Video: What do Utahns think about Common Core?

Last week, hundreds of Utahns packed a room to express their views on Common Core. We interviewed several attendees to hear their thoughts on the issue:

You can watch the entire two-hour meeting here:

What do you think? Is Utah’s participation in Common Core good for students?

Here’s the script of the first video: 

VOICE OVER: Utah is one of more than 40 states to transition their education core standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics to a set of standards common to all states. Since the transition a year and a half ago, the controversy has grown, and after months of debate, advocates and opponents shared comments at a public forum last Thursday night. Advocates of Utah’s Common Core explain why they support the changes.

DEBRA ROBERTS: “We feel like there are certain promises that we need to keep to our students, and the most important promise is that every child can read and every child has the numeracy, the math skills that they need to succeed in. And as we looked at things we simply did not have the rigor and the relevance in our standards that we needed to have for our students here in Utah.”

CORBIN WHITE: “When people move from state to state, the standards would be the same, and wherever they went they would not fall behind or fall ahead because they would all be teaching to the same standard. Now that being said, it’s important to note that although the standard is the same, teachers have the ability to teach the curriculum in any fashion they wish to get to that standard. That’s the beauty of it – that gives teachers a lot of autonomy; they’re able to create their curriculum for the kids to help each one individually attain that standard.”

VOICE-OVER: Sutherland also talked with Common Core critics.

AMY HAHN: “I went to an informational meeting about Common Core and I was told that the standards are really not that much different than what we are doing already. I asked, “Why are we changing them, then; why are we signing onto this program?”

KRISTIN PRICE: “One of the most disturbing features to me is something that no one has mentioned here today, and that is the tracking and reporting component of this process. The federal government will have access to very personal information about every student in kindergarten or preschool possibly through high school. To me, this is a huge loss of privacy.”

VOICE-OVER: What do you think? Should Utahns be concerned about the Common Core, or will the new standards improve the education of Utah students? For more information on Common Core, visit www.schools.utah.gov/core. For Sutherland Institute, I’m Alexis Young, reminding you that public policy changes lives.

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