Fighting the good fight in Utah

The second most surreal take on the Common Core I’ve seen this week was that of UMass Lowell lecturer Chuck Ormsby, who said in a Utah newspaper  editorial  that the standards set “no expectation of competency in, or even a basic familiarity with, trigonometry.” One might have checked such a thing first. (I say “second most surreal” because, well, there’s always this.)

Fortunately,  Utah has mathematicians like Hugo Rossi, an emeritus professor at the University of Utah, who now works to help implement the standards by developing curriculum materials through the university’s new Center for Science and Mathematics Education.

It has people like school board member Jennifer Johnson, who wrote this editorial in response to Dr. Sandra Stotksy.

It has people like Republican representative Kraig Powell, who told me recently that he is proud to stand for the Common Core and that he “prefer[s] to examine the merits and substance of claims.”

It has people like Diana Suddreth from the Utah State Office of Education, who daily deals with the flood of disinformation about the standards.

Most of all, it has, in Diana’s words, “the Utah teachers who are working so hard to implement the core with fidelity, who help parents deal with change, and devote themselves to constant improvement even on the face of opposition.”

If you live in Utah, please let these people know that you appreciate their efforts.

About Bill McCallum

I was born in Australia and came to the United States to pursue a Ph. D. in mathematics at Harvard University, met my wife, and never went back. I am a professor at the University of Arizona, working in number theory and mathematics education.