Why there’s a Common Core backlash

In response to a conservative defense of Common Core Standards, Heritage fellow Lindsey M. Burke describes the conservative backlash on National Review Online.

The federal government has spent billions to move Common Core forward, and it has put billions more on the line. Unfortunately, parents, teachers, tea-party activists, and governors have every reason to believe Common Core represents major, unprecedented federal intervention into education.

In theory, Common Core is a state initiative. But the Obama administration has pushed states to adopt the new standards, Burke writes.

Washington is financing the two national testing consortia that are creating the Common Core assessments. Lawmakers have tied $4.35 billion in Race to the Top grants to the adoption of standards similar to those found in a significant number of states, and they’ve made the adoption of Common Core a major factor in securing a No Child Left Behind waiver. And now, they have established a technical-review panel to work with the testing consortia on item design and validation.

For an undertaking that claims to be largely free of federal involvement, Common Core has quite a few federal fingerprints on it.

Many parents and teachers share an “understandable fear” that “the federal government is on the brink of dictating the content taught in every school,” Burke concludes.

I wish the feds had allowed Common Core to remain a state effort.

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  1. You would think liberals would also be very much against the intrusion of the state into the lives of private individuals, and so much more so when it is the federal government.

    I know the Republican Party is starting to work on this issue, but it is hardly “owned” by conservatives. Or if it is, it shouldn’t be. This concerns us all.

    • Richard Aubrey says:

      The libs WANT the feds in every part of your life except the bedroom. Or, perhaps in every part of everybody’s life including the bedroom except their own.

  2. Mike in Texas says:

    The conservatives didn’t have a problem with NCLB, which was a HUGE federal intrusion into education. Oh wait, a Republican president was pushing it!

    • Perhaps I hang out with weirdos but I remember quite a bit of opposition by conservatives to NCLB, essentially on this same basis.

      The other thing to keep in mind with regard to opposition is that Common Core won’t be static and it will require people to implement. Remember the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which outlawed racial quotas. How did that turn out?

      • D's Squirrel Food says:

        Of 10 nay votes in the Senate, 3 were by Republicans (Bennett, Hagel, Voinovich).

    • Richard Aubrey says:

      NVLB wasn’t content. It was “quit hiding your inadequate efforts toward minorities by averaging in the Natl Merit kids.”
      Even that had its detractors, not least among the ed biz,

    • I, too, remember a LOT of conservatives being VERY unhappy about NCLB – and are still unhappy about it to this day. Enough so that they never forgave Bush Jr. for it, even calling him a “liberal disguised as a conservative” to his last day in office.

  3. nailsagainsttheboard says:

    After the NCLB debacle, the last thing we need is more federal education mandates. The vast majority of these mandates have made marginal differences at best and have degraded education, at worst. Schools serve local communities, and should be under local control. ‘Nuff said.

    • Richard Aubrey says:

      Local control is good if the citizens are paying attention. Be interesting to see what happens about Grosse Pointe South in Michigan. Kids can see Rick Santorum as a commencement speaker if they have a permission slip from their parents.
      And what happens to the ‘crats in the infamous poptartgun case.
      In either case, nothing.
      Public school is beyond repair.
      Best you can do is a quieter version of the Alamo.

      • Michael E. Lopez says:

        (Repetitive, I’ve-said-this-a-thousand-times alert!)

        Hire teachers who know the things you want your students to know, English teachers who are good at writing, Chemistry teachers who are good at chemistry, and sharp, friendly elementary teachers who know a lot of things. They were taught what they know, and they know how they were taught it. They can pass it on: that’s what humans *do*.

        The teachers shouldn’t teach the curriculum — the teachers should be the curriculum.

        We don’t need “College Core” or anything remotely like it.

  4. School goals should include ALL students acheiving a year’s academic growth. Holding back the top 50% isn’t going to work any better with CC than it did with nclb.