Governor’s Standards Review Panel presents review of Education Standards to State Board of Education

SALT LAKE CITY (Feb. 11, 2014) ­ The Governor’s Standards Review Panel, co­chaired by former Commissioner of Higher Education Dr. Richard Kendell and Utah Valley University President. Matthew Holland released its report of the Utah State Core Standards in mathematics and English language arts to the Utah State Board of Education. Additionally, Attorney General Sean Reyes presented his legal review of the adoption of these standards.

The review was requested by the governor as part of an effort to resolve divisive issues in education and address questions regarding federal entanglements associated with the Common Core Standards. The review was announced by Gov. Herbert in a press conference on July 17, 2014.

Gov. Herbert ordered:

  • A legal review and report from the Attorney General’s Office on Utah’s adoption of the Common Core Standards.
  • An evaluation of the education standards in these subjects from a higher education perspective to ensure students are prepared for postsecondary success.
  • A public comment period to invite parents, teachers and community members to provide feedback and commentary on specific standards of concern.

The legal review asked the attorney general to review five issues and the findings conclude:

  • The State Board of Education has the authority to set academic standard for Utah students, and the State Board’s adoption of the Common Core State standards was in no way illegal.
  • By adopting the Common Core standards Utah has not ceded authority over to the standards and curriculum. Utah charter schools or local school boards have authority to control their curriculum. There are no partnerships or programs that have indirect control on the curriculum.
  • The definition of entanglement is debatable, however neither Utah standards nor curricula are dictated by the federal government.
  • Utah did not receive federal monies to adopt Common Core Standards. Utah did not acquiesce education control or state sovereignty by adopting Common Core Standards.
  • Utah’s waiver from No Child Left Behind is in compliance with SB287.

A link to the attorney general’s full review may be found h​ere.​

The Governor’s Standards Review Panel began meeting in Oct. 2014 to review whether the current Utah standards are properly preparing students for higher education or careers. The Governor’s Panel, consisting of higher education experts and stakeholders, included an executive committee and two technical review panels that evaluated mathematics and English language arts.

The Standards Review Panel’s findings concluded:

  • The Utah Core Standards in English language arts and mathematics are b​ased on the Common Core State Standards,​and are not federally controlled.
  • Utah’s educational standards are controlled by the U​tah State Board of Education.
  • Local districts and schools, not the federal government, are in control of their curriculum. Utah has the flexibility to choose the textbooks and materials that best serve their
  • students’ needs.

  • Utah educators, not the federal government, are writing students’ math, English and science tests. A​s in years past, Utah continues to control end­of­level assessments in these tested subjects.
  • Utah’s new standards in math and English language arts are more rigorous than previous standards.
  • The Utah Core Standards do not contain requirements related to data collection or data reporting.

The full report of the Standards Review Panel may be found h​ere.​