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State of the Debate
George Pyle
George Pyle has been a newspaper writer in Kansas, Utah, Upstate New York, and now Utah again, for more than 30 years - most of it as an editorial writer and columnist. Now on his second tour of duty on The Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board, he has also done a stretch as a talk radio host, published a book on the ongoing flaws of U.S.agricultural policy and, in 1998, was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing. His most active bookmarks are Andrew Sullivan, Christopher Hitchens and Tina Brown. And he still thinks the Internet can be used for intelligent conversation and uplifting ideas.

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In this Jan. 16, 2013 file photo, concerned grandparent Sue Lile, of Carmel, Ind., shows her opposition to Common Core standards during a rally at the State House rotunda in Indianapolis. Some states are pushing back against the new set of uniform benchmarks for reading, writing and math that replace a hodgepodge of of goals that had varied wildly from state to state and are being widely implemented this school year in most states. (AP Photo/The Star, Frank Espich)
Opinion Sampler: School's out. Homework for adults ...

Don't forget to learn this summer — Prescott (Ariz.) Daily Courier Editorial

... The studies are out there, and they've been consistent for decades. Students typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer break than they do on the same tests at the beginning of summer. One study suggests that most students lose about two months of grade level equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer months. That's definitely an OMG, as those kids would say. And those realities have nothing to do with the school system and nothing to do dwindling district budgets. They have everything to do with parents and good, old-fashioned home-style motivation. ...

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Common Core merits support — Ogden Standard-Examiner Editorial

The Common Core State Standards in education, of which Utah is a participant, is under attack. Egged on by Tea Party groups, Republican-dominated states, as well as the Republican National Committee, have condemned the educational standards. The RNC, in a resolution, calls Common Core "a nationwide straightjacket on academic freedom and achievement." But that’s nonsense, and the RNC members who OK’d such drivel should be ashamed. They are toadies cowed by ideologues whose rigid enforcement of what is "good" would be applauded by Leninists. Common Core standards, set by states, are tough, traditional educational goals that demand analytical studies of math, English and history. The standards, for example, include intensive study of the Constitution and historical speeches, such as the Gettysburg Address. ...

Common Core reform only common sense — Idaho Statesman Editorial

... Like its predecessors, Common Core - which espouses stiff standards for math and English language arts - is so seemingly nonpartisan, one can find elected officials from both aisles to tout or torch it. We empathize with parents who, ironically, don't know what standard to measure Common Core by because there is such a thick cloud of both reasoned and conspiratorial rhetoric surrounding it. ...

Common Core online chat yields lively debate but no consensus — Robert Ehlert — Idaho Statesman

Common Core — Hutchinson (Kan.) News Editorial

Kansas legislators’ penchant for political showboating and micromanagement nearly just threw the state’s public education system into chaos. ...

Common Core standards untested — Battle Creek (Mich.) Enquirer Editorial

National education standards will do nothing to foster local communities of learning, and without such communities, no amount of reform will help all of our kids realize their full intellectual potential as citizens. Viewed in that light, Common Core Standards are at best untested, their implementation premature. ...

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