Controversy over compulsory education heats up

State school board member Tami Pyfer disagrees with a Republican state senator who says it’s time to end compulsory education. Pyfer said Senator Aaron Osmond of West Jordan is wrong when he advocates scrapping compulsory education in favor of a system that encourages learning by choice.

On KVNU’s For the People program Thursday, Pyfer spoke out for Common Core which has been a controversial issue. She said some kind of standards have been in place since 1984.

“Why all of the sudden is this so different? Why were the standards we had in place 10 years ago, why didn’t anyone care about that when we had similar bench marks?” Pyfer asked. “Students were able to capitalize sentences or know their multiplication facts at a certain grade level. Why didn’t everyone come unglued over that and say ‘you’re holding my student back?’

“It’s the same thing. They’re minimum standards. It’s like going to school and meeting your child’s new second grade teacher and saying, ‘what are you going to learn this year?’ and the teacher saying ‘I dont know.'” 

Pyfer said what the state school board adopted is not necessarily federal core standards but common benchmarks that fit within Utah’s Common Core.

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