Vacaville town hall on Common Core won’t have Solano County office

By From page A3 | September 20, 2013

VACAVILLE — The Solano County Office of Education isn’t participating in a Vacaville town hall Wednesday about new Common Core state standards put in place in California schools this year.

It’s because the state has already approved the standards, the county superintendent says.

“That is really a political question that was answered by the state,” Jay Speck said of the merits of Common Core.

The state Board of Education adopted the standards in 2010. This year’s state budget provides $1.2 billion for local school districts to implement Common Core.

The two-hour panel discussion conducted by CA Common Core Concerns, parents and citizens who say they want to educate people about lasting impacts the standards will have, begins at 7 p.m. in the Ulatis Community Center in Vacaville. A brochure for the town hall asks of the Common Core state standards, “Are they good or bad for our children’s education?”

Colleen Britton of Common Core Concerns said the state program will mean a loss of local control and that the county Office of Education should be represented at the town hall.

“They owe it the people of the county,” said Britton, a retired teacher.

Williamson Evers, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and Wendy Hart, a member of the Alpine School District Board of Education, Utah’s largest, are among the speakers at the town hall, she said.

Superintendent Speck said local school districts set curriculum and instruction to meet state standards. He said a parent night about Common Core occurred last year at the county Office of Education and about 25 people attended.

Speck said the new state standards are intended to emphasize critical thinking by students rather than their repeating facts back in bubbles on standardized tests.

Britton said every school board member and superintendent in Solano County has been invited to the town hall. She said the state presents Common Core as a set of educational standards that local school districts can adopt.

“It’s voluntary – with their hands around your throat,” Britton said of the state.

She said the state Department of Education was invited to attend the Vacaville town hall as well, but also declined. A representative of the state agency could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The Ulatis Community Center is located at 1000 Ulatis Drive.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


Discussion | 31 comments

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  • LarbudSeptember 20, 2013 - 8:32 am

    Typical bureaucrat/government employee. Speck like most "public servants" should remember that they work for the taxpayers, not the other way around. If he is so comfortable with the Common Core plan, he should have no problem addressing the questions and concerns of the community at this event. His failure to show is just a sign of his arrogance and disdain for the public he works for.

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  • CD BrooksSeptember 20, 2013 - 9:09 am

    Mr. Speck is correct by not attending. The state Department of Education has also declined for crying out loud. That should tell clear-thinking citizens something right? This is a strictly Conservative presentation that means zero to schools nationwide. I have been reading about and speaking to teachers, principals and assorted education professionals across several states I recently visited to gain some insight into Common Core. In fact, my wife and I were going to attend this meeting until we learned from these folks the value of this new system. Now I read this article that says “Williamson Evers, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, and Wendy Hart, a member of the Alpine School District Board of Education, Utah’s largest, are among the speakers at the town hall,” and I recognize the one-sided version everyone will be “enlightened” by. Not for us, thanks. Common Core is getting a bad rap that is unfortunate and it will get nothing better with this group presenting their misinformed nonsense.

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  • Rick WoodSeptember 20, 2013 - 2:13 pm

    CD: I'm not concerned about creeping socialism or black UN helicopters. My concern, expressed here several times, is tying funding to meeting national standards. Since you've studied up on it, what's the story there?

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  • CD BrooksSeptember 20, 2013 - 4:39 pm

    Rick Wood, apologies in advance for the long-winded response. Unfortunately the opposition to Common Core has tied this to a political argument. The US has slipped in education over the past several years. As I have stated previously, the decline began back in the early 70’s with the advent or should I say the continuation of Affirmative Action and has gone downhill ever since. I’m not blaming Affirmative Action per se, but I am saying that it enabled a lot of less qualified students to enter schools while students with better grades and ability were left behind. Fast forward 40 years and the standards across the board have declined dramatically. And I am not just speaking to education but education business and manufacturing along with social skills go hand in hand. Our teacher’s hands are tied with unruly students and faulty testing practices. Parents are absent and the school administrators are useless. They need to be saved and along comes Common Core. Obviously the financial benefits are quite attractive to schools but the idea of bringing education back is a prime incentive. The US is pouring billions of dollars into the school system and I’m not sure frankly, why the outrage? This is a program to promote an ability to recognize and solve problems, proper language association, critical thinking, putting all students and schools on the same page and hopefully put them on the fast track to better educated and well adjusted citizenry. Tying funding to fundamental learning seems to be more the rule now where as before, it was the exception.

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  • rlw895September 21, 2013 - 7:49 am

    CD: Let's start be defining what you mean by "slipped in education."

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  • CD BrooksSeptember 21, 2013 - 9:16 am

    rlw895, we have slipped below what was once a standard for education in America.

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  • rlw895September 21, 2013 - 12:12 pm

    Who sez?

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  • Rick WoodSeptember 21, 2013 - 12:15 pm

    CD: So funding is tied to adopting Common Core, or is it tied to results? If the latter, how are results measured?

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  • CD BrooksSeptember 21, 2013 - 12:54 pm

    Rick Wood, some will say Common Core is an extension of NCLB. That’s funny though because part of the opposition’s issues with Common Core is the federal involvement whereas going all the way back to Nixon, up through the Bush administration that was not what they wanted. It is just difficult for me to understand why there is so much controversy here. We really need better education so how can this be so wrong? IMO the reason for those most against the plan is politically based misinformation as usual. I don’t know how funding is going to be considered after this begins to roll. I suppose there is a measure of anticipated achievement and they will provide further funding based on that goal?

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  • BttySeptember 24, 2013 - 10:40 am

    That is a bald face lie! If you want to dumb down your kids fine but to dumb down all of our kids is an outrage and we should all stand up and fight this crap. Common Core will NOT prepare your kids for Universities. It will prepare your kids for JR college which have much lower standards. People, stand up and be heard for your children's sake. Why do you think that Home schooling is on the rise? It's because we are sick of the indoctrination of our kids by corrupt one sided teachers and their Unions. You have got to ask yourselves why our school system has gone from one of the greatest to one of the worst. Has everyone lost their mind? When you can send your kids to school and have them intimidated by a teacher for speaking up for our Constitution that is not right. We send our kids to school to have an open mind and be able to see both sides of an issue not just the one the schools/biased teachers/Unions want them to see. Do something that your kids will look back on and say: My parents loved me enough to fight these biases. They loved me enough to want the best education for me not one that was forced on them. Study the facts of Common Core and you will see the damage it will do to your kids. Don't take my word for it or CD Brook's word. Study it yourself and fight it. The most important job you will ever have in your lifetime is the raising of your children. You fail them and nothing else matters.

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  • CD BrooksSeptember 24, 2013 - 11:00 am

    Btty(?) I dare you find and identify a lie in any of my comments. I have done the research, Common Core is finally a step forward, give it a chance for crying out loud! I am the FIRST one to stand up and tell parents to do a better job of raising their children, always have and I stand firmly behind by my comments.

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  • CD BrooksSeptember 24, 2013 - 12:52 pm

    Btty(?), while you're frantically trying to find an intelligent response I reread your rant and discovered the catch-words/phrases that identify how you develop an opinion. Please find a non-biased non-wholly-Conservative site to substantiate your claim. Thank you.

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  • BttySeptember 24, 2013 - 2:16 pm

    Oh I see Brooks, now if we don't agree with your liberal, progressive BS we are all marked terrible conservatives. Just what I thought. I'm warning everyone not to turn your kids education over to the Federal government or the likes of Jerry Brown. We have given the educational system years and years to get this right and look where we are? Brooks says to give it a try. Can you all see that we've been doing that crap over and over and our kids have suffered. Name me a program state or Federal that is a success story? I would like to know something Brooks. Do you have school aged children? Do you trust your government? I DO NOT!! You liberal/progressives will always try to turn the tables or muddy the waters when you can't explain questions by caring parents on this Common Core. This is nothing more than federal takeover of your kids’ tests, textbooks, and curriculum. It's just another corrupt scheme. Florida has turned against it and Utah and their are others. This program is not Common Core it's Rotten To The Core. And yes, Brooks I'm still reading about it and will continue to fight this assault against our children.

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  • rlw895 http://www.governmentisgood.com/articles.php?aid=7September 24, 2013 - 3:10 pm

    Btty: You go too far when you imply government has a record of failure. You are mouthing right wing talking points on that. Check the link; there are many others. And I recall Mario Cuomo on a right wing talk show where the host made the same accusation. Cuomo off the cuff named several achievements for a few minutes and kind of shut the other guy up. Moral: Don't embarrass yourself by making a groundless accusation in front of someone who had the facts and isn't afraid to use them.

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  • BttySeptember 24, 2013 - 5:38 pm

    rlw, really? You might want to reread that article you posted. I'm not saying that our government has never done anything good buddy but I'am saying that we are heading in the wrong direction today!! There are alot of things he quotes in his article that do not apply today or have changed drastically. Government has gotten way to big and alot of these programs that he mentions could be done away with completely or cut back drastically. Come on, you really can't say with a straight face that we don't still have serious issues in our country. Our government has devided us and you can see that here. Government has gotten to big. But of course I digress. This was supposed to be about CC. It's setting our kids up for failure. Our education system has had more than 25 years to get this straight but they have failed our kids. I home schooled my kids and they scored very, very high on their SAT tests. They went on to top colleges in California and on to Graduate school. I have four kids, all with college degrees so I would say I have done a pretty damn good job. I would never turn my kids over to the Public school system K-12 to have them indoctrinated. Boys today cannot be boys. They are raised by our schools to be panty waitsted sissy's. Kids today can't even bite their pop tarts into the shape of a gun without being attacked. Boys shouldn't play with toy guns or GI Joe without being attacked from some stupid teacher or school staff. Oh but its okay to hand out condoms, and teach about planned parenthood or homosexuality being an acceptable alternative life style. NOT IN MY HOME!! Public Schools allow special interest groups to come into your childs class room and indoctrinate them when they don't allow the opposite side to come in. There is always two sides of an issue Brooks and rlw are typical liberals who try to sway you to their side. Don't listen to me or them. Do your kids a great service and invesigate CC. Take the time to see what is going on here. Then fight with all your might for your child. Look at the condition of our state. It won't be long before you have more takers than givers and then what will be the excuse? We don't need more excuses. We need drastic changes. I'm not always right but I do care about your kids. If we don't make things right for them today then when? Kids are dropping out of school like flies. We either deal with getting them a good education today or we deal with them as criminals tomorrow because they are lost. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to home school. If I did it anyone can do it. I took my kids on field trips, they played sports. Home schooling doesn't mean they have to miss out on anything. You can also consider private school.

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  • CD BrooksSeptember 24, 2013 - 3:12 pm

    BTTY, thank you. You could not have my case any more clear. Have a nice day.

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  • George Guynn, JrSeptember 20, 2013 - 12:20 pm

    CD, you mean you still haven't figured out that socialism doesn't work? Just wait till the politicians run out of freebees from the taxpayers to give to those that don't work. That time is coming and soon. Oh, I forgot. You must get your news from the media, the fourth arm of government! Common Core, we don't need it!!!!!

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  • CD BrooksSeptember 20, 2013 - 12:29 pm

    Mr. Guynn, I appreciate your passion and respect your efforts at the local level for what you believe is the right thing to do. More people should get involved. I just don't happen to agree with your political sense of things. We won't agree terribly often and I am okay with that. I have good information on Common Core and am satisfied with my position on the matter.

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  • Rich GiddensSeptember 20, 2013 - 2:32 pm

    Is this the same county board of education that's given us such dismal outcomes and results over the last 20 years in California and Solano County? No wonder they want to become the willing thralls of Washington DC. They know no other way!

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  • Alisha LSeptember 20, 2013 - 10:28 pm

    There are 3 different laws against the federalization of education. Technically not being broken because the states were bribed into acepting it, and our politicians greedy. Please read our founding fathers words about tyranny. Please also read the federal education book about common core. Could it seriously be explained why the parents religion, annual pay etc would need to be data mined through our children? Could it be explained why the FED GOVT needs to stress test the children with facial software, seats and computer mouses' that sens when they tense up? I am just finding out about most of this myself. It is atrocious to me. Dont just believe my or anyone elses word, research yourself it is there in black and white. Hence the name of our country we are the states(meant to be individual and different) united in america.

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  • FDCSeptember 21, 2013 - 6:43 am

    Good old CD is at it again. Stifle debate! Ignore the public! March side-by-side with the other Morons plodding on to the Brave New World! I just don't understand you, CD. What is wrong with public discussion of a program that has many, many faults? I guess you as well as the overpaid bureaucrats in the Solano County education mill just don't want to stand up and face your opposition.

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  • CD BrooksSeptember 21, 2013 - 7:00 am

    Well good morning Mr. C! Hope you are well and having a wonderful Saturday! It's a done deal, no need for Mr. Speck or any individual to put themselves in a situation where they cannot win. Just look at the comments here, would you put yourself in that position? There may be some minor issues with Common Core that remains to be seen. Just like any new groundbreaking project, they will work out any difficulties that come along. But let's take the hyperbole out of the equation, give CC a chance and stop fighting over it. Ignorance hurts the kids and prevents them from moving forward.

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  • FDCSeptember 21, 2013 - 8:05 am

    Come on, CD. If Mr. Speck is in the right, how can anyone, to paraphrase you, put him in a position where he cannot win. Why is he afraid to confront his opposition and set them straight? Doesn't he have an obligation to defend the program? He doesn't want to appear because he is afraid, period, and because as so many other tyrants, he's the boss and don't you dare cross him!

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  • CD BrooksSeptember 21, 2013 - 8:11 am

    FDC, why do you always say somebody is afraid? I really don't get that.Whatever problems Common Core does or does not have won’t be settled at a slam fest from Conservative and Tea Party apologists. Those clear thinking among us are all too aware of the futility here and I think we’re better off steering clear of this particular one-sided debacle. If you think this through, you'll know I'm right.

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  • rlw895September 24, 2013 - 6:09 pm

    Could be he doesn't want to dignify the meeting with presence. The guy probably already has too many meetings he MUST attend already to add another discretionary one.

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  • LarbudSeptember 21, 2013 - 12:09 pm

    I'm sorry CD, I call B.S.! You set yourself up as the enlightened "clear thinking" one, and as soon as the rest of us think it through we'll be as enlightened as you and thus agree with you. Your arrogance is disgusting! Same as all your liberal friends that think they are sooo much smarter than the rest of us. No need for a debate, the matter is closed, obviously it's not. It's not only the fear of coming to a forum that is held by those with an opposing viewpoint it is the arrogance directed to the public. It's the attitude of "if you don't agree with me, you don't count" and directly related to the way the white house deals with the opposition in congress. No true exchange of ideas just insult them and dismiss them.

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  • CD BrooksSeptember 21, 2013 - 12:27 pm

    Call away Larbud, I'm not smart at all so don't know where that came from? My friends call me very confident BIG difference...so far as I know, nobody is afraid of anything. I would not expect anyone to waste their time getting roasted by folks like you when there is nothing to gain Get it? Didn't think so.

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  • Rick WoodSeptember 21, 2013 - 12:27 pm

    Even if Common Core isn't ideal, it's better than NCLB. Does it replace NCLB?

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  • CD BrooksSeptember 21, 2013 - 6:44 pm

    Wow FDC, that's very manly...but nothing new really.

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