Common Core Draws Supporters & Critics to Public Discussion

(KCPW News) The debate over how to best teach Utah children took center stage last night. More than 200 teachers, parents and education officials met to discuss the pros and cons of the Common Core standards at a meeting held at the Granite School District offices by the Utah Board of Education. Mary Lamb, a sixth grade teacher in West Valley City, spoke in favor of the new standards, saying they help keep everyone on the same page.

“My school has a high turnover, move in, move out rate, and I had to spend a lot of time with kids that had moved from other places and were either far behind where I was and dying, or far ahead of where I was and bored. It just seems to run a lot more smoothly,” she tells KCPW.

The state adopted the standards in math and language arts in an effort to make students more college and career ready. Since then, opponents like Kristen Price have said the Common Core is just one way the federal government in infringing on states’ rights.

“Nobody’s objecting to high standards, but let’s implement our own. I don’t want somebody from Washington D.C. controlling what I read, what I do, and trying to make me like every other zombie on the block. I want to be myself and I want my children and my grandchildren to have that same freedom. This is encroaching upon that and I don’t like it,” Price says.

The standards were not created by the federal government, though opponents complain states are adopting them just as a way to get more federal money. 45 states have adopted the Common Core. The State Board of Education says the comments gathered during last night’s meeting will be used to make further decisions about the issue.