Put Common Core clamor aside: Let’s talk about educational standards

By Boyd Matheson and Christine Cooke Education, which represents two-thirds of our state budget and is vital to our future, continues to be front and center in Utah’s political and policy debates. It is worthy of our attention and our best efforts to engage in serious, meaningful dialogue. We are convinced that a marketplace of educational options and a culture that respects the unique, individual learning needs of students is critical. In order to cut through the clamor of political rhetoric, here are a few of our insights on this…

Condescenders, patronizers, and the soft bigotry of low expectations

You know that saying, “Boys will be boys?” You might hear someone say it after they see some hormonally charged teenage boy say something crude to a passing girl. “That was rude,” the person might say. “But boys will be boys!” What you are hearing there is the soft bigotry of low expectations. This demeans women, who are just expected to “put up with it,” just as it demeans men who are seen as incapable of doing better. In short, this type of bigotry means you believe that a person…

Highlights from the Attorney General’s Common Core Report

http://www.flickr.com/photos/fulanna/8482679716/

Let’s dispel with the fear-mongering surrounding education and the Common Core standards. Here are the highlights from the report, as well a cautionary note for where our focus should lie. On Tuesday afternoon, Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes released a report on legal questions surrounding Common Core. Before he had even completed the press conference, activists had already started using his comments as fodder to support their preconceived positions. Haters gonna hate. And activists are gonna activate. None of them had read the report, let alone considered that the report was…

An Analysis of the Libertas Common Core Lawsuit

Lawsuits should never be a first resort. Unfortunately, all too often lawsuits are the only way policy makers listen. Whether it’s civil rights, healthcare, the environment, or education standards, lawsuits are a part of our national political system, turning to courts to address issues that we have been unable to resolve by political action. Enter the Libertas Institute, a local libertarian leaning non-profit, which just last week filed a lawsuit challenging the process by which Common Core educational standards were adopted by the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) in…