The Utah State Board of Education Got a Shake-up


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One of the more exciting events from Election Day last week in light of our fight against Common Core is that Utah elected three anti-Common Core candidates to the Utah State Board of Education.

Utah has had a large grassroots effort to rid their state of Common Core for quite some time so it is exciting to see some electoral fruit. Christel Swasey reported last week that Alisa Ellis, Michelle Boulter and Lisa Cummins all won seats on the state board which completed a purge of incumbents from the board. “This election showed what can happen when people actually get to vote, instead of having the governor appoint board members, as had happened for so many years in the past,” Swasey wrote.

This put the future of Common Core in the state in doubt.

Alisa Ellis, a newly elected member of the Utah state board of education, says the core standards often symbolizes much more than it actually is.

“Common core basically has been a nickname for a much larger education reform,” says Ellis.

The common core standards were originally created by governors and state superintendents and then adopted on a state by state basis. This was never a federal requirement, but President Obama did incentivize states with extra funding.

Simply put, the core is a set of subject specific standards meant to guide teacher instruction. But Ellis, and at least two other elected board members, say it’s bigger than that.

“With all of these reforms is a loss of local control and a system where accountability shifts from the local community to far off distant bureaucrats,” says Ellis.

Utah will be interesting to watch.

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