Editor:

Did Bill Gates infect the Wyoming Department of Education with a “computer virus?” A virus enters a computer system in a nontraditional way. Rather than being installed by the user, it rides in on another application. You may not notice its arrival until it starts to affect your computers performance.

Natrona County students did not do as well on the PAWS test this year as they did in previous years! Why? The “virus” of Common Core curriculum has infected the education system of Natrona County. Common Core is touted as more “rigorous” and a higher standard than previous standards. Yet Wyoming students educated with Common Core standards could not match the performance of student taught under the old less “rigorous” standards. Apparently, Common Core standards are not more rigorous.

So how did this Common Core “virus” find its way to Wyoming schools? Our governor, Matt Mead, brought it back to Wyoming from the National Governors Association. The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation gave a substantial contribution to the National Governors Association to help advance the adoption of these national standards. By working through the governors association they could circumvent the “users and “install” the Common Core “virus” without a confrontation with voters or the general public. Here in Wyoming it worked! We never had the chance to vote for or against Common Core! And yet, we are stuck with it.

How do we “reboot” the system? The liberal who brought Common Core to Wyoming must be removed and replaced with a conservative.

TED DAVIS, Sundance

(3) comments

SteveL
SteveL

More rigorous standards raise the bar, thus they have more challenging tests. The fall in student test scores is evidence of higher standards, not lower. You have to know more to pass. If I am reading this correctly, the author says Matt Meade brought this to Wyoming and he is a liberal who needs to be replaced by a conservative. If Matt Meade is a liberal, I am curious what the author would identify as the center.

wyomom4
wyomom4

It would be good to for the public to know that under NCLB, standards were left to the states, while at the same time, they were held to 100% proficiency. This led to states to establish standards that were strategically low, so that they could meet the 100% proficiency. Therefore, it is not difficult for the CCSS to be an improvement over what Wyoming had before. However, the "rigor" proclaimed by CCSS proponents is subject to debate. Standards and content experts Dr. Sandra Stotsky (ELA) and Dr. James Milgram (math) both served on the validation committee and refused to sign off on the CCSS. The public should seek to become informed regarding their reasons.

It is premature to say that PAWS scores dropping is a result of CCSS being higher. Drawing the conclusion that "you have to know more to pass" is a very simplistic view of the drop in test scores. The PAWS test was not fully aligned to the CCSS last year. So, if the CCSS is indeed more "rigorous" and teaches more in depth, critical thinking, one would surmise that students actually should've performed better on the PAWS exam.

In my opinion, the adoption process of the CCSS in Wyoming was not transparent. It is also interesting to note that the committee WDE appointed to review the CCSS in Wyoming did not have a single college level English professor or college level math professor. It would be a logical assumption that professors in those two subjects would be the expert opinion such a committee would need. Furthermore, the statutory authority to adopt standards in the state of Wyoming belongs to the State Board of Education. However, the MOU signing us into the agreement to adopt such standards was signed by then Governor Freudenthal, and former Superintendent McBride in 2009. The common core standards were not even published until June 2010.

Wyoming citizens should question whether our leaders at the state level exercised good policy decision making when agreeing to adopt a set of standards before they were even published, much less pilot tested in any U.S. classroom.

cat
cat

My sons brought home the Common Core curriculum for math. It looked more like an English class. As usual there are very few practice problems the text is confusing. What I would give for my 1975 math books where learning math was straightforward and was indeed math. This program is garbage just like the prior math program where we hardly had a book. Please google "The National Review, Two Moms vs. Common Core" what you read there is in our Natrona County School District. I have moved my two children into the online district math program called Odyssey-ware this program is straightforward math. Those running our district and Mead don't know what they are doing!!!! Common Core is now in every subject in our schools I DID NOT GET TO VOTE ON THIS!!!!!!

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