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Parents, Teachers Sue State's BOE Over Common Core Standards

Parents, Teachers Sue State's BOE Over Common Core Standards

Six parents, teachers and local school board members are attempting to sue Utah's State Board of Education over the implementation of Common Core Standards in 2010 without first receiving public consent, calling it an illegal "back-door" move.

The Common Core opponents and representation for the state's BOE were in court yesterday to argue the matter, which was originally brought to the court in July 2014.

"The plaintiffs asked the court to stop the Utah Board of Education from continuing to implement the standards because the board broke the rules by not allowing public comment and discussion before implementing the standards," said KUTV.com.

Deputy Utah Attorney General Nicole Call, attorney for the Board of Education, countered the complaint by saying that a two-month window was available for opponents of the standards to make comments/express concern just before the standards were implemented.

The argument quickly turned from whether the state needed public approval for implementation to whether or not the standards work and should be kept in place- a debate that is currently raging across the country as many stand divided.

While the plaintiffs argued that Common Core has proven to be unsuccessful so far, the State Board of Education officials argued it has resulted in tangible improvement in Utah's students.

"Math scores showed student proficiency went up from 39.2% in 2013-2014 to 44.6 percent proficiency in 2014-2015. Language arts proficiency went from 42.4 percent in 2013-2014 to 44.1 percent in 2014-2015. That data was provided by the State office of Education," the article said.

Though Common Core is a point of contention in many places, it has been especially polarizing for the people of Utah.

"Last year Gov. Gary Herbert asked the attorney general to review the state's legal commitments. Attorney General Sean Reyes found the adoption of the standards was legal, and that the state hasn't lost any authority over its standards or curriculum to the federal government," said WRAL.com.

"Opponents, though, said that review was too narrow and didn't address their concerns that Utah has lost local control and was coerced into adopting Common Core in order to receive federal grant money, something the state denies." 

The judge, Utah Judge Paige Petersen, will make a decision in the case on Nov. 3 at 11:30 a.m.

Read more here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

10/14/2015

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