SALT LAKE CITY – In a paper titled Common Core: Is It Best For Utah Children?, Sutherland Institute has published its four-month examination of claims and counterclaims surrounding Common Core standards – standards to which the state of Utah has committed.
The 12 pages of analysis and five pages of endnotes come to this conclusion: Utah should exit Common Core.
Paul Mero, the Institute’s president, explains the lengthy examination: “There’s been so much rancor, so much he-said-she-said and who did what, when, where and how that we felt the need to take the appropriate time to identify key policy questions and get the record straight.”
The Sutherland paper dissects Common Core State Standards according to three basic principles of sound education policy: (1) Are Common Core standards in the best interests of Utah’s students; (2) do these standards address the unique needs of every student; and (3) do they reinforce local decision making in education? Sutherland concludes no on all three counts.
“Candidly, everyone who’s honest knows that receipt of federal education dollars drives inclinations to accommodate intrusive initiatives such as Common Core. The big question for us always has been, ‘Are the out-of-state agreements entered into by Utah worth welcoming federal and state consortia into our lives?’ ” Mero further explained. “Our conclusion is no. Utah can do much better on its own.”
He added, “What we found was that the only ‘conspiracy’ in state government is to grab more federal education dollars and that state education leaders will say just about anything to protect that effort. Our research reveals that Common Core standards, on the whole, are inferior to what Utah could set for itself. Period.”
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