Changes proposed in state education standards

Last week, Governor Herbert released a letter saying he’d like the state school board to begin a process of withdrawal or to, at least, strongly reconsider the Math & Language Arts standards set forth in Common Core. The program is described as a set of standards defining the knowledge and skills that students from pre-kindergarten to 12th grade need to master each year to be prepared for the next grade, and ultimately college or employment.

State School Board Region 1 representative Terryl Warner agrees that it has been a very polarizing issue in Utah. On KVNU’s For the People program on Monday, Warner said the dissatisfaction appears to be especially with the Math curriculum. She said the approach now is different from how many older ones learned the basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division tables.

“There are new ways of teaching children…the way to do those types of math problems,” said Warner. “And they can be somewhat confusing, they can be time-consuming and I think parents have been very concerned about this.”

Warner went on to say, “We hear horror stories from parents (of) children in tears. Children don’t want to do their homework because it’s so frustrating and parents can’t help them. I look at those types of scenarios and I think that the governor probably hears the same scenarios that I do and…we need to figure out how to all get on the same page.”

Warner said a lot of money is invested in the current set-up, but the state board has been reviewing and already making changes to the Math standards and they will continue to evaluate them. She said what is really needed is a way to get more input from educators and parents.

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