61 Parent Teacher Association, the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the United
62 States Chamber of Commerce, ACT, Inc., Aetna, the Boeing Company, Dell Inc., IBM, ING
63 Direct, Intel, MetaMetrics Inc., Microsoft, the National Association of Manufacturers, the
64 Governor’s Education Excellence Commission, the Utah State Board of Regents, Utah
65 Technology Council, United Way, and Prosperity 2020;
66     WHEREAS, on September 13, 2011, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stated, “The
67 Common Core State Standards are a building block in our state’s education system meant to
68 ensure that teachers and districts can innovate within a framework of high expectations and
69 accountability. They are based on the fundamental belief that every child in every classroom
70 deserves an education that will properly equip them with the skills they need for college and a
71 career. Our aggressive implementation of these standards in partnership with districts will
72 ensure that our children have an education that will serve them well in the next stages of their
73 lives”;
74     WHEREAS, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush stated, in support of the core standards,
75 “It is the states’ responsibility to foster an education system that leads to rising student
76 achievement. State leaders, educators, teachers and parents are empowered to ensure every
77 student has access to the best curriculum and learning environment. Governors and lawmakers
78 across the country are acting to adopt bold education reform policies. This is the beauty of our
79 federal system. It provides 50 testing sites for reform and innovation. The Common Core
80 State Standards are an example of states recognizing a problem, then working together, sharing
81 what works and what doesn’t”;
82     WHEREAS, the Utah State Board of Education began the effort to revise its
83 mathematics core standards in 2007 after concerns were raised about the rigor of the state’s
84 current standards;
85     WHEREAS, these revisions are based on the need to ensure that students learn what
86 they need to know to be successful after high school;
87     WHEREAS, in June of 2009, the Utah State Board of Education adopted four promises,
88 which define Utah’s current strategic efforts: (1) ensure that every Utah student gains the
89 literacy and numeracy skills they need for success; (2) ensure that all Utah children receive

90 high quality instruction in every classroom every day; (3) make certain that all students are
91 engaged in curriculum th
at embodies high standards and relevance to the world students will
92 encounter after high school; and (4) ensure that high quality, effective assessments inform both
93 instruction and accountability;
94     WHEREAS, the Utah State Board of Education agreed that participation in the
95 development of new Common Core standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts
96 would serve as a critical part of its efforts to keep those promises;
97     WHEREAS, comments on the standards were solicited and received during two public
98 comment periods;
99     WHEREAS, these comments, many of which helped shape the final version of the
100 standards, came from teachers, parents, school administrators, and other citizens concerned
101 with education policy;
102     WHEREAS, on June 4, 2010, the Utah State Board of Education gave preliminary
103 approval for Utah to move ahead in accepting the Common Core standards as a framework for
104 setting the state’s own standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts, and the Common
105 Core standards were placed on the board’s website for review;
106     WHEREAS, during the summer of 2010, the Utah State Office of Education held
107 several meetings where the Common Core standards were discussed;
108     WHEREAS, meetings included conversations with superintendents, charter directors,
109 curriculum directors, legislators, Parent Teacher Association members, higher education
110 representatives, and business leaders;
111     WHEREAS, the Common Core standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts
112 were approved during the board’s August 6, 2010, meeting, having been fully examined and
113 vetted, and adopted by the Utah State Board of Education as the Utah Core Standards for
114 Mathematics and English Language Arts;
115     WHEREAS, the new Utah Core Standards for Mathematics and English Language Arts
116 are part of the Utah Core Standards that include standards for other subjects such as Science,
117 Social Studies, Career Technical Education, Fine Arts, Health, World Languages, and Driver
118 Education;
119     WHEREAS, Utah Core Standards provide a consistent, clear understanding of what
120 students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents know what they need to do to help them;

121     WHEREAS, Utah Core Standards are designed to be relevant to the real world,
122 reflecting the knowledge and skills that young people need for success in college and careers;
123     WHEREAS, with American students fully prepared for the future, Utah’s communities
124 will be best positioned to compete successfully in the global economy;
125     WHEREAS, while Utah Core Standards help teachers organize and prepare for
126 instruction, like building codes help an architect prepare a blueprint, the curricula used to
127 implement the Utah Core Standards varies according to district or charter school needs, like
128 homes built using building standards or codes are not identical, but are built based on the needs
129 and values of the owner while still following the building code;
130     WHEREAS, the Utah Core Standards do not tell teachers how to teach, nor do they tell
131 schools or districts what materials must be used in classrooms;
132     WHEREAS, the new Utah Core Standards are an important first step to meet the
133 promise that every student leave high school with a high-quality, relevant education and ready
134 for the future;
135     WHEREAS, the Common Core standards were not developed or mandated by the
136 federal government, are not federal or national standards, and may be withdrawn from adoption
137 or changed by the Utah State Board of Education at any time;
138     WHEREAS, local teachers, principals, superintendents, and others will decide how the
139 Utah Core Standards are to be met and how best to help students meet the standards;
140     WHEREAS, teachers will continue to devise lesson plans and tailor instruction to the
141 individual needs of the students in their classrooms;
142     WHEREAS, local teachers, principals, superintendents, and school boards will continue
143 to make decisions about curriculum and how their school systems are operated;
144     WHEREAS, the Utah Core Standards are supportive of Utah values and are designed to
145 prepare students to become responsible, literate citizens; and
146     WHEREAS, the Utah Core Standards are based on college, career, and civic readiness
147 that lead to honest labor and are designed for the greater common good of Utah’s citizens:
148     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah
149 recognizes that the adoption of the Utah Core Standards have brought significant benefits to the
150 students of Utah as they prepare for college and careers.
151     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to the Utah State

152 Board of Regents, the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, the Council of
153 Chief State School Officers, and the Utah State Office of Education for distribution to each of
154 Utah’s school districts.

There is absolutely no policy here.  It is nothing, it accomplishes nothing.  Utah is still utilizing the Common Core.  The only thing it accomplishes is to push the talking points given by those who advocate for the Common Core State Standards.  Many of which have been thoroughly debunked.   This seems to be an act of desperation.  So I wonder what it took for the Utah State Department of Education to convince State Representative Jim Bird to sponsor this useless piece of legislation.