U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan: Utah has “complete control” of standards

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne DuncanU.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has responded to a letter State Superintendent Larry Shumway sent on Monday regarding the state’s control of the Utah Core Standards. These standards are based on the Common Core State Standards, a state-led effort to develop rigorous, common educational standards to ensure students leave high school prepared for college and the workforce. In the letter Superintendent Shumway stated the Utah State Board of Education’s right to change, add to or subtract from these standards and asserted the state’s right to complete control of Utah’s learning standards. Today, Secretary Arne Duncan agreed.

Secretary Arne Duncan March 7 2012 Letter

Related posts:

7 comments to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan: Utah has “complete control” of standards

  • Christel

    The fact that Superintendent Shumway directed his question to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan rather than to the consortium of state governors who supposedly lead the Common Core Initiative shows Shumway’s sadly accurate perception that the feds are the ones calling the shots.

    Read TruthinAmericanEducation.com

    • Elizabeth Ziegler

      Christel,

      Thank you for your comment about Secretary Duncan’s letter. I would like to offer a bit of clarification as to why Superintendent Shumway addressed his letter to Secretary Duncan. The purpose of the letter was to seek affirmation that Utah has complete control of our state educational standards, not the federal government.

      At a federal government level, the Department of Education is very supportive of the core standards and has in the past two years issued grants that encourage the use of the Common Core. Occasionally, the Department of Education has wrongly and problematically appeared to take credit for the standards.

      For example, an application for a federal grant for development of assessments erroneously stated that the standards were released by the Department of Education. This has led to confusion over who wrote the core.

      Stephanie Shipton from the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) reaffirmed in an email to the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) on March 27, 2012, “The statement ‘Common Core Standards released by the Department of Education’ is factually incorrect [...] The NGA Center and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) hold the copyright. In addition, the U.S. Department of Education played no role in the development process (including but not limited to financial contributions, input on the standards, and input on the process).”

      There are those who are genuinely worried that the federal government will try to take over the standards, change them and use them for their own agenda, and try to create a national mandated curriculum. The State Board and our members of Congress continue to work with those in Washington to keep that from happening. Conservatives like Chester Finn from the Fordham Foundation, Jeb Bush and Condoleezza Rice are encouraging states to implement the core, while remaining vigilant and resistant to federal intrusion and reminding politicians of states’ rights.

      The politicization of the core standards is an unfortunate by-product of the states’ voluntary efforts to produce an outstanding set of standards for our students. To reject the standards, which are not political, merely to be oppositional to the current administration would be regrettable, especially when the standards have not been mandated and were created by the states.

      Thank you, again, for participating in this important discussion about Utah’s K-12 educational standards. Please let me know if you have further questions about Utah’s Core Standards.

      Elizabeth Ziegler
      Social Media Specialist
      Utah State Office of Education
      elizabeth.ziegler@schools.utah.gov

  • [...] money, we can escape Common Core without serious financial problems.  And we should.  Despite the letter of March 7, 2012 from Arne Duncan, stating “states have the sole right to set learning [...]

  • [...] a letter dated March 7, 2012, Arne Duncan, the Secretary of the United States Department of Education [...]

  • [...] money, we can escape Common Core without serious financial problems. And we should.  Despite the letter of March 7, 2012 from Arne Duncan, stating “states have the sole right to set learning [...]

  • The SLDS also exists to “manage” and “disaggregate” educational information within the state. -A briefing was given in Utah, August 2010 by John Brandt, who is the USOE Technology Director and a member of the federal Dept. of Education, a member of the federal NCES, and a chair member of CCSSO (an organization that helped develop and promote the Common Core national standards.) On page 5 of Brandt’s online powerpoint, he explains that student records and transcripts can be used from school districts to the USOE or USHE “and beyond,” and can also be shared between the USOE and the US Department of Education.

  • […] then-State Superintendent Larry Shumway regarding the state’s control of the Utah Core Standards. Duncan responded with this letter, asserting the state’s “complete control” of its learning standards in all areas of public […]

Leave a Reply