The phrase “Common Core” has come to mean different things to different people. For this reason, I support the Governor’s independent review of the K-12 educational standards (found here for your review: USOE Core Standards). Because I was not serving as a board member when the standards were adopted, I have spent countless hours researching them, the genesis, implementation, and the other facets of Common Core.
In the many discussions I’ve had with constituents who oppose and support the standards, there seems to be confusion over the standards in particular and federal intrusion in general. To be clear, I am 100% against ANY federal intrusion or future takeover of Utah schools. Utah knows best how to teach its children. When we can keep control of our education system at the most local level, we will have greater success and accountability.
I support high academic standards for our children. For the past few decades, the state of Utah has created or supported state standards. The process for review and adoption of new academic standards takes place every five to seven years. Utah is always engaged in reviewing and improving our academic standards on an ongoing basis.
If there are specific problems with the state standards, then let’s have a conversation about the actual standard and fix it. The Board is in the process of forming a parent review committee to examine the current math standards. Due to my traditional math background, I am anxious to find ways to alleviate any concerns from teachers, parents and students. Therefore, I fully support a transparent process where we can garner feedback to improve our current standards and practices.
I oppose any federal mandate that limits educational choices at a local level. Unfortunately, we will always be pushing for more local control, from any past, current or future federal program. Due to our current education funding model, the federal government funds approximately 14% of our state’s education budget. I appreciate the School Lands Trust (money generated from mineral and oil leases) and the money it provides our schools. Safeguarding this fund is vitally important for the future funding of public education in Utah.
I am listening to your concerns when it comes to public education in Utah. While I may not have the loudest voice, I am a strong and effective voice in setting a solid vision for the future.
Creativity, Vision & Teaching:
Fostering a love of learning is so important for our children. We need to empower teachers to teach in a creative environment. Allow them to do what they do best. The teachers I meet are extraordinary people with a great capacity to love and teach our children.
I am a strong supporter of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) in our schools. I also value the arts and creativity. I hope to see CTE classes and leadership programs encourage our children to discover useful skills while dreaming big. We are a country founded on an American dream and I believe the greatest days are still ahead. Receiving a well-rounded education while instilling a deep love of knowledge is the best gift we can give to the next generation.