Utah Governor Calls for State’s Withdrawal of Common Core Education Standards

Following a defeat at the State Republican convention where the Common Core education standards were a central point of contention between gubernatorial challenger Jonathan Johnson and incumbent Governor Gary Herbert, the latter has just issued a letter to the State Board of Education asking them to dump the standards.

This comes as a shock to many, as Herbert has long been an ardent proponent of the standards, dismissing and denigrating the concerns raised by critics.

The letter takes an about face, conceding that “there are legitimate concerns that I share with those opposed to the Common Core” and asking the Board to “consider implementing uniquely Utah standards, moving beyond the Common Core to a system that is tailored specifically to the needs of our state.”

The Governor also states that “it is critical that we not repeat past mistakes made during the 2010 implementation of the Common Core standards,” noting that “we must work with parents and students to understand what works and what can be improved.” We find this interesting, as this argument was the basis of our lawsuit against the State Board of Education. Utah law specifies that in “establishing minimum standards related to curriculum and instruction” the Board shall consult with local school boards, teachers, parents, and others.

This was not done. To rebut the arguments outside of the court, the Governor asked the Attorney General to review some of the concerns about Common Core—concerns that Herbert has not conceded until today. That legal analysis, signed by Attorney General Reyes, inaccurately states that the language regarding consulting parents was not in statute in 2010 as the Board was adopting Common Core. That is completely incorrect; the statute had been in place for years prior. It was utterly disregarded during the rushed process of adopting the Common Core standards.

It is important to note that the Board of Education adopted an experimental set of standards for which there was no evidence. No trials had been done. Nothing had been tested. They rushed the state into its adoption not because of any empirical data, but because its adoption was required in order to qualify for a potential federal grant that, in the end, Utah did not receive. For filthy federal lucre, hundreds of thousands of Utah children were turned into pedagogical guinea pigs.

We welcome the Governor’s newfound concern with the Common Core standards and encourage the State Board of Education to follow suit—this time actually consulting with the parents and teachers who are impacted by their top-down decisions.

In a pre-written letter released mere minutes after the Governor’s letter to the Board, Board chairman David Crandall states that the Board “is cognizant of the issues surrounding the 2010 adoption” and that they will “always look for ways to improve upon” the standards. Nothing is stated in direct response to the Governor’s suggestion about the Common Core standards specifically.

Read the Governor’s letter here.

  • Goes to show that simply running for office can have an effect.

  • Holding Out Hope

    Thank you JJ for “string the pot”  Obviously this is the ONLY way to get the attention of politicians.  When their “reign” is threatened, they suddenly start listening.

  • TylerAshton

    That is the power of the caucus system

  • It is too little too late, Gov Herbert had ample opportunity to work to stop common core, he failed to do so. His only concern at this time is the fact his challenger has come out strongly against common core as part of his platform, the Governor must now try and back track his previous stance of support. The failure of his administration to combat one of the worst issues of our time (the indoctrination of our children) is a failure too great to overlook, it is time for a replacement, a conservative replacement, who opposes common core.

  • Classic Herbert. Once an issue threatens his power, he changes his tune.

  • KRowley

    It is amazing the power of propaganda. Back in 2009 or 2010 I attended a meeting at Juab High School in Nephi that was being held to “consult with local school boards, parents, teachers and others”. I was one of 4 people in attendance besides the presenter from the State Office of Education. I have read through the entire common core, an exercise that I would recommend to every concerned parent. There is nothing in these cores about socialism. It is just a higher standard than the previous set of standards. We are in a very tumultuous time in education and we will fail if we treat students today like we did 5, 10, or 15 years ago. Their learning styles are different and now should include technology. These new standards, the common core will prepare our students for the world they face than the standards that I was held to as a student years ago.

  • American Constitution

    Any system imposed on people from the government, but Utah law is to be subjected to public hearing, not just educational items. The fact that the State rushed CC through its approval without letting anyone know what CC was indicates that this program is just another scam. 

    Then I learned that my grandchildren cannot get help from their parents on CC math, because the objective is not to teach math, but to promote some social justice objectives. When our children go to math class, they had better be taught and learn math. If we want our children to go to Social Justice class, let it compete with the other elective offerings for our children/grandchildren’s time. Forcing Social Justice onto our children will get my ire up. 

    Governor, you have betrayed the people of this state for the last time. Folks, welcome Governor Johnson this Fall.

  • Truth Seeker

    KRowley, I have read through these “higher standards”. They are not higher and are indeed full of indoctrination and socialism. Obviously many parents and teachers can see it for what it is. An agenda.

  • Carlees21

    This just sounds like another political ploy. He was booed in Utah County at the delegate meeting for saying if we want to get rid of Common Core, to talk to the State Board of Education. I’ve even heard his followers make the claim that he has nothing to do with the implementation of Common Core & that he doesn’t have the constitutional right to do anything about it. It won’t surprise me if all this letter is for is to make claim that Common Core is not his call. I guess we’ll just have to see how the USOE responds. If they say no, I say it’s a ploy.

  • Kory Chipe

    The governor works closely with the chamber of commerce and education first to craft “his” goals for education. He should have consulted the people who pay for education. Alas, that’s not his style. This is a ploy to get the uninformed to vote for him.

  • judy

    Why is there a state standards?  All standards should be local. Determined by parents and local teachers. Any move beyond your immediate area is asking for trouble.  Still a way to get the citizens to kow tow for “state funds” which should have never left the county.

  • Liberator of Captives

    If only the people would rise up and decry not only Common Core, but recognize all government compulsory schooling an abomination, for the enforced priestcraft that it is.
    A day of great light and freedom will break forth when the masses (or a remnant after a cleanse of the land of those who embrace and uphold secret combinations) adhere to the wisdom of four-time “Teacher of the Year” in New York, John Taylor Gatto, who advocates a call to decertify teaching immediately, give people back their tax dollars and let them with the free market choose their own educational options, with government 100% out of the picture.

  • MikePorter1

    The Governor had plenty of opportunities to impede the continuation of federal over reach and the monopolization of education. Unfortunately, he is lacking in principles and a spine and jumped aboard the easy train with promises of federal dollars of funding for public education. The Governor has no idea what a good educational framework should look like and only listens to and enlists establishment people to his advisement positions. If this were the only issue standing in his way for reelection I could possibly forgive him, considering this reversal and depending on what his next moves were; however, he has a well defined pattern of bad policy and decision making during his terms in office. I WANT HIM OUT! He cannot be trusted to lead this State for another term especially considering the political environment in Washington.

  • LisaEsler

    There is no reason to question his motives. He is a liar and an opportunist, without question. Anyone who does not understand this and politicians in general, should not be voting.

  • Holding Out Hope

    American Constitution
    This is one of the reasons I plan to vote for JJ.  

    He got my attention with his desire to get rid of CC.  He kept my attention with his other plans and ideas and pointing out what the Governor DIDN’T do to get our lands back from the Feds.  The more I heard, the more I like.

    Just hope it isn’t all political promise rhetoric.

  • Holding Out Hope

    @KRowley I have to respectfully disagree with you on this.  I’m not sure how you could have read the entire thing and come away with that opinion unless you were given a white washed version.

    Ask Connor about CC.  Connor my boy, what say you?

  • editor

    You are not getting the big picture. When you read the 10 planks of the communist manifesto, government control of education is one of them. Ask yourself why? Where in the Constitution is there authorization for a Board of Education? Ponder the meaning of a banner in an Alpine school hallway, “Enculturating the young into a social and political democracy ”
    There is a massive push to indoctrinate our children to accept “The New World Order”. They purposely create crisis and then offer “New World” solutions. Who is in charge of the federal board of education? The Carnegie Foundation. Believe me, they have an agenda that does not promote Liberty or Freedom. Do we live in a constitutionally federated republic, or do we live in a democracy(1 step above mob rule )? Do you see the massive propaganda we are subjected to even as parents?