[Curriculum Directors] Your action is needed

Cook, Tricia M. Tricia.Cook at schools.utah.gov
Mon Apr 29 15:55:29 MDT 2013

As you are probably aware the Utah Core based on the Common Core is under vicious attack.  Opponents of the core cite reasons against the core ranging from fears about data collection to federal government intrusion.  They have specifically begun attacking the mathematics core, in some cases because it "holds students back" and in others because "students who were formerly receiving good grades are now struggling".  These complaints have caught the attention of the legislature and some members of the Utah Board of Education.

At the same time, everywhere I go I am hearing stories of student successes that far exceed previous expectations.  I am visiting with teachers who tell me about engaged students who are doing real mathematics, not just copying problems out of textbooks.  And teachers are empowered by creating units of study for students that go beyond anything their textbooks ever provided.  Wonderful things are happening in Utah!

The time is now to contact policymakers and reassure them that the adoption of the Core was the right thing to do and give them specific evidence of how the integrated model is supporting student learning of mathematics.  It's ok to recognize challenges, but it is critical that policymakers understand that the Core has already had a positive impact on student learning and is likely to result in changes that really will close achievement gaps in the future.  I cannot stress enough how important it is that policymakers hear directly from teachers regarding what is happening in their classrooms.  The teachers do not need to advocate for the core, just give evidence of the results.

Please invite teachers to send their stories to their own legislators and State Board of Education members.  Also, letters to Aaron Osmond aosmond at le.utah.gov<mailto:aosmond at le.utah.gov> and Todd Weiler weiler at le.utah.gov<mailto:weiler at le.utah.gov> may have extra pull because of their roles in the Utah Senate.  Copies sent to USOE, either to me or to Brenda Hales Brenda.hales at schools.utah.gov<mailto:Brenda.hales at schools.utah.gov> are also appreciated.  The legislators and other policymakers need real information.  If we do not voice our thoughts now, we may not have another chance.

Diana Suddreth, STEM Coordinator
Secondary Mathematics
Teaching and Learning
Utah State Office of Education
250 E. 500 South
PO Box 144200
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-4200
diana.suddreth at schools.utah.gov<mailto:diana.suddreth at schools.utah.gov>

To subscribe to the Secondary Mathematics mailing list for emails about Utah mathematics events and professional development visit:  https://lists.uen.org/mailman/listinfo/secondarymath.

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