Curse Obama’s Common Core! More and More Reject You

Posted: June 18, 2014 in education, politics
Tags: , , , , , ,

Sigh. One of my many, many issues with Americans in general – regardless of their political ideology – is their short memory and their penchant for blaming current problems on the current people in charge, regardless of who initiated something or who is responsible for its execution. In this case, the dried up anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly (I recently learned one of her sons is Andrew Schlafly, the guy behind Conservapedia), wrote “Growing Rejection of Common Core” for WND, which published it on June 9, 2014.

Here is her second paragraph:

Common Core is the title of a new set of standards the Obama administration has been trying to force the states to use. Even before the standards were written, 45 states and the District of Columbia signed on, encouraged by inducements of federal funds. The principal outliers are Texas, Alaska, Nebraska and Virginia.

The problem is, the first sentence is wrong. Oh, and apparently, Schlafly doesn’t like Indiana, the other of the five states that never agreed to it. Anyway, just doing a tiny bit of reading on that college freshmans’ website of choice, Wikipedia, we find that Common Core was thunked up throughout the 1990s, and 2000s, and that it was the National Governors’ Association (NGA) in association with the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) that were the ones to develop this. They announced it on June 1, 2009. Both the NGA and CCSSO hold the copyrights to Common Core.

Doesn’t seem to me like President Obama or any part of his administration had much of anything to do with this.

Now, it is possible that this was helped by the 2008 election, wherein 29 governor houses went to Democrats, 21 to Republicans (though really that’s only 1 seat change). And now, in 2014 based on the 2010 and 2012 elections, Republicans have 29 and Democrats have 21 seats. Kinda flipped there.

And, it is true that the Obama administration has encouraged states to adopt them:

Standards were released for mathematics and English language arts on June 2, 2010, with a majority of states adopting the standards in the subsequent months. States were given an incentive to adopt the Common Core Standards through the possibility of competitive federal Race to the Top grants. U.S. President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the Race to the Top competitive grants on July 24, 2009, as a motivator for education reform. To be eligible, states had to adopt “internationally benchmarked standards and assessments that prepare students for success in college and the work place.” Though states could adopt other college- and career-ready standards and still be eligible, they were awarded extra points in their Race to the Top applications if they adopted the Common Core standards by August 2, 2010.

Personally, I think the backlash is because there has not really been much education reform in the US in decades, and people who study best education practices have learned a lot since the 1960s. That means teachers implementing Common Core may not do it very well at first. That means that parents who see their children’s lessons and homework may not understand it because, dag nabbit, that’s not how they were taught!

Oh, and because it encourages abortion and gays and feminists and atheism and it’s government take-over of everything. And making everything the same (since parents are holding protest signs saying, “My child is not common”).

As with anything massive, there are bound to be problems. As with any reform worked on for a broken system, it’s going to take time to get the kinks worked out. But the current knee-jerk reactions by the über-conservatives do nothing to help the conversation.

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