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Utah Superintendent Defends Common Core Standards

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January 19, 2011 07:45 pm

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Utah Superintendent of Public Instruction Larry Shumay recently blogged in defense of the common core state standards. See below for an excerpt or check out the full post here. If you are interested in learning more about common standards or where your state stands, visit our common standards portal.

Recently, some members of the Utah Senate expressed concerns over Utah joining with 40 other states in creating and implementing a set of common core standards in the areas of language arts and mathematics for our K-12 students. The members of the Utah State Board of Education and the staff at the Utah State Office of Education welcome the senators’ interest and encourage their inquiry. After honest investigation, we believe they will come to the same conclusion that the Board has come to: Common core standards will help increase the academic rigor of Utah’s public schools and help make students across the nation more academically (and, consequently, economically) competitive with their peers from around the globe.

The first thing you should know about the Common Core is that it is not a federal program. This is the product of individual states like Utah working in cooperation to improve schools. It is not a top-down federal approach and the standards are not politically biased. The driving force behind the core was the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers. Utah Governor Gary Herbert is a member of the National Governors Association, as are all the nation’s governors. The latter group, CCSSO, includes in its membership State Superintendent Larry K. Shumway and his counterparts from the other states. The participating states are now also working on creating tests to measure learning the common core in English and math. Utah’s Associate State Superintendent Judy Park is leading that effort as chair of the assessment group.

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