TUCSON, Ariz. – You may have been hearing media-types lately proclaiming that people on both the left and right sides of the political spectrum oppose the Common Core. Though many are now wearing the anti-Common Core jersey, not everyone is on our team.
Conservative Mama Grizzlies across the country were the first to sense something was wrong in their children’s schools. These moms, grounded in the principles of state sovereignty over education, parental rights, and protecting the privacy of their kids’ personal data, bravely confronted school officials and legislators demanding that the Common Core machine be removed in total from their schools. Conservative state legislators across the country are responding by passing bills in an attempt to stop the implementation of the Common Core standards and tests in their states.
The grassroots anti-Common Core movement, like the Tea Party before it, is gaining momentum, becoming a force to be reckoned with during the upcoming state and national elections. Like the Tea Party movement before it, the anti-Common Core movement is also in danger of being co-opted by establishment Progressive candidates, in both the Republican and Democratic Parties, who pay lip service to the cause to get to their electoral finish line and be declared the winner on Election Day.
Governor Mike Pence (R-IN), eyeing a possible run for president in 2016, responded to anti-Common Core voices in Indiana and supported his state legislature in ending the nationalized standards and test in his state. Hoosiers are now realizing that Pence pulled the old bait-and-switch with regards to their anti-Common Core demands.
Rather than returning to the state’s previous superior standards, Gov. Pence decided instead to rewrite Indiana’s education standards. He then handed that task over to a group of pro-Common Core technocrats who merely cut and pasted the Common Core standards, rebranding them as the “new” Indiana Academic Standards. Governor Mike Pence is trying to wear the anti-Common Core jersey, but he’s not on our team.
Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA), also a possible 2016 presidential hopeful, let the Common Core beast through the gates of his state back in 2011. In exchange for $17.4 million from the feds, Gov. Jindal agreed to adopt the Common Core standards and tests, as well as set up NSA-like data gathering systems in his state to suction student data to Common Core Central. Governor Jindal is signaling an about-face as he talks, talks, talks about ending the Common Core in his state, yet he does, does, does nothing towards that end. So far, Bobby Jindal is wearing the anti-Common Core jersey, but we’re not sure if he wants to be on our team just yet.
Both Governors Sarah Palin (R-AK) and Rick Perry (R-TX) along with the Republican governors of Nebraska and Virginia refused to let the Common Core beast through the gates of their state, instead choosing to forgo the lure of millions of federal dollars back in 2010, while maintaining state sovereignty over their children’s education and minds. Palin and Perry are wearing the anti-Common Core jersey, and they are definitely on our team.
There are others whose opposition to the Common Core is grounded not in the conservative principles of parental and state sovereignty over education, but rather in their opposition to the current version of the Common Core standards and tests, or merely its “botched” implementation.
Let’s take a quick inventory of some of these players in this version of the anti-Common Core movement.
Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), and one the most progressive/liberal state legislatures in the country, recently “paused” its full implementation of the Common Core standard requirements. New York had been the Common Core’s loudest cheerleader since receiving over $700 million from the feds back in 2010 to implement the Common Core machine in their state, and to be a model for the rest of the nation by creating their very own version of the Common Core test.
After New York’s students failed miserably on the Common Core-aligned test last year, the statewide teachers’ union withdrew its support of the Common Core standards and testing.
It sounds like New York and the teachers’ unions are wearing a version of our jersey doesn’t it? Not so fast. The unions are not calling for the end of Common Core in their state, rather they just want it “paused” so that teachers’ pay, with union dues deducted, will not be affected by the new teacher evaluation system that connects student scores to teacher salaries. The unions seemed to be okay with Common Core being inflicted on the students of New York until that infliction threatened their teacher-customer’s bottom line.
Teacher unions focus on what is best for their dues-paying customers, teachers. Rarely do they advocate for what is best for the kids in the classroom unless it will benefit teacher needs. As with Obamacare, the union opposition to the Common Core is tenuous at best and can evaporate with a special exemption granted by Common Core Central Command. For now, the teacher unions are wearing a similar jersey to us, but they’re not on our team.
Some commentators and politicians, such as possible 2016 presidential hopeful Rick Santorum, like to mention liberal activist Diane Ravitch’s opposition to the Common Core as proof that criticism of the standards is bipartisan. “We are all it this fight together,” they infer.
But Diane Ravitch isn’t against the Common Core per se; she’s against the way the Common Core was created and implemented. She’s not against the principles of national standards and curriculum from which the Common Core spawned; she’s just against this incarnation of it, the incarnation where she had no input.
When Diane Ravitch worked at the U.S. Department of Education in the early 1990s, she used $10 million to create a national curriculum, even though federal law prohibits the federal government or its employees from “exercising any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum…of any educational institution or school system.”
Diane Ravitch rationalizes her breach of federal law by explaining, “So long as the standards were developed by independent professional groups and were voluntary, we were not violating the legal prohibition against imposing curriculum on states and school districts.”
The Common Core machine used Diane Ravitch’s blueprint as they financed a multitude of private front groups, like the National Governor’s Association (NGA), to launder millions of federal dollars towards the endgame of controlling our kids’ minds through controlling education via the Common Core’s nationalized standards, testing, and data suctioning systems. The Common Core group also uses Ravitch’s gift of wordsmithing when they too claim that states “voluntarily” adopted the Common Core back in 2010 as part of a “state-led” effort.
Diane Ravitch is now wearing the anti-Common Core jersey, but she’s definitely not on our team. It was the original anti-Common Core Mama Grizzly, Lynne Cheney, former head of the National Endowment for the Humanities and wife of former Vice President Dick Cheney, who led the charge to defeat Ravitch’s attempt at implementing nationalized education standards infused with progressive revisionist history back in the mid-1990s. Otherwise, we may have had the Ravitch-approved version of the Common Core standards already in place. Can you sense the flying monkeys being dispatched as we speak?
Flash ahead a year where the people have stormed the castle walls and slayed the Common Core beast. Amongst those who currently are “anti-Common Core,” who will be on the side of parent sovereignty over our children’s education and minds? Who will be for the right of parents to choose where their kids are educated, whether that means a charter, public, or homeschooling setting? Who will be for a federal government constrained by our Constitution? Who will be on the side of local control of education? The answers to these questions will reveal who is on your team.
Our opposition to the Common Core is grounded in protecting state sovereignty over education, protecting the sanctity of parental rights, and protecting our children from data predators at the U.S. Department of Education. While others are calling for the Common Core standards and tests to be reworked, or they protest Common Core’s “botched” implementation, we call for the Common Core beast to be slayed and buried in total.
Any state governor or superintendent of education who let this Common Core beast through the gates should resign and/or not seek re-election in light of their educational malpractice. Whether we stand alone or with a million like-minded people opposing the Common Core, we wear the anti-Common Core jersey with pride, and we know what team we’re on.