Delegates to the Utah Republican Party Convention will consider a resolution this weekend calling for the state's withdrawal from the Common Core academic standards. The resolution comes on the heels of the Republican National Committee’s decision to take a stand against the initiative as well. But education officials say the statements within the resolution are “less-than-accurate”.
The resolution calls the standards inferior and unproven, adding the initiative opens the door to federal authority over curriculum and testing in the state of Utah. It’s a perception Utah education officials have battled since implementing the Common Core in 2010.
Speaking to members of the Education Interim Committee at the Legislature this week, State Board of Education Chair Debra Roberts stands behind Common Core noting the standards are statements of what children need to know before they leave the public education system, not a set curriculum
“If you think that the state board would any time be willing to give up any of its constitutional authority and general supervision, then you don’t understand how much the board protects that responsibility and that power," Roberts says.
The resolution also contends Common Core violates state and federal privacy laws by requiring the storage and sharing of private student and family data without consent.
Republican Representative Dan McKay says he is nervous about making decisions based on fear or inaccurate information but he still has apprehensions, especially about privacy.
“I’m closely monitoring because several of my constituents are very concerned about it and I hope that this is not a conversation that will die down in the background and we’ll slowly lose the ability to influence those decisions," McKay says.
State Superintendent Martel Menlove says reporting requirements will not change under Common Core.
“The data that we collect, the data that we report to Washington D.C. is all based on No Child Left Behind Legislation," Menlove says.
The board recently rejected a call from the governor’s office to make changes to documents Common Core critics say strengthen the state’s commitment to the standards.